Interactive visualisation focuses on graphic representations of data that improve the way we interact with information. The ability for users to explore, manipulate, and interact with data makes interactive visualisation an incredibly powerful, and increasingly popular tool.
We have developed a range of innovative interactive visualisation tools to support communication, collaboration and decision making at all stages of a project lifecycle, from community and stakeholder engagement to detailed design.
Augmented Reality Sandbox
An Augmented Reality (AR) sandbox is a very interactive visualisation tool that shows how topography affects water moving through a catchment. Participants can shape the sand to create their own river catchments and valleys which are then ‘augmented’ in real time by a projector which shows a coloured elevation map and contour lines.
By holding a hand above the sand, participants can ‘make it rain’ and then watch how the virtual water flows through the catchment in real time and explore how changes in topography and land use affect flooding.
Building on the research undertaken by JBA Trust (the research outputs are freely available here) we have developed a complete Augmented Reality Sandbox package that can be tailored to support your specific engagement and education events and activities.
The ‘off-the-shelf’ AR Sandbox package includes the complete physical model, computer hardware and software, all the demonstration accessories, operation and demonstration guides and a training session for demonstrators.
If you are interested in purchasing an AR Sandbox, please contact Frank O’Connell for more information.
Projection Augmented Relief Model (PARM)
The PARM is an innovative and engaging way of displaying spatial information on a physical 3D model of a landscape or town. Using a 3D model makes it easier to understand complex spatial information, especially where it changes over time or in different scenarios, for example the impact of climate change on flood risk. Accompanying images displayed alongside the 3D map projections help users interpret the information on the map.
Different types of information can be projected onto the 3D model, including historic maps, land use, local landmarks, flood risk impacts and proposed new flood defences. The projections can easily be updated and changed making the model adaptable and flexible to meet different user needs.
Working with the School of Geography at the University of Nottingham, we have developed a variety of PARMs to show the impact of different rainfall events and flood defence scenarios, helping engage local communities and support decision making for flood defence schemes.
We have also been working with JBA Trust to support their research into how the PARM helps people understand spatial information relating flood risk. You can view the JBA Trust’s video about their Skipton PARM here.
The PARM has been a valuable engagement tool throughout the development of the Hebden Bridge Flood Alleviation Scheme. The location of this town and the local geography, in particular the steep sided nature of the valleys, makes Hebden Bridge a challenging area to deliver flood risk management solutions. The PARM has helped explain these challenges and the flood protection opportunities that are viable. In particular the PARM has proved to be a great educational asset and has been used at a number of academic lectures. As the flood alleviation scheme develops, the PARM will be regularly updated to provide up to date proposals for the public.
Christian Merriman, FCRM Advisor, Partnership & Strategic Overview Team West Yorkshire, Flood & Coastal Risk Management