Anders Sundnes Løvlie’s blog about locative media, computer games and electronic text

Bjørvika in Google Earth

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As a part of my experiments in the use of locationbased information in fostering public discourse, I have taken the initiative to make available 3D Google Earth models of the competing plans for the urban renewal project in Bjørvika, Oslo.

The project is planned to be the largest urban renewal of the city in nearly 400 years, and is much debated. In particular the so-called “barcode” project, a series of relatively tall buildings along the seafront, is the focus of much controversy.

However, many people find it hard to properly visualize how the different proposals will fit into the landscape. Naturally, as all that has been on display so far has been 2D photos and videos from the architects’ models. And of course, with this kind of information one may always question why the architects chose to display their models from a certain angle, and not another.

With 3D models which can be rotated and viewed from all angles, this doubt can be removed, and the public will be in a better position to make up their minds about the project. As Google Earth is a program that is available online free of charge, it is my hope that in this way all those who are interested can get access to more, and better, information about the project.

The idea is inspired by a similar project presented by Gerhard Fischer, professor of design at University of Colorado at Boulder. His group invited a number of beauraucrats into a 3D studio in order to show them visualizations of controversial building projects in the city. The beauraucrats claimed that if they had had this kind of visualizations 30 years ago when the projects were up for approval, many bad mistakes would have been avoided.

I set up a page with information about how to open the Bjørvika models (unfortunately the information is only in Norwegian… I guess this is strictly weegie business :).

Written by Anders Sundnes Løvlie

Thursday, January 24, 2008 at 12:40

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