MGS - Geometric measurement of skylines to objectivise their representations (2012)

Scientific coordinator: Serge Miguet (LIRIS), – Manuel Appert (EVS),
Disciplines: Information technology – Geography
Laboratories: LIRIS – EVS
Partners: Lyon urban planning agency (UrbaLyon)

Londres ©Manuel APPERT (EVS UMR 5600)


This project aims to inventory and systematically analyse skyline perceptions of practitioners and the general public by comparing the geometric characteristics taken from skyline photographs with the perceptions of several audiences in Lyon and London.

The project is run by a multidisciplinary team and has several objectives: Upstream, the aim is to define these specific combinations of views and points of view that form a vision of vast portions of the urban territory and encompass the entirety of material forms of urban society. The aim is then to identify and understand the political issues associated with the transformation, preservation and representation of the urban silhouette by practitioners and members of civil society to formalise the skyline as a system. This formalisation effort can contribute to shaping the public debate on the landscape impact of towers. In the end, the purpose is to establish a critical review of existing regulations, formulate recommendations to reconcile the interests of public- and private-sector players and, due to the materiality of the urban landscape, evaluate the use of visual media as collaborative tools in the urban project.

Two research studies were carried out jointly:

- Construction of protocols for inventorying skyline perceptions that aim to inventory and evaluate perceptions of the skyline by practitioners and the general public. This study seeks to create and gather knowledge of the perceptions that underlie players' strategies.

- Identification and automatic extraction of the skyline from photographs with the goal of extracting and characterising the skyline.