1.2 Who is the Audience for the Presentation?

The type of audience for which a visualization is produced will affect decisions on model detail and sophistication, view locations, and the presentation media. A design decision being made by a technical audience- i.e. a group of fellow planners, may be easily supported with a low resolution, low-detailed model presented in Microstation. A public involvement presentation to a lay audience will require more sophisticated visualizations that are clear, detailed and easy to understand.

It is essential to know what the concerns of the audience are. Is the true reason for producing a visualization merely to determine what the project will look like, or are there other more important issues for various stakeholders- construction impacts, cost, traffic? To truly engage the audience in the process, the issues of concern to them should be a part of the communication of the project.

Ultimately, the cost justified by and the need for visualization will be relative to the project cost and complexity. However, the magnitude of issues and controversy surrounding a project will ultimately determine the value of producing visualizations early and often in the design process.