The concept of “GeoDesign” was one year old last week when Esri CEO and president Jack Dangermond kicked off the GeoDesign Summit held in Redlands, Calif. His question to the audience: How do you want to interact in the future to make things better?
He spoke about new modalities and how we used to use CAD to generate maps, but now with GIS we can all look at and interact with the map simultaneously.
He said that GIS is going through “another massive shift with real time information, with distributed services and bringing things together dynamically, the whole lifecycle of design and processes is birthing here.” The new paradigm is about creating alternative futures, evaluating them quickly and seeing the conseqences of them.
Dangermond sees that as the world is becoming digital, GIS is becoming pervasive and in the future we will be able to measure “nearly everything that moves or changes.” On top of those measurements we will be able to sketch design alternatives.
Half of the time of the designer and engineer is spent on collecting data.
Bernie Szukalski of Esri did a brief run through of ArcGIS Online and its base map, which he said is the start of any good map. The ArcGIS Online base map is a world imagery basemap that covers entire world. A map of the entire U.S. (as part of this map) has 1 resolution or better and is comprised of informatin gathered from federal, state and commercial providers and is free for non-commercial use. The base map also includes a World Topographic basemap compiled from authoritative GIS sources, including the USGS, EPA and The National Park Service.
The CommunityMaps program represents the best possible data from authoritative sources brought together in seamless base maps, plus lots of other content, thematic information, demographics, soils, geology, and different layers with which to build maps.
Also included are USGS topo maps, and maps from other providers like Bing Maps and OpenStreetMap (good for areas outside U.S. that are difficult to get). For those who don’t know it, ArcGIS Online is built into ArcGIS.
Michael Goodchild of the University of California spoke on GeoDesign accomplishments through 2010.
Geodesign Accomplishments through 2010–
a. A research agenda for this area and development.
b. Personal perspective
c. Needed a definition of the field and now have a Wikipedia page.
New networks have been created such as the Geodesign Consortium spearheaded by Karen Hanna and the SDS Consortium by Naicong Li.
Online resources –
Participatory geodesign network – defining geodesign as it relates to public participation.
GIS and Science bibliography on Esri GIS & Science website
Selected readings -
Jack’s talk at TED 2010
GeoDesignWorld.org – Jason Lally and Drew Dara-Abrams
Literature – Regional and Urban GIS: A decision support approach by Esri Press
Goodchild’s almost published – “Towards GeoDesign: repurposing cartography and GIS? email@example.com
Goodchild said we need to close what have many have perceived as a growing gap between GIS and design.
“Now more than ever we need a technology to distinguish between small-d and Big-D design,” said Goodchild. “Design consists of the formulation of an optimization problem with objectives and constraints, the collection of data, the execution of a search for the optimum solution, and its implementation.”
His definition of the two “d”s was as follows: Small-d –In this simplistic view implementation is seen as inevitable. Big-d sees the process complicated by disagreements among stakeholders.
The Lightning Talks presented at this event were 10 minutes long rather than the 5 minutes generally devoted to each presenter at Esri UC. A couple of the more enlightening ones are outlined below:
Chris Pyke of the U.S. Green Building Council said at a recent conference that “Green building is not about buildings. It is about this curve – a systematic movement devoted to changing the prevalence of practice – by creating best practices. The curve is not spatial, temporal or data driven. The USGBC put in place a collection of people and practices to move the curve.”
One manifestation of green building is buildings, said Pyke. At least 30,000 buildings are in the pipeline, which represent decisions made about water, stormwater, lighting, air space, space, etc.
Over the last decade, people have understood we have a curve, and we try to remove it by adopting best practices, while a building might last 50-200 years. The curve is made up of these decisions over time.
The next 15 years of green building practice is going to be
- Driven by evidence
- Informed by place
- Powered by information.
USGBC has created a portal to understand spatial and temporal dimensions. The portal can expose “augmented reality” information of different actual real projects on the ground. It can capture real information on a real building, so that other projects can be measured by it and come up to its standards. This technology can also be accessed through mobile BGIG Analyst.
Nicholas de Monchaux, assistant professor of Architecture and Urban Design UC Berkeley talked about “creating a robust nervous system for the cities of today.” The digital tools of today allow us to contemplate this new paradigm.
Constance Bodurow, Lawrence Technological Unviersity,
Studio [Ci] a design lab in the College of Architecture, presented the topic “Convergence of Intensity: How to Use Geodesign Tools to Shape A City.” She said we are urbanists, and interested in the future of urban form, and they believe cities should be the most desirable place for human habitation.
A new urban geography and ecosystem are required which leverage the assets and complex combinations of social economic and environmental factors.
Their Studio (Ci) integrates Esri with Google SketchUp to generate unique outcomes. The Convergence of intensity (CI) is a value based approach which builds on value densification and recommends the new geography of the city. It proposes specific criteria of the revitalizing of the post industrial city. “We create 3D extrusions, the city can see it better and have thousands of datasets,” said Bodurow.
The afternoon was devoted to Idea Labs on special topics. The one I attended was entitled BIM/GIS Integration led by Stu Rich of PenBay Solutions, Ihab Hijazi, Danny Kahler and Fred Abler.
The discussion addressed an ongoing debate about Industry Foundation Classes (IFCs), an object oriented file format for interoperability between CAD and now Building information modeling (BIM) files. Now they are working on an interoperability platform between BIM and BIM, and want to use it to apply to the BIM/GIS conversation.
Participants asked the questions: What are use cases, what are problems we are going to solve, and what are we going to pull out of BIM to put in GIS and vice versa?
The day wrapped up with a talk by Kimon Onuma, architect, evangelist for the integration of BIM and GIS and president of Onuma, Inc. has been using BIM since 1993. His clients include the GSA, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers–to name a few.
Onuma remarked that the economy slump is the best thing that has happened to the industry – the people who didn’t have time to look at BIM now are looking at it. On the downside, BIM models have become very heavy and users cannot extract valuable information from them.
Onuma’s viewpoint about technology is that it should be simple, “if we don’t keep it simple, we can’t solve the problem,” he said. A solution should be like an online travel website where you book an airline flight. You ask a question, it gives you an answer.
Onuma has created the BIM Model Server which embodies cloud computing, BIM and GIS, facilities management and other data in real time. It is fast and simple, and allows numbers of people to access the information simultaneously.
He took the audience through the virtual design of a building in Hong Kong, where everyone in the room could click on a link on his site and begin adding design elements. This type of brainstorming way of designing and pulling in information is called a BIMStorm. What the audience did with Onuma in one hour is what is generally done with an organization in a day or several days of working together on a real project.
He said the intersection of GIS and BIM is “where it explodes.” Multiple servers talk to each other, and with cloud computing you can create mashups. The building is in a city, the city is part of the world and that’s how it connects together.
Look for more on GeoDesign in GISWeekly and future blogs.