Current Research Projects

WeSenseIt_logo Citizen Observatory of Water

Duration: 10/2012 – 3/2016
EU FP7 framework programme, http://wesenseit.eu
Contact: Professor Eckart Lange
Research Partners: Professor Fabio Ciravegna, Dr. Vita Lanfranchi, Dr. Stuart Wrigley, Laura Smith

FloodingDonRiver

WeSenseIt will develop a citizen-based observatory of water, which will allow citizens and communities to become active stakeholders in water information capture, evaluation and communication. WeSenseIt will address the entire hydrologic cycle with a major focus on variables responsible for floods and drought occurrences. This citizen observatory of water will be tested in three different case studies in water management with civil protection agencies in United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Italy.

F3UES_logo Fragments, functions and flows – the scaling of biodiversity and ecosystem services in urban ecosystems

Duration: 6/2012 – 2/2016
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). Biodiversity & Ecosystem Service Sustainability (F3UES, BESS).
Contact: Professor Eckart Lange
Research Partners: Professor Philip Warren, Dr Karl Evans, Dr Anna Jorgensen, Professor Nigel Dunnett, Dr Alison Holt, Dr Georgina Southon, Helen Hoyle, Dr Briony Norton, Paul Richards

F3UES_3

Little is known about the contribution of urban areas to the broader scale provision of ecosystem services. The project investigates ecosystem services from three groups: regulating, provisioning and cultural services. The Department of Landscape focuses on cultural services including psychological well-being and aesthetics using several case-studies with experimental urban meadow plots in Luton, Bedford and Milton-Keynes.

Value logo Welcoming and Engaging Liveable Community Environments

Duration: 6/2012 – 6/2015
EU-INTERREG, http://www.value-and.com www.youtube.com/watch
Contact: Professor Eckart Lange
Research Team Members: Dr. Sigrid Hehl-Lange
Project Partners: Prof. John Henneberry

ValuePlus

The aim of VALUE+ is to improve green infrastructure and the design of urban spaces by developing and involving a team of EU Champions as well as involving top-down strategies and experts. VALUE+ will fund six capital investments in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and the UK. The project site in Sheffield is the Edward Street breathing space, which was a derelict and underused site within a deprived city centre community. This area serves a diverse and growing community, including students, migrants, BME communities, young people, and new residents.

Cumulative Landscape and Visual Impact of Wind Turbines

Duration: 9/2012 – 8/2015
WindNet. Cross-cutting PhD student network, University of Sheffield
Contact: Professor Eckart Lange
Research Team Members: Keelan Meade
Project Partners: Dr. Chris Jones

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Cumulative Effects Assessment has long been a requisite component of Environmental Impact Assessment for wind-power development. As part of the WindNet research network, the principal aim of this research is to deepen understanding of Cumulative Landscape and Visual Impact (CLVI) of wind-turbine development, in order to make assessment of this issue more objective and quantifiable. The project uses self-report measures (questionnaires) as well as psychophysiological measures (heart-rate, skin conductance response, eye tracking).

Differences Between On-site Versus Off-site Engagement of Stakeholders Using Mobile Devices and Virtual Reality Facilities

Duration: 9/2012 – 8/2015
University of Sheffield
Contact: Professor Eckart Lange
Research Team Members: Gulsah Bilge
Project Partners: Dr. Olaf Schroth

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Recent developments in 3D landscape visualization, now, allow using mobile devices as a tool in landscape design, planning and management. The main aim of this research is to establish the effect of the use of on-site mobile device visualizations on the decision-making process and participatory planning. Future design scenarios for the case study site, Edward Street Park, Sheffield, UK, will be developed and visualized regarding stakeholders’ needs and imported into Walkabout3D in order to be explored via mobile devices and virtual reality facilities.

Local Identity: Identification and Assessment, Case Study of Yantai, China

Duration: 9/2010 – 8/2014
University of Sheffield
Contact: Professor Eckart Lange
Research Team Members: Yuhan Shao
Project Partners: Dr Kevin Thwaites

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Identifying and measuring local identity of the city plays a vital role in helping urban designers and landscape architects to better analyze the unique characteristics of the sites they design. However, there is a huge range of approaches and there are no standard guidelines in order to identify and assess local identity.
Photo elicitation interviews and sorting techniques are used as main tools to guide this research. This will allow identifying components that contribute to local identity including physical elements, sensory experience, memory and social interaction.

