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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A semi-immersive visualisation system for model-based participatory forest design and decision support Cavens, S. Duncan

Abstract

There is an increasing interest in tools that facilitate forest design, both for the forest professional and as part of a public process. This thesis advocates the development of integrated design tools that allow a broader range of forest criteria (including social and aesthetic values) to be included in the decision making process and enable a broad range of people to participate in this process. A series of criteria for design-based decision-support tools is developed, a prototype computer visualisation system was implemented, and is described in this thesis. This prototype system uses a semi-immersive large-screen theatre, innovative user interfaces and real-time three dimensional graphics to provide an intuitive environment for designing a forest. The system is evaluated against the described criteria. This evaluation shows that such systems can be implemented and show promise in assisting forestry based decisions, although many questions remain on the context in which such tools would be applied. Future research directions are suggested for developing forest design software and introducing their usage into public processes.

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