This research and design
initiative through BatesForum’s Design Core Council is an experimental
processing and visualization tool, resulting in a highly-detailed, multi-media
city model. The project utilizes publicly-sourced geo-spatial information and
through processing, translates multidimensional data into spatial information
and physical form. The model is modular, can tile globally, and can be
replicated or replaced through rapid prototyping.
The model’s three-dimensional
form is synthesized from LIDAR data, collected by the USGS. The data is
processed and supplemented with additional information in GIS, refined as a digital
object in Rhino, and built with a 3D printer. Projected graphics contain both
historical, near-present, and live information, collected by BatesForum, the
City of St. Louis, East-West Gateway, Washington University in St. Louis,
Snapchat and Google. This data can be updated, amended, and replaced through a
repeatable process as needed. Selected geospatial information is translated and
refined in GIS, preliminary static graphics are created in Adobe Illustrator and
the final moving graphic overlays are created through Adobe After Effects.
The model’s intent is to visualize
information easily and coherently in a three-dimensional space. This lends
further clarity and purpose to the design decisions BatesForum makes, which would
otherwise be less clear rendered as a two-dimensional graphic. The model showcases
the firm’s ability to stay current in contemporary model making as well as
geospatial information retrieval and processing. The model permits an
interactive and collaborative approach to information sharing and creation,
within the firm, and with current and prospective clients.
The selected area shown in this
proof of concept is a portion of downtown St. Louis. Here, we see the current condition
of the area. The highly-detailed LIDAR information is rendered visible and
physical through the articulated ground-plane, evidenced especially through the
highways, trees, cars, and complex geometries of America’s Center, Enterprise
Center, and Busch Stadium as well as the Arch Grounds Renovation. This topographical
clarity is unmatched by two-dimensional graphic information or other forms of ground
plane information such as Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) created by the USGS.
Projection is twofold, both the method
and the medium. We are able to speculate the future, perceive the present, and understand
the past through the use of projection mapping. Overlays inform of unseen
networks, translated economies, historiographies (written history – spatially represented),
and potential (anti/re-) development. This information provides content and
context, to and for our design decision making process.
This model therefore serves as
another tool in our growing arsenal for designing conscientiously in our situated