Conference article

Towards an Integrated Web-based Visualization Tool: A Comparative Survey of Visualization Techniques for Enhancing Stakeholders’ Participation in Planning

P. Parsanezhad
Geoinformatics division, Department of Urban Planning and Environment, KTH, Sweden

U Ranhagen
Urban and Regional Studies division, Department of Urban Planning and Environment, KTH, Sweden

Y. Ban
Geoinformatics division, Department of Urban Planning and Environment, KTH, Sweden

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Published in: Proceedings of SIGRAD 2011. Evaluations of Graphics and Visualization — Efficiency; Usefulness; Accessibility; Usability; November 17-18; 2011; KTH; Stockholm; Sweden

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 65:9, p. 61-68

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Published: 2011-11-21

ISBN: 978-91-7393-008-6

ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)


Digital visualization tools are widely used in planning nowadays around the world by various contributors to the field and in different planning scales. Visualization facilitates perception of underlying thoughts and objectives of planning alternatives and consequently assists with communication of the plan to different stakeholders. This; in turn; enables them to actively and efficiently participate in the procedure from the very initial stages to the imple¬mentation phase thanks to the insight provided by user-friendly visualization tools. Available visualization tools for planning; however; are either not integrated and efficient enough or too resource- or expertise-demanding and thus not entirely fulfilling the qualities mentioned above. This study is a search for a conceptual framework for an integrated web-based visualization tool. Web-accessibility diminishes temporal and spatial distance among the us¬ers and planning agents and provides the possibility for more participation in and interaction with planning projects. Within this study; major characteristics of an integrated tool have been investigated through literature; online resources; contacts with experts and practitioners; a survey over off-the-shelf products and comparative analysis of the outcomes. An evaluation cube was initially developed and used as the basis for provision of a set of dual criteria. A selection of visualization tools were examined against those criteria and results were demonstrat¬ed visually. Eventually; findings were used to provide a back-casted example of the integrated tool.


Visualization; participatory planning; web-based; CAD; GIS; urban planning


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