See all apps

PlanIT Impact -3D planning/design and impact assessment tool

Submitted on April 03, 2013

What problem are you intending to solve?

Engaging citizens in the city planning process requires clearer visualization of proposed construction and potential impacts on a community. The goal of this tool is to promote smarter decisions.

What is the technological approach, or development roadmap?

This open-source, website based program is in the initial phase of development. PlanITimpact plugs into existing platforms, such as Google Earth and Sketch up, in order to create a very user friendly method of generating 3D models and plugging them into a navigate-able environment. The back end data cross references with geospatial data (GIS) as well as additional data sets that will be input by the user through draw down menus (beginning user level) or write-in information fields (advanced level user).<br/> We are looking to draw upon the talents of the open source community as much as possible. To date we have participated in Kansas City "Hacking the Gigabit city" event, where one of our key team members was a Code for America Fellow, and we are looking to continue their involvement in an advisory capacity. Our team was awarded excellence in "urban ecosystems and infrastructure" and is scheduled to continue work at the Hack of the Sexes in late April. Based on progress made to date establishing the website framework, Dominique Davison is stewarding further progress through financial development resources, hiring coders and researchers to assist our team in fleshing out the framework starting in May 2013 with a goal of achieving a BETA ready version in mid July.

The main components are: A listing of remote GIS data sources. Wherever your project is, we'll automatically pull in the correct data for you. Gigabit speed is required to make use of the remote data. A hosted open source GIS processer.We use the latest in open source geo processing to do our simulations. PostGIS, CartoDB, TileMill. Curated scenario simulations. You can generate a handful of useful scenarios, as well as add your own. A REST API to build your own apps and visualizations on top of.

How will end users interact with it, and how will they benefit?

We are looking to help city planners and leaders, building developers, and design professionals better understand and visualize environmental, social and economic impacts of proposed planning scenarios and construction projects early on in the process. planIT impact will also provide an opportunity to more easily include citizens in the decision making and act as an educational tool for students to learn about their cities. We achieve this by downloading locally available geo-spatial data to a format that can be translated and synthesized into legible information and integrating this with a 3D visualization program such as Google Earth and Sketch Up models. By calculating the impacts and return on investment and making this information easily accessible and understandable, we hope to promote better decision making through smarter, more community driven and sustainable city development models.

How will your app leverage the 1Gbps, sliceable and deeply programmable network?

Downloading locally available GIS data to a format that can be translated and synthesized by our software is very memory intensive. Also, 3D design platforms (such as Sketchup) can easily create large files whose navigation in 3D also takes up significant bandwidth. All of this operability may not have been previously possible, certainly not as functional, as it will be with the Gigabit technology.

Further application information

Additional supporting information, materials and resources

Take a look at the existing code - project repository

Will your work be beta-ready by the end of the Development Challenge?

I believe that with the right level of support, this effort would be ready for Beta testing by the end of the Development Challenge. The basic components have been established and the framework worked out.

How much effort do you expect this work to take?

Given that we have the basic framework for the program established, we are looking to hire one part time researcher (minimum 20 hours a week) to create the data sets and algorithms needed for the site’s functionality as well as one fulltime back end coder to integrate the data sets to a workable website. Each data set is estimated to take an average of 12-16 hours to properly research and integrate into the program code. There are eight data sets we hope to incorporate as part of the Beta version (1. Storm water impact, 2 . Potable water usage, 3. Estimated energy usage and associated Green House Gas emissions based on local energy production methods, 4. Potential for energy production, 5. Transportation impact, 6. Access to jobs and job creation, 7. Housing mix and density, 8. Return on Investment ). Conversion of necessary GIS data will be another several weeks worth of part time effort on the part of our GIS expert. Coordination of the Interface with the back end is expected to require another 40 hours, approximately.

Do you need help?

We are looking for financial assistance to help us hire and offset the costs of a team of back end coders/developers and assist in the cost of research and data collection. Also, consultation with the Mozilla Foundation folks on how to make this more “market ready” and streamlined with existing Google Earth or Sketch Up software would be much appreciated.

If you can help let them know in the comments below.

Dominique Davison

Award-winning architect Dominique Davison is the founding principal of the Kansas City-based firm DRAW Architecture + Urban Design. Through forward-thinking collaboration with clients, Dominique uses her expertise, creativity and passion to craft truly inspiring spaces and places. Dedicated to issues of sustainability and social equity, Dominique endeavors to improve people’s lives through better design. Her commitment to a better, greener community is exemplified by her roles as a founding member of Women in Design Kansas City, a founder of the Ecological Urbanism Series, and a current board member of the Heartland Tree Alliance. She has been recognized regionally by the Mid-America Regional Council as a leader in sustainability and strives to maximize the resourcefulness of every project. Her firm’s work has been featured in Architectural Record, Dwell, EcoHome Magazine and Green Business Quarterly.

and team members

Dominique Davison AIA LEED AP (team leader) is the founding partner of DRAW Architecture + Urban Design LLC in Kansas City, MO. An adjunct professor at the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri Kansas City, she is deeply interested how buildings function in a real, quantifiable way to benefit the communities they inhabit. DRAW is a regional leader in the field of sustainability and early adopter of Building Information Modeling technology. Dominique’s hands on experience and frustration with the lack of available technical tools to inform and provide feedback in the earlier phases of the design process has driven her investigation for a better scenario planning application the last several years. Dominique has a Master in Architecture from the Yale School of Architecture (’00) and Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from U.C. Berkeley(’96). Beth Dawson LEED Green Associate, Assoc. AIA (peer review and collaborator) Solar Energy Coordinator - Mid-America Regional Council. Beth’s background prior to architecture was in marketing/consumer targeting & research using geo-demographic segmentation for large consumer packaged goods companies as well as local nonprofit agencies to help them better understand their target audiences. Her architecture education and experience strengthened her passion for regenerative architecture and honed her system thinking skills. She has a Master of Business Administration from Rockhurst University (’94) and Masters in both Architecture and Interior Architecture from the University of Oregon (’10) Abdul Syed, Chief Executive Officer, Geovitics (research, GIS technology, consulting) is an expert in GIS mapping technologies. As a member of our team for the Hacking the Gigabit City event, he will be continuing on a part time basis to assist in the GIS data collection and conversion. Sarah Hebert- (lead developer, visual designer) Sarah Hebert is the Creative and Technical Director of Curious Pixel, Inc. a boutique marketing firm that focuses on developing and executing integrated creative and technical strategies for a wide variety of national and international clients. A compulsive creative who is passionate about the roles design and technology can play in civic engagement. Not only does Sarah have the imagination and expertise to create a strategy, but she has the design and technical skills needed to execute and turn ideas into realities. In addition to managing Curious Pixel, Sarah is an adjunct professor in the Web Technologies department at Johnson County Community College and has recently co-founded a civic tech contest (Hack of the Sexes – that was created to specifically target the engagement of women in technology.

comments powered by Disqus