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Making Environmental Data Relatable

These projects were developed for Toyoshima , as a collaboration between Design Lab and Takeuchi Lab. The goal of both these collaborations was to create tools and experiences for making large-scale remote sensing data more relatable, understandable, and useful for the wider public.



In Praise of Shadows is a virtual forest explorer that is designed to encourage sustainable behavior. The project focuses on forest reflectance simulation research led by remote sensing researcher Takumi Fujiwara, which uses shadow parameters to estimate 3D models of forests. The platform serves as a repository of detailed explorable forests across the globe, which can be visited through the perspective of other animals. It also offers users the possibility to visualize their own carbon footprint by simulating a forest from estimates of their resource consumption.

「In Praise of Shadows」は、持続可能な行動を促すためにデザインされた、バーチャルフォレストを探索するツールです。このプロジェクトでは、リモートセンシングの研究者である藤原匠さんが主導する森林の反射率シミュレーション研究に焦点を当て、陰影のパラメータから推測した森林の3Dモデルを創っています。このプラットフォームは、探索可能な世界中の森林モデルの詳細を保管していて、それらの森林を他の動物の視点を通しても体験することができます。また、ユーザーの資源消費量を推定して森林をシミュレートすることで、個人の二酸化炭素排出量を可視化することもできます。


Birdseye is a crowdsourced information platform that connects disparate stories through environmental data. The platform, developed with remote sensing researchers, allows users to pair each post with a geospatial dataset. By doing so, the project provides both cultural context to data and evidence to stories. The goal of the collaboration was to democratize access to spatial analysis tools and propose alternative ways for individuals to perceive the complex relationships between global events, personal narratives, and environmental changes.


Both projects were prototyped and tested with users of different backgrounds, ages, and nationalities to collect feedback and refine the final output.



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