The Application of Cloud Computing in Transport Planning Through Developments in Interactive 3D Simulation Technology



The Application of Cloud Computing in Transport Planning Through Developments in Interactive 3D Simulation Technology

Authors

Brendan Hafferty, FORUM8, Yuji Ito, FORUM8

Description

This paper describes a new and novel way to achieve a much better stakeholder consensus for contentious new infrastructure projects by using Interactive 3D Visual Simulation models, promoted by the client and delivered to the stakeholder on-line via the Cloud.

Abstract

Yuji Ito, Christophe Soulier & Yoann Pencreach FORUM8 Co., Ltd., Japan
Nakameguro GT Tower 15F, 2-1-1 Kamimeguro Meguro-ku Tokyo, Japan 150-0032
T: +81(0)3-5773-1888 E: ito@forum8.co.jp soulier@forum8.co,jp yoann@forum8.co.jp

Brendan Hafferty & Patrick Hafferty FORUM8 Western Regional Office, UK
Fleet House, New Bridge Street, London EC4V 6AL UK
T: +44(0)207 822 1887 E: brendan@forum8.com patrick@forum8.com


The design and planning of urban and transport infrastructure is undergoing a tremendous transformation. Not only has the available software technology changed considerably, so have the requirements and demands of the stakeholders.

As the democratic process becomes even more open, coupled with the advent of 24 7, news and information, so the demands of the general public have changed. People now require more consultation regarding proposed developments that have a direct impact upon their lives and or the environment in which they live. Local and National Government officials are under increasing pressure to not only justify what they plan to do in words and pictures, but also to show the proposed new developments in a medium that is far more easily understandable to the ordinary ‘man in the street’. In the recent past the only way to do this was by calling ‘town hall meetings’ and displaying large photographs, video clips or solid models.

This paper describes a new and novel way to achieve a much better stakeholder consensus for contentious new infrastructure projects by using Interactive 3D Visual Simulation models, promoted by the client and delivered to the stakeholder on-line via the Cloud. According to the well known computer analysts Gartner Inc., “…cloud computing heralds an evolution of business that is no less influential than e-business.” Gartner maintains that “…the very confusion and contradiction that surrounds the term ‘cloud computing’ signifies its potential to change the status quo in the IT market.” The key point here being the use of the ubiquitous Internet to communicate and obtain on-line responses from and with multiple external people – in this particular case, stakeholders i.e. Transport Planners in different office locations, Local & National Government elected officials, The Local Business Community & Members of the General Public. The objective of this project is to show how the use of the very latest interactive 3D VR software can be integrated into the very latest Cloud Computing technology and in so doing expand the consensus building process to anyone with access to the Internet.

The aim of the project is the development of a new product called VR-Cloud which will be part of the family of Virtual Reality products produced by the Japanese company FORUM8. The aim is to complement the company’s leading 3D Visual Interactive Simulation software VR-Design Studio (formerly UC-win/Road) by enabling its 3D interactive environments to be accessed and manipulated over the Cloud. Anyone with Internet access will be able to view new transport developments and even walk or fly through the proposed new 3D Space at will. No longer will they have to rely upon fixed views of new buildings, bridges, highways etc., they will be able to experience what the new environment will actually be like within the virtual environment of their own PC. One of the key benefits of using the Cloud to deliver these 3D models is the fact that the stakeholder (member of the general public or indeed any other interested party) does not require any special computer hardware. All they need is good Internet access.

Key Words: 3D Visualisation, Cloud Computing, Urban Planning, 3D City Modelling, Consensus Building

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We acknowledge the invaluable contribution of a number of people to this project in particular our colleagues in the development team at FORUM8 and in particular Christophe Soulier and their leader Yoann Pencreach .
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Publisher

Association for European Transport