Open side-bar Menu
 GISCafe Voice

Posts Tagged ‘GeoDesign’

Geodesign web-based app shown at Esri UC

Friday, July 5th, 2013

A web-based app to support the Geodesign workflow is in development and will take awhile before it is ready for release.

Geodesign Services Director at Esri Bill Miller sent the following message

“If you are interested in learning more about what we are doing, I will be demo-ing our app at the Esri User Conference in San Diego next week on Wednesday, Noon to 1:00pm, in Room 30E at the SDCC. This will be a limited “showing” to our users interested in geodesign. Here is a preview of the demo:”

For those not familiar with Geodesign, the following blog post links to some videos from the 2013 Geodesign Summit and coverage for that event:

Esri Geodesign Summit 2013


Geodesign Summit 2013 – Day One

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Bran Ferren, co-founder of Applied Minds LLC and keynote speaker for the opening session at the Geodesign Summit held at Esri’s Redlands, Calif. Campus, set the tone for the Summit that commenced today.


Welcome to the GISCafe Voice

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Welcome to our new offering, the  GISCafe Voice. This is a new editorial blog-type content that will provide more timely coverage of breaking news to be posted two-three times per week. The articles will provide rich editorial content on topics important to GIS and geospatial professionals, including conference coverage, coverage of geospatial being used in emergency response and disaster recovery, and new products and trends that shape the industry.

Why the GISCafe Voice at this time?

We’re noticing that as geospatial information and geographic information systems become more pervasive, they are becoming critical in more industries than ever before. They are a part of the defense military and homeland security departments, tracking and identification of weather systems such as hurricanes , tsunamis, floods and earthquakes. Organizations without large GIS departments still need access to GIS information which is possible now with technologies that allow individuals to view, markup and access GIS information on the internet or in the cloud. Crowdsourcing has added another dimension to GIS and geospatial, opening up the technology to anyone who wants to contribute current information about an event, community or disaster.


GeoDesign Summit – Day Two

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Carl Steinitz


Carl Steinitz, research professor at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard delivered a keynote on Day Two at the GeoDesign Summit in Redlands. In his bio, it says that Steinitz has “devoted much of his career to improving methods of landscape planning and design.” He has organized and taught numerous workshops on large and complex landscape design change problems. He has been honored as an outstanding teacher by Harvard University.


With all that said, I believe Steinitz’ message was a little difficult to grasp, yet like all excellent teachers, he had a profound message.


He began by asking, “Why is it when all we measure is quantities we end with bad designs?”


He said he thinks that “what is GeoDesign?” is a social question and that GeoDesign is here to answer questions that are not easily defined.


“Most of the work we’re doing and demonstrating involves problems that are marginally understood and that we presume to a framewrok with many actors and views,” said Steinitz. “People need to understand the complexity, because we don’t know everything.”


There are four groups- people of the place, design professionals, information technologists, and geographers/scientists involved in this effort. He says we are probably underestimating the difficulty of bringing these all together. 


Steinitz says the geographic sciences are premised on the idea of bringing the model built on the past and present into the future. The differences in the cultures of design and science create difficulties in communication between the two sectors.


-Designers think a lot about the future but don’t know anything about the present and past.


-People who are confident in what they do come together with others and create geodesign.


-There is a social system for design – the assumption is the people don’t agree with each other and /or have problem they perceive or don’t perceive.


-The designer’s theory is the scientist’s hypothesis.


Other observations:


- Scale and size matter

-Designers are educated to start small and go big.

-Geographers or scientists start big and go small


Steinitz quoted the Norbert Wiener communciation model (Wiener was a contemporary of Marshall McLuhan) by saying,


Designers generally believe ‘I have a message with a medium and you are expected to understand the meaning.’


Scientists say ‘I’m looking for something in the environment and are you giving it to me?’ The medium is information technology.


Steinitz broke down the types of models we use in assessing landscape with questions: 

-How should landscape be described? Representation models

-How does landscape operate? Process models

-Is the current landscape working well? Evaluation models

-How might landscape be altered? Change model

-What predictable differences might the chances cause? Impact models

-How should landscape be changed? Decision model


The decision drives the evaluation, he noted.


