With a growing interest in environmental data and the need to consider various environmental factors early in the planning processes, it becomes more important to disseminate this type of information to different target groups in a comprehensible way. To support easier decision making, many cities and municipalities are increasingly using digital city models where it is possible to integrate different types of information based on simulation and visualization of future scenarios. Such tools have high potential, but the visual representation of data still needs to be developed.
SCENDA has its background in the research projects DemoVirPEN and CityAirSim where visualization of environmental data in urban models was in focus.
The objective of the project has been to develop and evaluate interactive prototypes with scenarios showing different ways of visualizing environmental data, primarily noise. The overall aim has been to develop visualization methods for how to represent large amounts of environmental data in order to show how invisible parameters affect our experience of a place. From a technical point of view, developing prototypes for the project poses distinct challenges. Data diversity and complexity can be a problem in both designing the backbone of the software, but mainly, in providing a properly designed User eXperience (UX). In parallel, the diversity in end-users demands for a creation of a robust and intuitive way of human-computer interaction that can be easily explained to non-specialists. SCENDA aimed to contribute to the development of digital communication tools in urban planning processes. The target group for our study has been stakeholders in this context.
SCENDA has included the research areas interaction design, visualization, urban planning, geoinformatics, and mathematical modelling. We have used a design research method (Hevner & Chatterjee, 2010) where prototypes with scenarios were developed, applied on the DTCC platform and user tested in iterative processes. We have created scenarios using different design concepts of visualization for the invisible parameter noise. In user tests, we have investigated and evaluated how people interpret, understand and experience the different prototypes.
In March 2020, SCENDA had the opportunity to join with the ongoing research project MiljöVis, a collaboration between Chalmers and Trafikverket. Since MiljöVis deals with similar research questions connected to visualization of environmental parameters this has brought synergies and the possibility to connect to the needs from Trafikverket.
The project is closed: 30/06/2020