Friday, October 09, 2009

Visualisation in support of management decisions

Following on from the previous post about SYMAP, its amazing to think that in a short period of time how technologies have developed. For example, take the the 18th World IMACS Congress and MODSIM09 International Congress on Modelling and Simulation. There are a wealth of talks in the visualisation in support of management decisions session, such as the paper presented by Phil Greenwood entitled "Using game engine technology to create real-time interactive environments to assist in planning and visual assessment for infrastructure" part of which I show below:

Further information about this session can be found here. Also for those interested in visualization and game engines, the excellent Digital Urban blog at CASA is worth a look.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

SYMAP movie

I recently been exploring visualization techniques for agent-based modeling and GIS and came across this old movie produced by Allan Schmidt showing urban expansion of Lansing, Michigan between 1850 to 1965.

Whats interesting is its based on the synergraphic mapping system (SYMAP) developed by Howard Fisher in the mid 1960s which was one of the first general-purpose mapping packages. The second movie below gives some background on SYMAP:

How cities drive plants extinct

Readers of the blog might know that I have an interest in cities, actually I just wrote about this for a guest blog post on the Krasnow Institute blog. However, I often focus on how human population increase will effect cities in terms of sprawl, congestion or segregation in its many different forms etc. But the BBC has an interesting article entitled " How cities drive plants extinct." The article explores how urban growth impacts on the global biodiversity of plant species. What I found interesting is the question on how plants and people could coexist in urban areas. But for this to happen we would have to see plants as an "investment rather than as a disposable asset."

The full article can be found here.