“It would be easier to create a model for someone tomorrow than 20-100 years into the future,” Steinitz pointed out. As a big part of the GeoDesign discussion centers around creating an ontology, Steinitz said everyone has to be in the room to create an ontology.


Methods used to do this include: vision or anticipatory, participatory, sequential, combinatorial, constraining, rule-based, optimizing, agent-based.


Steinitz summarized by saying that design and geo are complicated – “geodesign is an art, not a science but depends on science.”




AECOM gave a talk about their SSIM Framework methodology for spatial urban design analysis, which begs the question: What makes a plan inherently more sustainable than another?


Vishal Bhargava, senior associate, Urban Designer, said that Urban Form is the single largest determinant of GHG emissions.


Rather than rely purely on intuitive judgment, the SSIM Framework methodology asks the following questions –

-Which scenario has the least adverse impact on the environment?

-Which scenario has the greatest potential for sustainability?


In the conceptual phase, Bhargava said these are areas of importance to the SSIM Framework –


-Evaluate alternatives

-Quantification and comparison of performance and plan alternatives

-Conveying the informatin effectively


Key performance indicators –

  • Development performance
  • Urban design performance
  • Access and spatial distribution
  • Ecological performacne
  • Resource use
  • Waste output

Their approach is economics driven, and once these benchmarks and strategies are established, then they do a cost analysis.


PenBay Solutions


Stu Rich, CTO of PenBay Solutions spoke on “Taking GIS Inside Buildings –

Facilities Management and Analysis”


Rich asked the question, why GIS for facilities?


“We’re seeing tremendous growth in urban environments, tremendous building boom, and witnessing the greatest migrations of humanity the world has ever seen,” said Rich. In 2000, we became a predominantly urban species, more people for the first time living in urban environments than in rural. It looks like we are going to be doing this for a longer time. This takes pressure off our agricultural lands, but the implications for urban infrastructure is profound.”


Rich pointed out that 48% of emissions are due to the consumption of raw materials for construction materials. “The greenest building is the one we never build.” 


“We need to think about how to address that existing building stock which is unlikely to have the BIM data sets we’ve been talking about,” said Rich.


“How do we apply geodesign to that problem?”


In a nutshell, Rich said we need to extend our thinking to the interior environment – it’s not just about buildings, it’s about processes.

-We need to think of ways to not have to build a new building

-We need to extend geographic scale to interiors of buildings


Lightning Talks


There were a number of Lightning Talks offered on Friday as well that spilled over into the afternoon session. Presenters included universities, Azavea, and even Autodesk.


I had to catch a flight before the Idea Lab of the afternoon so did not witness the wrap up at the end of the day.




What is GeoDesign?

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

On January 6 and 7, Esri brought together a meeting of the minds at their GeoDesign Summit held in Redlands, Calif. at Esri headquarters. The event brought together both GIS professionals and architects and engineering professionals in a think-tank setting to discuss how the two technology sectors and cultures might converge in order to make the best of both of them in shared settings.


Some definitions for the term “GeoDesign” which was coined by Esri to describe the convergence of geography and design:


From Wikipedia comes the definition:


Geodesign is a set of techniques and enabling technologies for planning built and natural environments in an integrated process, including project conceptualization, analysis, design specification, stakeholder participation and collaboration, design creation, simulation, and evaluation (among other stages). “Geodesign is a design and planning method which tightly couples the creation of design proposals with impact simulations informed by geographic contexts.”


From other notable professionals:


Some definitions for the term “GeoDesign” which was coined by Esri to describe the convergence of geography and design:



“Geodesign is a design and planning method which tightly couples the creation of design proposals with impact simulations informed by goegraphic contexts.” – Mike Flaxman

“Geodesign is changing geography by design,” Carl Steinitz

“GIS is about is, geodesign is about what could be.” Tom Fisher

Textron - Countless CAD add-ons, plug-ins and more.

Internet Business Systems © 2016 Internet Business Systems, Inc.
595 Millich Dr., Suite 216, Campbell, CA 95008
+1 (408)-337-6870 — Contact Us, or visit our other sites:
TechJobsCafe - Technical Jobs and Resumes EDACafe - Electronic Design Automation GISCafe - Geographical Information Services  MCADCafe - Mechanical Design and Engineering ShareCG - Share Computer Graphic (CG) Animation, 3D Art and 3D Models
  Privacy Policy