The Effect of Visual Realism & Sound on Landscape Perception

Duration: 9/2010 – 10/2013
University of Sheffield Harry Worthington Studentship
Contact: Professor Eckart Lange
Research Team Members: Mark Lindquist
Project Partners: Professor Jian Kang

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Understandings of quantitative and qualitative landscape characteristics are necessary to successfully articulate intervention or change in the landscape. 3D visualizations have been used to successfully communicate various aspects of landscape to a diverse population. There is evidence that engaging other senses can enhance the communication and perception of visualizations. This research used empirical methods to examine perceptual responses to audio augmentation of virtual environments. Specifically this project used an online and lab-based experiment to gather responses to the interaction of audio (recorded on site) and visuals (from Google Earth). The hypothesis, that the interaction of a visualized landscape with a soundscape will alter perception of and preference for that landscape, is supported by preliminary results.


Understandings of quantitative and qualitative landscape characteristics are necessary to successfully articulate intervention or change in the landscape. 3D visualizations have been used to successfully communicate various aspects of landscape to a diverse population. There is evidence that engaging other senses can enhance the communication and perception of visualizations. This research will use empirical methods to examine perceptual and physical responses to audio augmentation of virtual environments. Specifically this project will gather psychophysiological responses to the addition of audio to immersive landscape visualizations of three environments: urban, rural and natural. Self-reporting measures (questionnaires) and objective feedback (EEG) will be recorded and analysed individually and comparatively. This research aims to explain how audio in virtual environments alters landscape preference, impacts sense of realism, influences spatiotemporal understanding and supports knowledge creation.

URSULA_logo Urban River Corridors and Sustainable Living Agendas

Duration: 1/2008 – 3/2012
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
ursula.group.shef.ac.uk
Contact: Professor Eckart Lange, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhLvzUZaM0g&feature=plcp
Research Team Members: Mel Burton, Dr. Yoshifumi Demura, Dr. Ed Morgan
Project Partners: Professor David Lerner, Dr Paul Armsworth, Professor Richard Ashley, Mr Peter Bibby, Dr Joby Boxall, Dr Stephen Connelly, Dr John Davison, Professor Kevin Gaston, Professor John Henneberry, Professor Stuart Lane, Professor Lorraine Maltby, Dr Susan Molyneux-Hodgson, Dr Daniela Romano, Dr Elizabeth Sharp, Professor Steve Sharples, Dr Virginia Stovin, Dr Philip Warren

URSULA


The £2.5 million project is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and supported by Sheffield City Council, the Environment Agency and several non-governmental organisations.
It aims to identify the social, economic and environmental gains to be made from innovative interventions in urban river corridors, using the River Don and its tributaries as its case study. The research will be based around four main themes. People will include those that live and work in the area and the organisations responsible for managing the land and river. Design will consider possibilities for innovation and intervention, whether through new concepts or better integration of existing ideas. River will examine the environmental issues in the area, for example, ecology, flood capacity and pollution. Finally, Values will consider the agents of change or money available. This theme will address what are the costs and benefits of different ideas and what are the most sustainable, workable solutions.

An Integrated 3d-Visualisation Design and Planning Tool for Interactive Stakeholder Involvement

Duration: 9/2009 - 8/2012
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Contact: Professor Eckart Lange
Research Team Members: Lewis Gill
Project Partners: Dr. Daniela Romano, Professor David Lerner

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Trends in visualisation and computer hardware have led to the possibility of using interactive three dimensional models within the landscape planning process. However, one barrier to this usage is the production cost of creating such visualisations, which is tied to the complexity of the modelling. By leveraging the increasing amounts of spatial data available and procedural generation methods, the aim is to decrease the time taken to create such models. This reduction will increase the interactivity of the model with the user and, coupled with the ability to alter the underlying data, allow rapid visual prototyping of landscapes.
Such a system would be augmented by the inclusion of extra data, both visual and non-visual, linked to elements in the visualisation. This would allow users to quickly understand effects of their design decisions. In addition, the field of non-photorealistic rendering also offers the possibility of supporting the early design stages where designers are working with abstract ideas.
By combining these strands, a visualisation tool can be provided that not only communicates ideas, but also acts to support the design of landscapes.

Effect of distance on perceived visual quality in reclaimed limestone quarry landscapes

Duration: 7/2008 - 6/2012
Botswana College of Agriculture
Contact: Professor Eckart Lange
Research Team Members: Israel Legwaila
Project Partners: Dr. John Cripps

Quarry Visualisations


The aim of this study is to establish the relationship between distance and visual quality in reclaimed limestone quarry landscapes. The study also seeks to establish the quarry landscape elements and characteristics which enhance their visual qualities. It involves establishing people´s perceptions of the visual qualities of the landscapes through a survey. Nine different quarry reclamation scenarios are visualised. A combination of three different reclamation techniques (restoration blasting, backfill/rollover and bench-planting) and three different post mineral extraction land uses (agriculture, nature conservation, and woodland) is used to develop the scenarios. A tenth scenario represents a quarry that had been abandoned and went through natural succession. Still images and videos are captured from these reclamation scenarios at different distances from the reclaimed quarry landscape. The study provides new insights for the decision-making process regarding choice of post quarry after-use and reclamation techniques.

