Three dimensional isovists for the study of public displays

Nicholas Sheep Dalton, Ruth Conroy Dalton, Paul Marshall, Iwan Peverett, Sarah Clinch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

9 Citations (Scopus)


During this paper, we suggest that the 3D isovists centered on a display have an impact on the 'noticeability' of the information presented on it. We compared the use of 2D and 3D isovists as methods of assessing display 'noticeability' applied to an environment in which a network of public digital displays has been installed, namely a university campus. We tested 2D and 3D isovists against observations, and experimental methods are employed in order to compare the observed recognition of display-content against the spatial attributes of the display. This paper introduces new software, 'Nebula', which analyzes real world scan isovists' point clouds using a number of different 3D, volumetric approximations. For the university campus we studied, we found that 3D isovist volume improves the correlation between the recall of display content (when normalized for the number of viewers), over 2D isovist area or other measures. On the basis of this research, we recommend the use of both 3D and 2D scanned isovists as a new analytical tool for the study of architectural environments.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSSS 2015 - 10th International Space Syntax Symposium
PublisherSpace Syntax Laboratory, The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London
ISBN (Electronic)9780993342905
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Event10th International Space Syntax Symposium, SSS 2015 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Jul 201517 Jul 2015


Conference10th International Space Syntax Symposium, SSS 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • 3D isovists
  • Laser scanning
  • Signage and displays
  • Spatial cognition
  • Visual representation


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