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Chen Wang

Staff picture: Chen Wang
Information and Computational Sciences
Information and Computational Sciences
Landscape and Visualisation Modeller
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK


Dr Chen Wang is a Landscape and Visualisation Scientist, who joined the Information and Computational Sciences group at the James Hutton Institute in 2010.

He received his BEng at Soochow University, and a PhD in computer science at University of Bradford. He has been a teaching assistant at the University of Bradford (2005-2008).The modules he was involved with include Scripting Programming and Technical Animation, Real-time 3D Computer Graphics for Games.

He is responsible for developing materials for 2D/3D visualisation, including landscapes under scenarios of change due to rural development and climate change, and the interpretation of landscapes/seascapes and contribute to the development, and execution, of proposals for funding from other sources, and the preparation of scientific outputs.

He is a member of Virtual Landscape Theatre team, responsible for developing landscape models, preparing and participating in Knowledge Exchange events and Conference Exhibitions for stakeholders, visiting groups, professional and public audiences.

He has been invited to Royal Garden Party at Holyrood 2022 to recognise his work with the VR Theatre.

Current research interests

His research interests include 3D modelling of landscapes; Integrating virtual environment with Remote Sensing and GIS for land and sea planning; Urban environment modelling and reconstruction; Augmented Reality visualization; Character and traffic animation; 3D flooding modelling and simulation for monitoring and management.

He is also interested in designing combination approaches for representation and assessment of 3D virtual environment in land planning and management and Bringing more exploration and interaction to scenario modeling and data visualisation through 3D GIS and Virtual Reality.

His recent work of digital twin prototype for smart farming provides an innovative framework to integrate spatial data modelling, analytical capabilities, scenarios simulation  and visualisation. His current work in planning and testing preferences of future woodland expansion have significant potential to contribute to Glensaugh climate-positive farming initiative (e.g., ‘carbon farming’ through expanding woodland).
Recent Projects:


European Union

External Projects          

Scottish Government

Past research

Some 3D Visualisation Projects are listed below:

Integration of GIS and Virtual Reality for Future Land-Use: A Case Study from Royal Deeside

A 3D model of Aboyne was developed to present information on land-use as part of a knowledge exchange programme. This was implemented as a tool for eliciting stakeholder and public opinions on benefits associated with land-use. Multiple functionalities of the interactive models for the case study area have been designed and tested among participants such as: ‘drag-and-drop’ features. It allows audiences to choose where they would like to position elements was added based on a series of 3D icons. The virtual reality environment (Virtual Landscape Theatre) was used as the medium with invited groups from schools and youth groups, university students, natural heritage managers, planners, and the general public, enabling fly-through, exploring specific views, and switching between presence and absence of some wildlife.

Moving Forward from Ash Dieback: Scenarios of Change in Visualisation

The approach taken was to present the information in an interactive highly visual way by developing a 3D model using Maya software and generating trees showing various stages of infection. Take the video walk-through of a virtual reality model of a hypothetical woodland in north-west Scotland to learn what signs to look for, informing you of a woodland being infected (red sign) or uninfected (blue sign), photographs of symptoms of the disease, and view scenarios of the loss of ash trees and regeneration of woodland trees.

Offshore Renewable, West Coast

A prototype 3D model was developed to present alternative designs of a hypothetical windfarm offshore of the island of Tiree, on the west coast of Scotland. The model was used to identify issues associated with the development of offshore windfarms, including alternative options for the heights of wind turbines, and factors such as sea state and atmospheric visibility.

Community Planning and Engagement for Greenspace Using 3D Visualisation Tools

This research describes the findings of engagement with local communities in a case study in Dundee identifying scenarios of potential greenspace content, use, and environments conducive to health and well-being. 3D visualisation tools were used to present multiple functions of the greenspace, community-identified priorities and the introduction of potentially new 3D features such as dog exercise area, shelter for adults, barbeque equipment and car parking. 

