Odonata Base Map

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Jadeapple

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Mar 4, 2008, 9:08:13 AM3/4/08
to Permaculture Design Course

Leigh Blackall

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Mar 5, 2008, 6:46:14 AM3/5/08
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I'm not satisfied with the way we are doing base maps. No offense Christine, your's is way better than mine. It was actually your reasoning for authoring digitally that got me thinking how ineffective and limited we possibly are by staying with the traditions of the plan/map metaphor.

I have used Google's free and absolutely easy to use Sketchup a bit. But I think its only available to Windows operating systems :( I'm not sure how good it is at organic shapes, but its ability to spin and turn into perspective drawings could be very useful for visualising our 'maps'. I have seen people start with a photo and then trace the perspective...

I also wonder if GoogleEarth would be useful too. Similar to Sketchup, it has that 3D perspective with added features such as ready made terrain and road features, not to mention the ability to share and publish what you create as a GoogleEarth file...

The last thought on this is SecondLife - which the more digitally creative among us could really loose themselves in... I have seen some amazing Youtube video of architects collaborating in SecondLife to build concepts up for potential or existing clients to walk in and visualise.

All of these would be miles more effective than the birds-eye-view tradition we are following... but all require a little more know how.. ok, in the case of SecondLife, a life time of know how :) ...

Just a thought, if I can find some more go juice, I may even give one of these a try myself!

On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 3:08 AM, Jadeapple <jade...@gmail.com> wrote:


 I've posted my base map on my blog.

 http://www.wikieducator.org/User:Jadeapple/Odonata_Fen/Odonata_Base_Map




--
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Leigh Blackall
+64(0)21736539
skype - leigh_blackall
SL - Leroy Goalpost
http://learnonline.wordpress.com

Jadeapple

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Mar 5, 2008, 10:18:22 AM3/5/08
to Permaculture Design Course
You bring up some good points. I am a bit of computer geek and am
always trying out new things.
When I was making my map I actually looked for a 3 D design program
to. I have used several home design programs before and designed a few
landscapes and home designs with them. Being able to map out in 2d
and then 3d it and virtually walk through it is real treat. The one
program I do have on my computer right now only has basic landscape
abilities that are geared more towards an ornamental 'pretty'
landscape. I spent a little time trying to find a 'freeware' design
program that might work, but I didn't get very far. There are
numerous programs out there but they cost money of course. Many of
them do have demos and I actually jotted one my 'things to do list' to
check out what's available and see if any could work in a permaculture
context.

I have actually used "Second Life' before and there are some really
neat stuff in there already where people have modeled virtual worlds
based on eco designs. There is one called ecotopia which is a whole
island. While I do think there is possibilities there are some what I
think are big drawbacks, one is that 'second life' is tech
intensive...you have to have a really good, fast computer as well as a
speedy connection in order to access it without driving yourself
crazy. If you're on dial-up it's an absolute no go. I don't know the
situation in NZ, but here in rural areas in particular high speed
isn't available to everyone. Also the actual building in that program
isn't the easiest to learn and to model a simple plant can be quite
complicated.

I do think there are possibilities in other landscape design software,
but most as I mentioned before seem to be oriented to a specific
'type' of landscaping.
I did investigate briefly using a cad type program, like sketch up but
as you pointed out organic shapes are more difficult to
portray...though not impossible and programs like this do take a bit
of time to learn how to use and may not be everyone's cup of tea.

