landscape architecture HOME
Subscribe | Magazine Index | Advertise | Subscribe | Search | Contact Us | FAQs
Land Matters
Editors Choice
Urban Design
Product Profiles
American Society of Landscape Architects


August 2004 Issue

Model Behavior
The new generation of simulation software more accurately mirrors the real world.

By James L. Sipes, ASLA

Model Behavior
Blake Pettus

Recently I spoke with a landscape architect who was developing visual simulations for a proposed power plant. One of the big issues was the amount of smoke and other emissions the plant would give off and how it would affect the visual quality of the surrounding area. It wasn’t enough to create simulations with realistic-looking smoke; in the model, the smoke needed to behave like smoke. For example, the amount of emissions would vary according to temperature and humidity, and the dispersion pattern would depend on wind strength, wind direction, and surrounding landforms.

This level of reality in simulations is becoming the norm. "It’s no longer enough to simply show an image and expect everyone to believe it,” says Terry DeWan, asla, principal with tjd & Associates. "‘Legally defensible’ seems to have become the new gold standard in simulations." To meet that standard, however, a simulation must have a strong foundation in science, have a higher degree of truth than ever before, and accurately model environmental processes and spatial data.

…To read the entire article, subscribe to LAM!

What's New | LAND | Annual Meeting
Product Profiles & Directory
ASLA Online



636 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001-3736 Telephone: 202-898-2444 • Fax: 202-898-1185
©2004 American Society of Landscape Architects. All Rights Reserved.