ViewCue is a visual analysis tool that helps deliver beautiful, enduring and successful places using visual texture as a new basis for character and coding



Visual Intelligence for Property, Real Estate, Planning and Development

ViewCue is a visual analysis tool that supports the delivery of the National Design Guide and National Model Design Code. It offers a unique, objective and standardised way of rapidly establishing and mapping baseline data on visual character. By analysing Google Street View or bespoke images, it quickly identifies character areas, zones and segments. ViewCue classifies and maps over 1200 Google Street View images in under 15 minutes.

The core technique measures the level of visual complexity, variety and intensity of a scene created by the composite contributions of all the components at different scales: from the overall configuration of ground plane, vertical elements and sky, through the size of buildings, extent of vegetation, free standing objects, construction details and materials.

Visual texture level – ViewCue measures the complexity, variety and intensity of information in a view across scales on a 1 (low texture) to 10 (high texture) scale.

Visual texture type – ViewCue estimates the area of an image containing vegetation and presents the results on a scale from urban textures (0% vegetation) to natural textures (over 50 % vegetation).

ViewCue combines texture level and texture type into a new composite view classification. The classification responds to all the morphological elements making up a scene in combination – buildings, degrees of enclosure and continuity, view length, building detail, material and amounts of vegetation etc. Certain types of place e.g. highly enclosed urban places, semi-detached suburbia, open fields, highly enclosed wooded places, can be seen grouped by their common visual texture.

Martyna Juvara, Director at Urban Silence, neatly sums up ViewCue’s potential impact:
“This is a very interesting tool to explore the physical matrix of places, starting from what we see. It provides a reliable classification of places with different physical characteristics (texture) - in literally minutes: the perfect foundation for value judgement.”


Project Team

Dr Jon Cooper  Oxford Brookes University
Chris Sharpe  Director at Holistic City Ltd

Judges' Comments

"Great potential. A useful tool for
identifying areas lacking diversity
in urban design."