My last post was a quick overview of some of the possible applications of Outerra for visualizing landscapes and experiencing views over time. Today I got an unexpected free afternoon so spent it having another play around – this time visiting one of my favorite places in my homeland – Aoraki, New Zealand.

I chose Aoraki for a couple of reasons:

  1. Having worked in snowy areas before I was shocked by how ground reflection and sun-intensity can impact on how truly visible parts of the landscape are – outside of early morning, and dusk it can be extremely difficult to differentiate elevations or surfaces from each other.
  2. Fog or mist can have a huge impact on depth perceptions, visibility and feeling on the landscape and the places I have felt this impact the most have been in extreme mountainous regions, or extremely flat regions.
  3. Its a wickedly pretty place.

So! Here’s the video:

And… Here’s some screen-caps:

Early morning, Spring, Low Fog. Looking from ground back up towards Aoraki.

Early morning, Spring, Low Fog. Looking from ground back up towards Aoraki.

Low fog, Summer. Looking from ground back towards Aoraki.

Late Morning, Spring, Low Fog. Looking from ground back towards Aoraki.

Winter

Late Morning, Winter, Low Fog. Looking from ground back towards Aoraki.

LateDay

Late Afternoon, Winter, Low Fog. Looking from ground back towards Aoraki.

No fog

Late morning, Spring, No fog. Looking from top of Aoraki.

Fog in spring

Late Morning, Spring, High Fog. Looking from top of Aoraki.

WinterLight

Late Morning, Winter, High Fog. Looking from top of Aoraki. 

And… Here’s some thoughts:

  • Summer, no fog: The water to the top left is clearly apparent in the sun-rise and sun-sets, but has a similar reflective index to the snow caps during the midday.
  • Spring, with fog: Completely obliterates view to water. Reduced sense of directionality.
  • Spring, with fog: flattened landscape
  • Time of day had a huge impact on what is highlighted or hidden
  • Sun intensity has a strong interaction with fog in determining visibilities
  • Visibility has an impact on how a route / environment feels
  • Time of day has an impact on how a route / environment feels
  • Time of day, time of year, climate factors all have an impact on the elements that are highlighted or diminished, which subsequently shapes how you feel and interact with the environment.

So again, couple of very cursory images that start to pull apart empirical visibility vs experienced visibility. I continue to be amazed and inspired by the potential of Outerra – give it a few more years to mature and who knows what will be possible. Tomorows project is to map in vectors of least-cost paths as roads and see how the predicted pathing matches up with the views and experience of the landscape. Fun stuff.