Public Interpretation of Land and Sea Use Using Visualisation Tools

Prototype 3D models offer greater flexibility in delivering a comprehensive creative features set with tools for animation, modeling, simulation and rendering in Loch Linnhe.

Developing a Novel Approach for 3D Visualisation of Tarland

It is important for development of prototype models for use in raising public awareness of changes in rural areas, focusing on greenspaces, and testing responses to scenarios of change. Specifically, the focus is on the design of appropriate types and speeds of movement of features. This modelling is done using the Maya and ArcGIS software packages together in a novel combination of spatial and visualisation tools. The experiment results show evidence that different types of animation with interactive communication will influence participation and decision making in land use planning.

Animation of Undersea Environment, with Movement of Fish,Water,Shadows and Flora

The model includes the representation of lighting and consequent illumination and reflections, and the movement of the sea surface. It includes marine flora and fauna such as starfish, sea weed, sea grass, sea anemone, shell, fan coral, coral reef rocks with lobster, crabs, dolphins, and other fish. This model is the basis of an animation of a hypothetical marine environment for discussing issues relating to potential impacts of change and the introduction of man-made structures, such as renewable energy developments.

Visualise Offshore Oil Platform with Different Sea State

The 3D model of Oil Platform incorporates different sea states, according to the World Meteorological Organisation 0-9 scale. The 3DS Max software is used to develop the sea states. The ‘Tide Height’ parameter is used to determine the height of nominal plane of the sea surface for computing reflections.

Renewable Energy, Solar Farm Visualisation

A prototype 3D model was developed to present alternative designs of a hypothetical Solar Farm. In the online version there could be different layers people could click on or off and add comments.


  • Wang, C.; Miller, D.; Jian, Y.; Brown, I. (2016) Integration of GIS and virtual reality for future land-use: A case study from Royal Deeside., 24th GIS Research UK (GISRUK2016) Conference, University of Greenwich, London, 30 March - 1 April 2016.
  • Wang, G.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Miller, D.R. (2016) 3D GIS approach for flood risk management., Joint Workshop - British Council Newton Fund Researcher Links, "OPTIMISTIC": floOd PredicTIon and Management In Steep urbanIsing Catchments, 11-14 September 2016.
  • Wang, C.; Miller, D.; Brown, I.; Jian, Y. (2016) Public participation to support wind energy development: The role of 3D GIS and virtual reality., Proceedings of 24th International Conference in Central Europe on Computer Graphics, Visualization and Computer Vision, 2016, Plzen, Czech Republic, 30 May - 3 June 2016. (Peer-reviewed).
  • Wang, C.; Jiang, Y.; Xie, H.; Miller, D.R.; Brown, I. (2016) Development of a flood warning simulation system: a case study of 2007 Tewkesbury flood., Floodrisk 2016, 3rd European Conference on Flood Risk Management, Lyon, France, 17-21 October 2016. E3S Web of Conferences, Volume 7, Article No. UNSP 18021.
  • Munoz-Rojas, J.; Miller, D.R.; Horne, P.; Towers, W.; Morrice, J.; Wang, C.; Stannard, C-A. (2013) Scottish Government consultation on National Planning Framework 3., Public Consultation on National Planning Framework 3, July 2013

  • Miller, D.R.; Ode Sang, A.; Brown, I.; Munoz-Rojas, J.; Wang, C.; Donaldson-Selby, G. (2020) Landscape modelling and stakeholder engagement: Participatory approaches and landscape visualisation., In: Sang, N. (ed.). Modelling Nature-Based Solutions Integrating Computational and Participatory Scenario Modelling for Environmental Management and Planning. Cambridge University Press, Chapter 1, pp19-55.
  • Wang, C.; Miller, D.R.; Jiang, Y.; Horne, P.; Morrice, J. (2012) Integration of Maya and ArcGIS: A new approach to representation in virtual., Design and Decision Support Systems, Eindhoven, August 2012.

