Visualising and speculating Gauteng (2023)

Accessing rich and complex city-scale spatial data can be challenging for government decision-makers, policy-makers and civil society. To visually access and interpret large complicated datasets and the impact of its interrelations is an important mechanism to understanding the current socio-economic status of our cities. The COVID-19 pandemic and the fourth industrial revolution has further highlighted the need for digital access and innovation.

This was an interdisciplinary project team including GCRO in collaboration with University of Johannesburg’s FABLAB, combining the disciplines of Urban Design, Architecture, Data Analytics and Computer Science to test, develop and implement new visualisation technologies to provide interactive data visualisation strategies. The project explored innovative ways to visualise data, including GCRO’s Quality of Life Survey data, by incorporating 3D-models, virtual, augmented and artificial realities, interactive projections and drones in combination with existing analogue technologies like physical modeling, fabrication, prototyping, photography and film to produce innovative and augmented representations for users to explore, understand and experience the Gauteng City-Region through data. The project seeked to investigate the possibility of innovative modelling by way of future urban speculation and future scenarios as well as interaction with data and models to allow users to interact with the data and predict future outcomes in these models.

In the first year of the project, the project developed a detailed exhibition proposal outlining the kinds of visualisations to be incorporated into the exhibition, data used and displayed, and the structural and design elements required to build the exhibition. The exhibition was expected to make use of new technologies wherever possible including, Virtual Reality (VR), Artificial Reality (AR), interactive/responsive projectors, 3D models and digital displays. In addition to the exhibition itself, there was to be a parallel output that made some of the exhibition experience available online through a website or application platform. The project ran over two years and was expected to culminate in an international exhibition, a web-based platform and a journal article.

Last updated: 22 March 2023.


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