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Expanding the Use of Visualization Technology: 3D Modeling

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Perfors, Tracy E.

Year Published

2018

Publication

In: Gobster, Paul H.; Smardon, Richard C., eds. Visual resource stewardship conference proceedings: landscape and seascape management in a time of change. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-183. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 270-274.

Abstract

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) uses three-dimensional (3D) models viewable in Google Earth in addition to traditional visual resource analysis tools to plan, visualize, and mitigate new landscape-altering projects. A rough model can be made in minutes, allowing for quick and inexpensive pre-planning. Even when sites are inaccessible due to winter snow, timing, cost, or other access issues, modeling gives an approximation of the look of the final project and identifies scenery concerns. Alternatives can be worked through "on the fly" during meetings with stakeholders or in the field (with an internet connection), and mitigations can be made before major time or expense has been poured into an alternative. When project proponents submit a final project design, sophisticated 3D models show the project more intuitively than any diagram or text could, since people naturally think and react to their world in 3D. As a Google Earth file, the model can be easily shared over email or Website to any stakeholders or members of the public who have this free program on their computer. Viewers can investigate how the project looks from whatever viewpoints interest them and not be limited to the handful of viewpoints chosen by the agency. Finally, models help create photographic visual simulations when working with unusual facilities or dirt work (i.e., soil grading) that cannot be simply copied and "Photoshopped in" from other projects.

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Citation

Perfors, Tracy E. 2018. Expanding the Use of Visualization Technology: 3D Modeling. In: Gobster, Paul H.; Smardon, Richard C., eds. Visual resource stewardship conference proceedings: landscape and seascape management in a time of change. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-183. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 270-274.

Last updated on: February 7, 2019