Augmented Reality in Spatial Planning Applications; A systematic literature review
By Luc van Dijk
Traditionally, two-dimensional maps have been the main means of visualisation of data in spatial planning. These 2D representations require more cognitive abilities and are more difficult to understand compared to 3D spatial data. Augmented reality (AR) is an upcoming new technology able to visualise 3D spatial data and could therefore be a potential solution. To elaborate the potential of AR in spatial planning, this study presents a systematic literature review (SLR) which aims to provide an overview of currently existing AR technologies, the impact of AR on stakeholder engagement and collaboration in spatial planning applications and the possibilities and challenges that arise when using AR in spatial planning. Moreover, an AR prototype application is developed as a demonstration of currently available
techniques and to present its potential for spatial planning projects. For the SLR, 70 open access articles have been reviewed. The results show the most often used hardware, software and data types for AR application development. Smartphones, Unity 3D and street-level images are the most often used hardware, software and data types. The SLR shows explanations for the currently limited integration of AR technology in spatial planning workflows. Moreover, this SLR shows the most prominent AR features of cutting-edge AR technology such as physical AR interaction and markerbased AR and the most prominent AR obstacles that hinder AR application development such as occlusion and GNSS inaccuracy. The developed AR prototype allows people to view the new Omnia building on Wageningen campus through
their Android smartphones and also allows them to provide feedback through the prototype. The infancy of AR technology and its limited implementation in spatial planning workflows is discussed. A small selection of AR hardware and software types is used due to limited availability of AR technology and technical complexity. Furthermore, spatial planners find AR to be a complex technology but are aware of its future potential for spatial planning. Within the boundaries of currently existing hardware and software, other researchers are experimenting with several AR features such as physical AR interaction but encounter an array of consistent, hard to resolve AR obstacles.