Which is the appropriate 3D visualization type for participatory landscape planning workshops? A portfolio of their effectiveness
Communication and information are central aspects in participatory spatial planning. This study analyzes the effectiveness of current 3D landscape visualizations in communicating the required spatial information. The focus was on measuring 3D visualizations’ effectiveness in participatory planning processes according to the level of various supporting functions for, for example, information processing or achieving the objectives of different planning phases. The effectiveness of abstract and realistic 3D visualization types was tested in case studies using qualitative social – empirical research methods. In order to provide a systematic overview of the results, a portfolio analysis was carried out. The benefit of the visualization types for different planning tasks and their quality of representing the required planning content were evaluated. The results show that the different strengths of both abstract and realistic 3D visualization types are required in participatory workshops. They are especially efficient at motivating stakeholders and enlarging the information base. However, until now they have proved to be less suitable for the development of new ideas and decision making. In particular, the realistic visualization type was ranked as very attractive for the purpose of evaluation, but the representation of the required spatial information needed enhancement. On the basis of the portfolio, focusing further research on optimizing the 3D visualization types for analysis and evaluation tasks is suggested.
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