Special Issue "Internet and Landscapes"

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A special issue of Future Internet (ISSN 1999-5903).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 September 2011)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Christopher Pettit (Website)

Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network, Faculty of Architecture, Planning and Building, The University of Melbourne, Level 5, Architecture Building, Victoria 3010, Australia
Interests: visualisation; GIS; planning support systems; e-science
Guest Editor
Dr. Arzu Coltekin

Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 80750 Zürich, Switzerland
Fax: +41 44 635 5848
Interests: geovisualization; visual analytics; virtual reality; vision; visualization; human computer interaction; design; spatio-temporal analysis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Internet has become a ubiquitous platform for communicating and disseminating geographic information. There are a plethora of online resources and tools available to share information and develop a better understanding of both our natural and built landscapes. These include: information repositories, website and portals containing both static and dynamic information. With the recent advent of web 2.0 there has been a rapid expansion in the number of online tools and technologies for which we can learn, share and address issues facing society such as climate change, food security and human well-being. Such tools including: photo sharing, map mash-ups, geo-tagging tools, virtual globes and collaborative virtual worlds are providing new ways for society to explore and understand past present and future landscapes.

This special issue is an initiative of the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) WG II/ 6 for Geographical Visualization and Virtual Reality. In this special issue we encourage the submission of papers which broadly cover the theme of landscape and the internet. Papers which address new research developments in online geographies and tools for communicating and understanding landscape function, form and processes; whether they are urban or natural will be considered.

Particular areas of interest include:

• Recent advances in online geographical / landscape visualization
• Novel Landscape information repositories, websites, and portals
• Collaborative web 2.0 approaches for communicating landscapes
• Research, development and applications of virtual globe technologies
• Development s in 3D spatial data infrastructure and object libraries
• Innovative applications in immersive and semi-immersive virtual reality
• Evaluating the usefulness and usability of online geographical visualization tools
• The geographies of virtual worlds and online communities
• Advances of mobile computing devices in understanding landscapes
• Online spatial decision support systems for landscape planning

Christopher Pettit
Guest Editor

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Extension Activity Support System (EASY): A Web-Based Prototype for Facilitating Farm Management
Future Internet 2012, 4(1), 42-64; doi:10.3390/fi4010042
Received: 4 November 2011 / Revised: 27 December 2011 / Accepted: 27 December 2011 / Published: 4 January 2012
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Abstract
In response to disparate advances in delivering spatial information to support agricultural extension activities, the Extension Activity Support System (EASY) project was established to develop a vision statement and conceptual design for such a system based on a national needs assessment. Personnel [...] Read more.
In response to disparate advances in delivering spatial information to support agricultural extension activities, the Extension Activity Support System (EASY) project was established to develop a vision statement and conceptual design for such a system based on a national needs assessment. Personnel from across Australia were consulted and a review of existing farm information/management software undertaken to ensure that any system that is eventually produced from the EASY vision will build on the strengths of existing efforts. This paper reports on the collaborative consultative process undertaken to create the EASY vision as well as the conceptual technical design and business models that could support a fully functional spatially enabled online system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Internet and Landscapes)
Open AccessArticle An Online Landscape Object Library to Support Interactive Landscape Planning
Future Internet 2011, 3(4), 319-343; doi:10.3390/fi3040319
Received: 2 November 2011 / Revised: 12 December 2011 / Accepted: 15 December 2011 / Published: 20 December 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1563 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Using landscape objects with geo-visualisation tools to create 3D virtual environments is becoming one of the most prominent communication techniques to understand landscape form, function and processes. Geo-visualisation tools can also provide useful participatory planning support systems to explore current and future [...] Read more.
Using landscape objects with geo-visualisation tools to create 3D virtual environments is becoming one of the most prominent communication techniques to understand landscape form, function and processes. Geo-visualisation tools can also provide useful participatory planning support systems to explore current and future environmental issues such as biodiversity loss, crop failure, competing pressures on water availability and land degradation. These issues can be addressed by understanding them in the context of their locality. In this paper we discuss some of the technologies which facilitate our work on the issues of sustainability and productivity, and ultimately support for planning and decision-making. We demonstrate an online Landscape Object Library application with a suite of geo-visualisation tools to support landscape planning. This suite includes: a GIS based Landscape Constructor tool, a modified version of a 3D game engine SIEVE (Spatial Information Exploration and Visualisation Environment) and an interactive touch table display. By integrating the Landscape Object Library with this suite of geo-visualisation tools, we believe we developed a tool that can support a diversity of landscape planning activities. This is illustrated by trial case studies in biolink design, whole farm planning and renewable energy planning. We conclude the paper with an evaluation of our Landscape Object Library and the suite of geographical tools, and outline some further research directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Internet and Landscapes)
Figures