The best type of program in terms of ease of use would be something
like Better Homes Designer software http://www.homedesignersoftware.com/landscaping/
where you map things out in 2d, just add in the objects like plants
and when you go to a 3d view that plants and features are already
modeled. The drawback though is that you are dependent on using
whatever ever objects that already exist and I know you won't find
certain things that one would use in a permaculture landscape.
As I said I was looking for one that might work and while doing
it...saying geez I wish someone had already made oriented to
permaculture and eco design...wouldn't that be great! A program where
you can easily put in swales, map out water systems, chickens and even
things like water barrels, a zone tool...etc etc.
Now I do know that some of these programs can be quite flexible,
allowing for some creativity and give the ability to create new
objects and may be able to be adapted to a permaculture context with
some work. It would just be a matter of taking the time to check the
options out. This is something I do want to do, time allowing and
weigh the pros a cons. I almost started doing just that but I
realized that I could spend a couple of days fiddling and playing and
not get the actual map done. :)

So things brings up the whole low tech vs high tech, cost vs benefit
thing which in my mind is largely a personal decision. Each has it's
pros and cons. Pen and paper is more portable, everyone can access it
easily, it's easy and quick to learn and may be all some people need
to get the job done. High tech options are more complicated by
nature, depend on access to specific and more expensive technology and
have a steeper learning curve, at least initially, but the end result
can be quite useful. When I did my map with inkscape it did take
longer then if I had just drew it because I had to learn how to use
the program and make it do what I wanted and at times it was a little
frustrating. Though for me the end benefit was worth it. For others
it might not be worth it.







On Mar 5, 6:46 am, "Leigh Blackall" <leighblack...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm not satisfied with the way we are doing base maps. No offense Christine,
> your's is way better than
> mine<http://100somerville.blogspot.com/2008/03/base-map.html>.
> It was actually your reasoning for authoring digitally that got me thinking
> how ineffective and limited we possibly are by staying with the traditions
> of the plan/map metaphor.
>
> I have used Google's free and absolutely easy to use
> Sketchup<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_sketchup>a bit. But I
> think its only available to Windows operating systems :( I'm
> not sure how good it is at organic shapes, but its ability to spin and turn
> into perspective drawings could be very useful for visualising our 'maps'. I
> have seen people start with a photo and then trace the perspective...
>
> I also wonder if GoogleEarth
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_earth>would be useful too.
> Similar to Sketchup, it has that 3D perspective with
> added features such as ready made terrain and road features, not to mention
> the ability to share and publish what you create as a GoogleEarth file...
>
> The last thought on this is
> SecondLife<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_life>- which the more
> digitally creative among us could really loose themselves
> in... I have seen some amazing Youtube
> video<http://youtube.com/watch?v=amCi90zH3VI>of architects
> collaborating in SecondLife to build concepts up for potential
> or existing clients to walk in and visualise.
>
> All of these would be miles more effective than the birds-eye-view tradition
> we are following... but all require a little more know how.. ok, in the case
> of SecondLife, a life time of know how :) ...
>
> Just a thought, if I can find some more go juice, I may even give one of
> these a try myself!
>

Leigh Blackall

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Mar 5, 2008, 2:53:54 PM3/5/08
to permaculture-...@googlegroups.com, Samuel Mann
I have forwarded this email onto our software engineering lecturer. He's a real go getta and is leading the Living Campus project here.. (permaculture on campus). So we'll see - your idea of home designer software where we can draw quickly in 2D and at a click see it in 3D would be great! Further it would be great if it was geared already to permaculture elements, and even better if users could submit new design elements! Sketchup has this - users submitting elements, but its still not quite as easy as the home designer software idea... thanks again Christine :)
--
--
Leigh Blackall
+64(0)21736539

Jadeapple

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Mar 5, 2008, 11:11:55 PM3/5/08
to Permaculture Design Course
Wow that would be great if something like could be created by people
with the know how. I was also thinking that a program like that could
also be part of a teaching tool for the overall concept as the basic
principles would likely have to be integrated into the program.