  • Wilkinson, M.E.; Wang, C. (2017) A review of spatial (GIS) tools to aid in the placement of measures which disconnect flow pathways in the farmed landscape., RESAS Report.
  • Miller, D.R.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Wang, C.; McKeen, M. (2017) Aquaculture spatial planning tool factsheet: seascape visibility analysis., Factsheets on Tool Selection and Guidance for Users and Practitioners; Project Report for Aquaspace, Milestone 20.
  • Billing, S-L.; Gubbins, M.; Miller, D.R.; Watret, R.; Adams, T.; Black, K.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Wang, C.; Greenhill, L.; Tett, P. (2017) Argyll and Bute, Scotland, UK., In: Strand, O. & Bergh, O. (eds.) Ecosystem Approach to making Space for Aquaculture (Aquaspace). Deliverable 4.2 Case Study Final Reports, Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute. Chapter 15, 251-272.
  • Miller, D.R.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Wang, C.; McKeen, M. (2016) Use of 3D visualisation technology for wind farms and other development proposals - update., Interim Contract Report to Scottish Government.
  • Miller, D.R.; Morrice, J.; McKeen, M.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Wang, C.; Munoz-Rojas, J. (2016) Use of digital and 3D technology in planning: research report., Final Report for Scottish Government, pp109.
  • Munoz-Rojas Morenes, J.; Morrice, J.; Miller, D.; Horne, P.; Donaldson-Selby,G.; Wang, C. (2014) Review report of best practice examples for landscape management, planning and conservation (Deliverable 5)., Deliverable 5 for the e-CLIC Project (Making European Policy Popular through Callenge, Learning, Innovation, Cooperation: An experiment on the European Landscape Convention).
  • Munoz-Rojas Morenes, J.; Morrice,J.; Miller, D.R.; Horne,P.; Donaldson-Selby,G.; Wang, C. (2014) Learning objectives outline report; the role of ICT tools in promoting landscape challenges, learning, cooperation and innovation in the context of the European Landscape Convention (Deliverable 6)., Deliverable 6 for the e-CLIC Project (Making European Policy Popular through Challenge, Learning, Innovation, Cooperation: An Experiment on the European Landscape Convention.
  • Miller, D.R.; Munoz-Rojas Morenes, J.; Morrice, J.; Horne, P.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Wang, C. (2014) Review of ICT tools for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention through awareness raising, learning, innovation and cooperation (Deliverable 7)., Deliverable 7 for the e-CLIC Project (Making European Policy Popular through Challenge, Learning, Innovation, Cooperation: An Experiment on the European Landscape Convention.
  • Munoz-Rojas Morenes, J.; Morrice, J.; Miller, D.R.; Horne, P.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Wang, C. (2013) Review report of landscape related policy issues (Deliverable 4)., Deliverable 4 for the e-CLIC Project - Making European Policy Popular through Challenge, Learning, Innovation, Cooperation: An Experiment on the European Landscape Convention.
  • Miller, D.R.; Horne, P.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Wang, C.; Morrice, J.; Morris, S. (2013) Greenspace services: community planning., Scottish Government, GreenHealth Information Note Series (No. 4).
  • Miller, D.R.; Morrice, J.; Aspinall, P.; Brown, K.M.; Cummins, R.; Dinnie, E.; Gilbert, A.; Hester, A.J.; Horne, P.; Mitchell, R.; Morris, S.; Roe, J.; Thompson, C.W. (2012) Contribution of green and open space in public health and well-being., Scottish Government, Green Health Progress Report, 2012. Project No. MLU/ECA/UGW/847/08