Modelling and Communicating Ecosystem Services to Aid Weir Management Decision Making

Duration: 9/2007 – 8/2011
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council; Economic & Social Research Council
Contact: Professor Eckart Lange
Research Team Members: Ed Shaw
Project Partners: Professor David Lerner

SUDS


Though the river ecosystems of the Don catchment have seen a remarkable recovery in the last few decades due to improvements in water quality, the developing ecosystems are still constrained by the many weirs that impound the river system. This research project aims to investigate the use of ecosystem services to evaluate management options for weirs, and the use of 3d-visualisation techniques to communicate options to decision makers. Research interests include how the value of service provision is determined by temporal, spatial and social axis, and what implications this has for communicating this information to the decision makers. The objective is to produce a decision support tool that combines real-to-life 3d visualisation techniques and indicators of ecosystem service provision that can be used to help value different weir modification options in the Don Catchment.

DynaLandVis. Evaluating scenarios of future landscape change by comparing static vs. dynamic visualisations in immersive environments

Sigrid Hehl-Lange staff page

Duration: 3/2006 – 2/2009
EU, Sixth Framework, Marie Curie Action
Contact: Professor Eckart Lange
Research Team Members: Dr. Sigrid Hehl-Lange
Project Partners: Professor Carys Swanwick, CPRE, National Trust, National Park Authority, Forestry Commission

Symmetry 3d


In this research project scenarios of future landscapes are developed and translated into 3D visualisation models that are explored and assessed through stakeholder involvement in an immersive environment facility. These interactive computer visualisations provide a realistic experience and function as the basis for making decisions about our future landscapes.
The results will provide quantitative and qualitative information of people´s perception of the landscape character of the future. The results will show whether it will be possible to improve the comprehensibility and usability of visualisations by introducing immersive visualisation to a framework of public participation in a real world planning study.
The case study site for the research project is the Peak District National Park, UK.

User-friendly viewer for immersive 3D environments

Duration: 5/2007 – 11/2007
Higher Education Funding Council for England / Knowledge Transfer Opportunities Fund
Contact: Professor Eckart Lange
Project Partners: Dr. Ed Morgan, Dr. Daniela Romano

Presentation


The Reflex Studio at the University of Sheffield hosts an immersive virtual reality (VR) theatre (RAVEII) that provides viewers with the freedom to navigate and interact in any virtual environment or 3D object.
With this project we create a viewer compatible with the visualisation software packages Simmetry3D and SketchUp (available on a worldwide level) to run in the Reflex Studio in 3D-stereo with surrounding audio mode and interaction devices and strengthen the inter-departmental collaborations between the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Landscape.

Virtual Worlds – Real Decisions? The Alps in a Modeller´s Nutshell

Duration: 7/2006 – 8/2007
Swiss National Science Foundation. National Research Programme Landscapes and Habitats of the Alps
Contact: Professor Eckart Lange
Project Partners: Dr. Britta Allgöwer, Dr. Peter Bebi, Dr. Andreas Fischlin, Dr. Christian Gloor, Professor Kai Nagel, Dr. Ariane Walz

Alps


The National Research Programme Landscapes and Habitats of the Alps (NRP48) has provided a number of different landscape modelling approaches at different spatio-temporal scales and for different study areas, ranging from the entire Alps to the community level. To meet the challenge of creating a synthesis for the different approaches we pursue three complementary activities. They allow us to synthesise the available findings of the NRP48 contributions in the field of landscape modelling and management, to appraise their relevance in the international research in the field, and to develop a vision of future research in the field. The three activities are: (1) the development of a systematic scheme to assess the relevant NRP48 contributions for the synthesis phase, (2) the generation of an exemplary use case Davos, joining the results and methodologies of NRP48 research projects by implementing an agent-based model and virtual landscape representations and (3) to investigate the applicability and limitations of scientific contributions for practical planning.
By developing a general scheme how to assess landscape planning modelling approaches both scientists and stakeholders can validate landscape planning tools from a thematic and methodological point of view and can thus be supported in this rapidly developing field of visualisation and computer-aided planning.

Intuitive and interactive landscape design and 3D-visualisation

Duration: 1/2006 – 7/2006
Higher Education Funding Council for England / Knowledge Transfer Opportunities Fund
Contact: Professor Eckart Lange
Project Partners: Andy Clayden, Lewis Gill, Dr. Ed Morgan

Students


The goal of this project was to introduce specialist software that enables students and professionals in landscape architecture and planning to interactively design and visualise landform (e.g. for quarrying, gravel extraction) in our teaching and research while at the same time providing valuable feedback on the functionality and user interface for Deliverance Software Ltd.