Public defence in geoinformatics, M.Sc. Kaisa Jaalama

The title of the doctoral thesis: 3D geovisualizations in human-centered quality assessments of urban and green spaces — from point clouds to nonabsolute spaces
Kuvakaappaus Brygan puistokannen 3D-geovisualisoinnista

The social dimension of urban space is crucial in 3D geovisualization

Through technological advancement, vertical, three-dimensional (3D) geoinformation has been designated to fulfil the horizontal, two-dimensional data resources and viewpoint of the environment. However, the use of the so-called 3D geovisualizations (i.e., 3D point clouds, 3D city models and urban digital twins) is not yet well established in cities or citizens’ daily lives. Even though numerous studies present solutions and applications for 3D geovisualizations, fewer focus on their critical examination in human-centered urban and green space assessments in an interdisciplinary way. The dissertation contributed to filling this gap by presenting three case studies conducted with 3D geovisualizations in terms of green efficiency measurements, subjective assessments of urban space, and the role of perceivers' subjective place relations in such assessments.

The results show that the frameworks for urban space assessments should be designed to include the possibilities of vertical strata and volume. Further, the results show that most of the dimensions of green space affordances were at least to some extent perceivable in a subjective-inductive assessment through 3D geovisualization. Compared to the in-situ interview data, challenges with 3D geovisualization were linked to the weaker perception of surroundings outside the park deck, lack of social clues, and deficits in visual detail and coherency. The results underline the perception-altering role of prior familiarity with the geovisualized place both for the sense of presence and sense of place. Visual realism and spatial presence can enforce the communicative effectiveness of 3D geovisualizations, but so can prior familiarity with the place.

That is, in the use and design of 3D geovisualizations, the social dimensions of urban space, including the prior experiences of the audience, are crucial. A central outcome is that 3D geovisualization possesses possibilities for distinct knowledge approaches that contribute to each other in a co-productive manner.


Opponent: Professor Robert Newell, Royal Roads University, Canada

Custos: Assistant Professor Matti T. Vaaja, Aalto University School of Engineering, Department of Built Environment

Contact information of the doctoral student: Kaisa Jaalama, [email protected], +358 40 828 9201

The public defence will be organised on campus (auditorium A2, Otakaari 1). 

The thesis is publicly displayed 10 days before the defence in the publication archive Aaltodoc of Aalto University. 

Electronic doctoral thesis

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