Open AccessArticle A Service-Oriented Architecture for Proactive Geospatial Information Services
Future Internet 2011, 3(4), 298-318; doi:10.3390/fi3040298
Received: 18 November 2011 / Revised: 12 December 2011 / Accepted: 15 December 2011 / Published: 19 December 2011
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (6613 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The advances in sensor network, linked data, and service-oriented computing has indicated a trend of information technology, i.e., toward an open, flexible, and distributed architecture. However, the existing information technologies show a lack of effective sharing, aggregation, and cooperation services to [...] Read more.
The advances in sensor network, linked data, and service-oriented computing has indicated a trend of information technology, i.e., toward an open, flexible, and distributed architecture. However, the existing information technologies show a lack of effective sharing, aggregation, and cooperation services to handle the sensors, data, and processing resources to fulfill user’s complicated tasks in near real-time. This paper presents a service-orientated architecture for proactive geospatial information services (PGIS), which integrates the sensors, data, processing, and human services. PGIS is designed to organize, aggregate, and co-operate services by composing small scale services into service chains to meet the complicated user requirements. It is a platform to provide real-time or near real-time data collection, storage, and processing capabilities. It is a flexible, reusable, and scalable system to share and interoperate geospatial data, information, and services. The developed PGIS framework has been implemented and preliminary experiments have been performed to verify its performance. The results show that the basic functions such as task analysis, managing sensors for data acquisition, service composition, service chain construction and execution are validated, and the important properties of PGIS, including interoperability, flexibility, and reusability, are achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Internet and Landscapes)
Open AccessArticle Natural Resource Knowledge and Information Management via the Victorian Resources Online Website
Future Internet 2011, 3(4), 248-280; doi:10.3390/fi3040248
Received: 9 September 2011 / Revised: 21 October 2011 / Accepted: 3 November 2011 / Published: 9 November 2011
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Abstract
Since 1997, the Victorian Resources Online (VRO) website (http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/vro) has been a key means for the dissemination of landscape-based natural resources information via the internet in Victoria, Australia. The website currently consists of approximately 11,000 web pages, including 1900 maps and 1000 [...] Read more.
Since 1997, the Victorian Resources Online (VRO) website (http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/vro) has been a key means for the dissemination of landscape-based natural resources information via the internet in Victoria, Australia. The website currently consists of approximately 11,000 web pages, including 1900 maps and 1000 downloadable documents. Information is provided at a range of scales—from statewide and regional overviews to more detailed catchment and sub-catchment levels. At all these levels of generalisation, information is arranged in an organisationally agnostic way around key knowledge “domains” (e.g., soil, landform, water). VRO represents a useful model for the effective dissemination of a wide range of natural resources information; relying on partnerships with key subject matter experts and data custodians, including a “knowledge network” of retired land resource assessment specialists. In this paper, case studies are presented that illustrate various approaches to information and knowledge management with a focus on presentation of spatially contexted soil and landscape information at different levels of generalisation. Examples are provided of adapting site-based information into clickable maps that reveal site-specific details, as well as “spatialising” data from specialist internal databases to improve accessibility to a wider audience. Legacy information sources have also been consolidated and spatially referenced. More recent incorporation of interactive visualisation products (such as landscape panoramas, videos and animations) is providing interactive rich media content. Currently the site attracts an average of 1190 user visits per day and user evaluation has indicated a wide range of users, including students, teachers, consultants, researchers and extension staff. The wide range of uses for information and, in particular, the benefits for natural resource education, research and extension has also been identified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Internet and Landscapes)
Open AccessArticle Tool or Toy? Virtual Globes in Landscape Planning
Future Internet 2011, 3(4), 204-227; doi:10.3390/fi3040204
Received: 2 September 2011 / Revised: 8 October 2011 / Accepted: 11 October 2011 / Published: 20 October 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1488 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Virtual globes, i.e., geobrowsers that integrate multi-scale and temporal data from various sources and are based on a globe metaphor, have developed into serious tools that practitioners and various stakeholders in landscape and community planning have started using. Although these tools [...] Read more.
