Let's Go to the Videotape

by Paul Tarricone, Assoc. Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1994, Vol. 64, Issue 6, Pg. 42-45

Document Type: Feature article


Illustrating a design concept to educate and soften the resistance of community groups, environmentalists, government regulators and funding agencies is not a new idea. But the state of the art is continuing its evolution from drawings, pictures and models to computer renderings and videotape — the most advanced of which merges computer images with reality in the same frame. Advocates of this cutting-edge technology argue that traditional design illustration techniques do not offer the same perspective that renderings and videotape do. Design visualization tools, then, can be used by engineers and their clients to market projects to a wary public. For example, computerized renderings have allowed computer experts to superimpose light rail stations and rail cars over photographs of existing conditions to let citizens see exactly what a project would like from their own backyard. Less sophisticated techniques include walk-throughs and aerial fly-overs, which give audiences a sense of the scope of a project. This article focuses on a number of case studies, such as light rail extensions in Denver and Oakland, new school construction in South Bend, Ind., a Wal-Mart construction project in California and highway expansions in Tampa and Las Vegas.

Subject Headings: Computer models | Railroad trains | Railroad stations | Infrastructure construction | Load and resistance factor design | Professional societies | Light rail transit | Case studies | United States | Denver | Colorado | California | Tampa | Florida | Las Vegas | Nevada

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