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Virtual Landscape Theatre

Photograph of the Virtual Landscape Theatre in action
This facility is the first mobile unit of its kind in the United Kingdom

What is it?

The Virtual Landscape Theatre (VLT) is a mobile curved screen projection facility, in which people can be 'immersed' in computer models of their environment to explore landscapes of the past, present and future. It is used with communities around the country.

Small groups have the opportunity to experience landscapes by moving through the virtual world, add new content, view realistic representations, or augmented with other information such as flood risk, natural heritage designations, wind speed, land ownership, or soil type – and they can provide feedback by means of a voting handset. That way the public can be directly involved in the planning decisions that affect them.

This facility is the first mobile unit of its kind in the United Kingdom, and is used for scientific research as well as engagement with the public on issues of landscape change. The theatre has been funded by the Scottish Government to improve our understanding of the complex issues surrounding land use and rural societies.

What is it for?

The facility, which draws on the Institute's expertise in scenario and landscape modelling and rural land resources, has three research aims:

  • To develop ‘best practice’ over how the public can participate in planning and proposed changes for the countryside.
  • Raise public awareness of the reasons behind landscape change.
  • Find out what people prefer about landscapes and the values they place on the countryside.

Latest research paper

Wang et al. 2015. Visualisation techniques to support public interpretation of future climate change and land-use choices: a case study from N-E Scotland, International Journal of Digital Earth.

Wang, C., Hou, J., Miller, D.R., Brown, I. and Jiang, Y. 2019. Flood risk management in sponge cities: the role of integrated simulation and 3D visualization. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 39, Article No. 101139.

Featuring in report for Scottish Government

Miller, D., Morrice, J., McKeen, M., Donaldson-Selby, G., Wang, C. and Munoz-Rojas, J. 2016. Use of digital and 3D technology in planning: research report. FInal Report for Scottish Government. pp109.

Featuring in research projects on ...

Featuring in public campaigns on ...

  • Chalara Action Plan for Scotland. In collaboration between RBGE, Forestry Commission, Forest Research, James Hutton Institute and partners, a public exhibition was developed for display at the John Hope Gateway, RBGE, and the Scottish Science Centres. Further deatils about the events can be read here, and about the virtual reality model here. The model can be downloaded from the Zenodo repository for use at home on a PC or virtual reality headset.   

Read about ...

  1. VLT Technical Details
  2. VLT Past Events
  3. VLT Publications
  4. VLT Information Notes
  5. VLT Development Theatre
  6. VLT Team
  7. VLT in the News
  8. VLT Image Gallery (Land use futures, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire)
  9. VLT Image Gallery (Chalara, Ash-dieback John Hope Gateway Centre, Edinburgh)
  10. VLT Image Gallery (Urban greenspaces, Finmill, Dundee)
  11. VLT Image Gallery (Aberdeen Bay Offshore Windfarm Proposal, Aberdeen)
  12. VLT Image Gallery (Scenarios of land use change, Ballater, Aberdeenshire)

Contact details

For more info about the VLT email us.

Learning & Resources

Printed from /learning/exhibits/vlt on 16/04/24 05:37:28 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.