As a landscape architect a simple craving is articulate the bigger connections from site to the surrounding context. How is my site connected? Understanding the importance of the bigger connections can greatly influences the design outcomes for the site.
A method in seeing some connections around the site can be applied from zooming around at different scales using aerials and maps. Also collecting research data along with on the ground visits. With this data a level of analysis and critiquing will help to show you the bigger connections.
Recently, I found an online database ‘Strava’ that can provide another method in observing these bigger connections. The website collects accurate GIS information from their clients exercise routes, whilst excluding their personal information. By using this GIS information, it will dramatically enhance your abilities to see the wider connections for you site. Alternatively, if you just want to plan your next run the website, this will do just fine!
Strava’s data is overlayed on top Google Earth Maps. This is great as you can zoom around to find your site and see the wider context.
To understand Strava maps is very simple. Generally, if a route is more florescent darker then it has greater usage. The lighter the route colour then fewer usage. No colour equals small to no usage along that route.
Strava’s map information will unlock many benefits to professional that plan for recreation in open spaces, along roads or near waterways. The data can take your assumption analysis into well-grounded results. Now, instantly you can identify the missing connection links all from the one source. You can discovery the high usage routes. Critic why they are so popular and how can we learn from them to improve the poor routes? How can we plan for new connections to better improve the connections?
Two great exercise routes that are super florescent are The Great Ocean Road and Albert Park Lake. Why is this the case? I think both places have a very scenic and beautiful landscapes. Also they both look over water. Personally, I like to exercise in beautiful places so I can see why these two are so popular. So let’s start to tap into these attributes.
The thing that really excites me the most with this resource is the ability to track our designs progression. If we monitor our sites right at beginning prior to construction and then years after establishment. We will see how our designs then contribute to the wider connection networks. We can learn from this and then include tangible evidence into the next designs to make them better. Hopefully, in time, we can design spaces that are very super florescent.
Stay tuned, as more upcoming blogs will be looking at Strava map data to reveal some missing links around Melbourne and Geelong.