Peta

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Mar 6, 2008, 12:39:29 AM3/6/08
to Permaculture Design Course
Hi Everyone
Peta Hudson here.
I'm what you could call the central tutor here for the Otago Polytechs
Perma Design course you are all following. It's a whole new learning
curve for me to have a sort of virtual classroom sitting alongside the
one I see each week! Your enthusiasm & energy however I can feel very
strongly. I will write an intro soon although I think Leigh has put up
a long winded recording of one on the wiki site.
I'm a bit snowed under at the moment (with course work in my case!)
but I felt I needed to address the issue that Leigh brought up about
the method I presented of doing base maps.
There are many great tools out there that are available now for
landscape design & as Christine says some more accessible than others.
Each person is unique in their needs & there is never just one way of
doing anything. No black or white when you are working creatively.
I chose to present the pen & paper method as that is how I was taught
& I believe that it is the most accessible way for most people who are
starting out with designing anything at all. I have often found in
various courses I have run that the first step in doing a Permaculture
design can be very daunting.
The task of learning a new skill while trying to grasp others can be
just a further complication.A pen & paper are low tech, easy to find &
inexpensive. First steps in many cases are best taken in small ways.
The actual on the ground exploration that needs to be done as part of
this process is invaluable as it literally gets you in contact with
your land & is further enhanced by the feeling out of the
microclimates. It is all part of listening to the land, your ally in
life.



Leigh Blackall wrote:

> I'm not satisfied with the way we are doing base maps. No offense Christine,
> your's is way better than
> mine<http://100somerville.blogspot.com/2008/03/base-map.html>.
> It was actually your reasoning for authoring digitally that got me thinking
> how ineffective and limited we possibly are by staying with the traditions
> of the plan/map metaphor.
>
> I have used Google's free and absolutely easy to use
> Sketchup<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_sketchup>a bit. But I
> think its only available to Windows operating systems :( I'm
> not sure how good it is at organic shapes, but its ability to spin and turn
> into perspective drawings could be very useful for visualising our 'maps'. I
> have seen people start with a photo and then trace the perspective...
>
> I also wonder if GoogleEarth
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_earth>would be useful too.
> Similar to Sketchup, it has that 3D perspective with
> added features such as ready made terrain and road features, not to mention
> the ability to share and publish what you create as a GoogleEarth file...
>
> The last thought on this is
> SecondLife<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_life>- which the more
> digitally creative among us could really loose themselves
> in... I have seen some amazing Youtube
> video<http://youtube.com/watch?v=amCi90zH3VI>of architects

Leigh Blackall

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Mar 6, 2008, 4:48:16 AM3/6/08
to permaculture-...@googlegroups.com
Yes, I agree Peta. Especially in the face to face class there is a number of people who don't use computers of the Internet much at all. It would be silly to expect them to learn a whole new way of drawing when the pen and paper is what they are comfortable with. Truth is, there really isn't a suitable substitute for the pen and paper yet. That's why I used pen and paper in my own base map. But I think this online group have some remarkable skills and experience, we might be able to find an easy way to achieve 3D drawing easily... worth a look anyway.

I'm disappointed I'm going to miss this Sunday. Especially being such a practical day. But I'm off to the mountains for a recharge. Hope you and Kim can grab some good demo video for us :)

Jadeapple

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Mar 6, 2008, 11:21:52 AM3/6/08
to Permaculture Design Course



Hello Peta,

You pretty much said here what I was trying to say but much better
and more concise. :) I still use pen and paper as a starting point
because it's totally unfeasible and silly to lug my laptop around
outside. The digital map is just basically my pen and paper work put
together in a different form and now that it's done I've printed it
off I'm using a pencil to scribble all over it while I'm doing the
sector and zone analysis. Though I will digitize that in the same way
when it's done, that last thing I want people to think is that because
it's all computerized that I think that's somehow better and the way
it should be done. As you said it's very personal and depends a lot
on the skills that people already have or even if they're interested
in other options if they want to take it further.
Although I am really interested in looking at the potential for
some higher 'tech' options for the future and for people that do like
to work that way (like me) , I also understand that everyone isn't
like me and there has to be a balance and that sometimes one can get
bogged down in trying to 'bettering the how' rather then just getting
the actual actual job done in the first place.
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