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Friday, April 1 • 09:45 - 10:10
S13-04 From data visualization to hypothesis generation: An integrated approach for the study of past cityscapes

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From data visualization to hypothesis generation: an integrated approach for the study of past cityscapes

Chiara Piccoli

When it comes to the macro-scale analysis of past cityscapes, traditional 2D mapping presents limitations in grasping the complex relationship between landscape, built environment and find assemblages. A methodology that includes data recording, visualization and analysis in a 3D environment is better suited to pursue the study and interpretation of ancient cities from a holistic perspective.
This paper discusses the methodology that we have applied to deal with the survey data of the Graeco-Roman town of Koroneia, Greece. The adopted multidisciplinary approach is based on the creation of a 3D GIS that allows an intuitive data interpretation and an interactive formulation of reconstruction hypotheses on the town layout. Koroneia is used as a show case for the range of analyses and interpretations that are enabled in a 3D environment and that can be applied to similar datasets.
The core of the methodology relates to the development of a library of procedural rules (i.e. customizable scripts) that are compiled using the software Esri CityEngine. The rules written for this project enable us 1) to make previously hidden patterns in the dataset more easily visible; 2) to automatically calculate the total built-up area and floor area of housing blocks, thus allowing the estimation of population size based on explicit assumptions; 3) to perform visibility analysis in the 3D GIS environment, in order to formulate hypotheses on the visual relationships between buildings, and on the planning choices made to negotiate between the hilly terrain morphology and the city layout. 
Finally, this paper discusses the development of a Unity3D based walk-through, which complements the quantitative visibility analysis performed in ArcGIS with an experiential navigation offering a pedestrian perspective into the virtual environment.

Friday April 1, 2016 09:45 - 10:10 CEST
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