Friday, August 24, 2007

Visual Languages

Extending this idea of developing a common language brings me to this notion of visual languages that seems to be such a hot-topic among HCI scholars and practitioners these days. As I was refining my main mission in regards to the PhD I recognized that what I'm after is the development of truly viable visual language for planning and design.

Though the totality of the project is more than that, as it is really meant to be a holistic methodological approach to adaptive development. However, the component of planning with the usage of archetypal patterns is directly related to these ongoing studies that are addressing Visual Languages for learning, planning and organizational development among businesses.

There even seems to be some discussion taking place that is parallel to these observations. While these people are not using patterns, they are nonetheless concerned with simplifying what is already an overly complex task.

However, some are talking about patterns. Just for reference this guy is thinking in similar vein: Qualitative Geomatics for Sustainable Development.

However, it is unclear whether these ideas really got the traction needed to push this project forward.

Which brings me to huge critique. First, the large overhead of these software systems like GIS, and similar geo-spatial design software. It is absolutely ridiculous. It is relegated to the professional and essentially cuts out the interested civic minded person from taking an active role in thinking about and conceptualizing alternatives to their lived spaces.

I understand software developers have to eat, I'm one of them, but the open-source model seems most appropriate when we are talking about the public good. The sustainability for developers is in servicing this software and facilitating in effective use not in the code itself.

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