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URSULA's Ed Morgan makes the New Scientist Posted: 04/04/2011

iPad in action at Wicker RiversideURSULA researchers are delighted that the first New Scientist of April features an article about the work of colleague and developer of landscape visualisation software Ed Morgan. The New Scientist is a venerable and well known popular science publication with a large readership that has been documenting cutting edge scientific research and technology for decades, so for most researchers getting a mention in its pages is a thrill.

The reason for their interest is that Deliverance Software, a company directed by Ed that produces landscape visualisation software, has
developed an augmented reality iPhone app that allows the user to see a proposed change in the landscape simply by holding up the screen of an iPhone in the direction of the landscape that will be modified. The screen then shows the same panorama the iPhone is pointed in, but how it would look after the landscape changes have been made. It does this by exploiting the inbuilt compass and GPS locator within the iPhone, and downloading an image of the equivalent view from a preconstructed 3d model of the proposed change. For example, you could use your iPhone to see a proposed new park in your neighbourhood simply by pointing an iPhone in its location and downloading an image of its appearance. In a world where many cannot read maps, and even the most informative 2d plan fails to convey all relevant information to the viewer, this technology has the potential to greatly increase the effectiveness of stakeholder consultation. This approach is entirely compatible with the visualisation workflow being employed in URSULA, and designs have already been visualised “on-site” in this way (see photo).

Aside from his work at Deliverance Software, Ed is part-time on the URSULA project producing visualisation models. He works alongside academic Prof Eckart Lange, head of landscapeplanning at Sheffield University, and PhD student Lewis Gill who amongst other things are interested in the research into the useage and the development of tools and approaches to aid the communication of landscape change to stakeholders.

If you'd like to find out more please email Ed at ed.morgan@shef.ac.uk.

To read the New Scientist article click here.