  • Wang, C.; Gimona, A.; Miller, D.; Wilkinson, M.; Ovando, P.; Wilkins , B.; Jiang, Y. (2022) Bringing more exploration and interaction to scenario modeling and data visualisation through 3D GIS and Virtual Reality, 30th Annual Geographical Information Science Research UK (GISRUK), Liverpool, United Kingdom, 5th - 8th April 2022
  • Wang, C.; Miller, D.R.; Billing, S-L. (2018) 3D visualization tools to support scenarios analysis in aquaculture case studies., Sixth International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of the Environment 2018, Paphos, Cyprus, 26-29 March 2018.
  • Wang, C. (2017) 3D visualization tools to support soil management in relation to sustainable agriculture and ecosystem services., 19th European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2017 (EGU2017), Vienna, Austria, 23-28 April 2017. Geophysical Research Abstracts, Volume 19, EGU2017-726.
  • Miller, D.R.; Morrice, J.; Wang, C.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Horne, P.L.; Howe, J. (2016) Seascape visibility as an output to management and planning., Aquaspace Project Scottish Stakeholder Workshop, SAMS, Oban,18 January 2016.
  • Miller, D.R.; Morrice, J.; Wang, C.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Horne, P.L.; Howe, J. (2015) Public interpretation of land and sea using visualisation tools., IALE UK Annual Conference, Seacape Ecology - Connecting Land Sea and Society, University of Edinburgh, 7-9 September 2015.
  • Miller, D.R.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Wang, C.; Morrice, J. (2015) Integrating planning and landscape management to deliver public policy on energy and land use., Energy Landscapes: Perception, Planning, Participation and Power, European Conference of the Landscape Research Group, Dresden, 16-17 September 2015.
  • Wang, C.; Miller, D.R.; Jiang, Y.; Brown, I. (2015) Marine and seascape visualisation to support planning of the renewable energy developments., 8th International Conference on Sustainable Energy and Environmental Protection (SEEP), University of West Scotland, Paisley, 11-14 August 2015.
  • Munoz-Rojas Morenes, J.; Miller, D.; Morrice, J.; Horne, P.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Wang, C.; Papageorgiou,F.; Bell, S. (2014) A role of (geo)-ICT tools in the implementation of European policies for sustainable development; an experiment with the European Landscape Convention, GIS Research UK (GISRUK) 2014 Conference, University of Glasgow, 16-18 April 2014.
  • Wang, C.; Miller, D.R.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Jiang Y.; Horne P.; Morrice, J. (2013) Community planning and engagement for greenspace using 3D visualisation tools., 2013 IEEE International Conference on Computer Science and Automation Engineering (CSAE), Convention Center of University Town, Guangzhou University, China, 1-3 November 2013.
  • Munoz-Rojas, J.M.; Miller, D.R.; Morrice, J.; Wang, C.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Aalders, I.H.; Papageorgiou, F.; Horne, P. (2013) Building a methodology and tools to make the European Landscape Convention popular through challenge, learning, innovation and cooperation., Changing European Landscapes: Landscape Ecology, Local to Global: Symposium on Collaborative research for the European Landscape Convention, IALE 2013 European Congress, Manchester, 9-12 September 2013.
  • Miller, D.R.; Horne, P.; Donnelly, D.; Morrice, J.; Donaldson-Selby, G; Wang,C. (2013) Mapping physical and visual access of greenspace., GreenHealth Conference, Edinburgh, 11 March 2013.
  • Miller, D.R.; Brown, I.; Matthews, K.B.; Morrice, J.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Wang, C.; Horne, P.; Castellazzi, M.;Tveit, M.; Ode, A. (2012) Linking landscapes, land use change and ecosystem services with stakeholder understanding and decision-making., Invited Keynote Address, Sixth International Conference on Environmental Modelling and Software - iEMS 2012, Leipzig, Germany, 4 July 2012.
  • Donaldson-Selby, G.; Wang, C.; Miller, D.R.; Horne, P.; Castellazzi, M.; Brown, I.; Morrice, J.; Ode-Sang, A. (2012) Testing public preferences for future land uses and landscapes., Proceedings of GIS Research UK, University of Lancaster, 11-13 April 2012.

Printed from /staff/chen-wang on 05/12/22 08:26:34 AM

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.