Effective Visualization Techniques for the Public Presentation of Transportation Projects

Source: New England Transportation Consortium, University of Connecticut

A detailed review of recent research on visual perception and visualization was conducted. We also conducted site visits to two consulting firms and one state DOT. In addition to field trips, we conducted mail-in surveys to the six New England DOTs and compared our survey results to a previous nationwide survey conducted in 1998.

The result of the study showed that image composite continue to be the most popular visualization techniques used in both DOTs and consulting firms. Animation, which is the most effective visualization technique, is expected to be used more frequently as the cost and time of production are reduced.

We also found that visualization techniques are mainly used in the public involvement process in the New England DOTs; they are rarely used in design and design development. We expect that this will change as
Context Sensitive Design takes hold in the DOTs. As this occurs, we expect that visualization will be more frequently incorporated, not only in the public involvement stage, but also at all stages of design. Because transportation design and public involvement are parallel processes, DOTs will find that the usage of visualization in design will be invaluable in helping transportation designers evaluate and refine their design.

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