The 3D model
At COWI a team has been set up to create 3D visualisations of projects based on existing digital terrain models. Depending on the model needed, 3D can be combined with photographs and the design completed by adding new buildings, roads and other landscape features.
This can be achieved via stills that show selected parts of the model, digital video clips, simulations of the sun's tracks, or with a so-called 'real-time' interactive model that allows people to explore the area.
"This technology is winning ground all over Europe, and the trend looks set to continue. So we have to make sure that we are there where the action is, ready to offer the right product," says Poul Nørgård.
Focus on larger cities
This technology is perfect for large, densely populated cities.
"Big cities wish new high-rise buildings," says Poul Nørgård.
"People have begun to move back to the large cities, and this demands more skyscrapers. But it can be difficult to find space for new buildings and a transport infrastructure. However, there is space in disused industrial and harbour areas, and here the 3D visualisation makes an excellent tool for experimenting with various urban models. The models help de-dramatise the impact of new developments which a lot of people see as a threat. Because they can see the new landscape and skyline in 3D, they feel less threatened."
The way forward
Poul Nørgård expects that the next few years will see 3D really take off internationally. "It’s difficult to create a market though, and expensive to be the pioneers of this technology, because no-one yet knows precisely which models are best for international use. But without doubt this is way forward."
By Gitte Roe Eriksen