Virtual globes, i.e., geobrowsers that integrate multi-scale and temporal data from various sources and are based on a globe metaphor, have developed into serious tools that practitioners and various stakeholders in landscape and community planning have started using. Although these tools originate from Geographic Information Systems (GIS), they have become a different, potentially interactive and public tool set, with their own specific limitations and new opportunities. Expectations regarding their utility as planning and community engagement tools are high, but are tempered by both technical limitations and ethical issues [1,2]. Two grassroots campaigns and a collaborative visioning process, the Kimberley Climate Adaptation Project case study (British Columbia), illustrate and broaden our understanding of the potential benefits and limitations associated with the use of virtual globes in participatory planning initiatives. Based on observations, questionnaires and in-depth interviews with stakeholders and community members using an interactive 3D model of regional climate change vulnerabilities, potential impacts, and possible adaptation and mitigation scenarios in Kimberley, the benefits and limitations of virtual globes as a tool for participatory landscape planning are discussed. The findings suggest that virtual globes can facilitate access to geospatial information, raise awareness, and provide a more representative virtual landscape than static visualizations. However, landscape is not equally representative at all scales, and not all types of users seem to benefit equally from the tool. The risks of misinterpretation can be managed by integrating the application and interpretation of virtual globes into face-to-face planning processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Internet and Landscapes)
Open AccessArticle Low-Cost Mapping and Publishing Methods for Landscape Architectural Analysis and Design in Slum-Upgrading Projects
Future Internet 2011, 3(4), 228-247; doi:10.3390/fi3040228
Received: 26 July 2011 / Revised: 5 September 2011 / Accepted: 13 October 2011 / Published: 20 October 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1894 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The research project “Grassroots GIS” focuses on the development of low-cost mapping and publishing methods for slums and slum-upgrading projects in Manila. In this project smartphones, collaborative mapping and 3D visualization applications are systematically employed to support landscape architectural analysis and design [...] Read more.
The research project “Grassroots GIS” focuses on the development of low-cost mapping and publishing methods for slums and slum-upgrading projects in Manila. In this project smartphones, collaborative mapping and 3D visualization applications are systematically employed to support landscape architectural analysis and design work in the context of urban poverty and urban informal settlements. In this paper we focus on the description of the developed methods and present preliminary results of this work-in-progress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Internet and Landscapes)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview High Quality Geographic Services and Bandwidth Limitations
Future Internet 2011, 3(4), 379-396; doi:10.3390/fi3040379
Received: 18 August 2011 / Revised: 14 November 2011 / Accepted: 7 December 2011 / Published: 20 December 2011
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (709 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper we provide a critical overview of the state of the art in human-centric intelligent data management approaches for geographic visualizations when we are faced with bandwidth limitations. These limitations often force us to rethink how we design displays for [...] Read more.
In this paper we provide a critical overview of the state of the art in human-centric intelligent data management approaches for geographic visualizations when we are faced with bandwidth limitations. These limitations often force us to rethink how we design displays for geographic visualizations. We need ways to reduce the amount of data to be visualized and transmitted. This is partly because modern instruments effortlessly produce large volumes of data and Web 2.0 further allows bottom-up creation of rich and diverse content. Therefore, the amount of information we have today for creating useful and usable cartographic products is higher than ever before. However, how much of it can we really use online? To answer this question, we first calculate the bandwidth needs for geographic data sets in terms of waiting times. The calculations are based on various data volumes estimated by scholars for different scenarios. Documenting the waiting times clearly demonstrates the magnitude of the problem. Following this, we summarize the current hardware and software solutions, then the current human-centric design approaches trying to address the constraints such as various screen sizes and information overload. We also discuss a limited set of social issues touching upon the digital divide and its implications. We hope that our systematic documentation and critical review will help researchers and practitioners in the field to better understand the current state of the art. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Internet and Landscapes)

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