Design software for permaculture

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by nomadcanuck, May 27, 2009.

  1. nomadcanuck

    nomadcanuck Junior Member

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    Does anyone know of any kind of design software that could be applied or adapted to permaculture?
     
  2. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    Re: Design software for permaculture

    G'day nomadcanuck :)

    Which aspect of permaculture are you looking at?

    If its land use planning, then there is a plethora of softwear that can be used/adapted. Even Google 'earth' is a great (free) place to start for basic GIS (aerial imagary, etc. And your local/state planning dept. should be able to help you with things like contours, veg communities, geological maps, etc.

    If however you are more interested in the actual design aspect, then likewise Google has 'sketchup' is also free.

    Is that the sort of stuff you are after, or are you looking for something more particular/specialist?

    I've just Googled 'permaculture design software', and this is what popped up:

    https://groups.google.co.nz/group/permac ... 572d9b0cb4

    Maybe some good tips in there? The guy is talking about producing his permie designs in 3D, and then uploading them into virtual reality websites, so his clients can actually get 'real' feel for the design. Amazing stuff!

    Cheerio, Mark.
     
  3. nomadcanuck

    nomadcanuck Junior Member

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    Re: Design software for permaculture

    Thanks ecodharmamark,

    I was just curious and throwing a line out there to see what came back....catch and release of course

    I was thinking how amazing it would be if there were software that could be used or adapted to produce 3d walkthroughs of a property. Ones that actually allow functions of the design to be viewed as moving systems before implementing them in order to refine the design.
     
  4. Pablito

    Pablito Junior Member

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    Re: Design software for permaculture

    I've found google sketch-up promising, but got frustrated with it becasue of the problems associated with trying to use the sandbox feature on an irregular block. Mine is a battle-ax block, with a steep gully running across the "neck" of the ax. Sandbox wants to regularise the contours by fiulling in the gaps. I know I could run the contours for the neighbour's block as well to square the plan up and then put in my boundary, and I might do that one day.
    I also found that council plans with contours at 10m intervals were far too general to reflect the realities of my block: a lot can happen in 10 metres, such as level patches.
     
  5. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    Re: Design software for permaculture

    I use Coreldraw to draw up my overhead plans but I'm sure if you try sourceforge.net or google apps you would find something. I often see older version of coreldraw in bargain bins and software/hardware stores.
    https://sourceforge.net/softwaremap/trove_list.php?form_cat=107

    I use 3d max for a living and wouldn't bother doing plans in 3d, if someone can't understand a 2d overhead contour map with a permie plan what chance do they have of developing it? I think 3d is over kill.

    Baz
     
  6. Ice Czar

    Ice Czar Junior Member

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    Re: Design software for permaculture

    taking "permaculture" as its wider definition


    https://analysis.nrel.gov/homer/

    there are of course topographical, soil, hydrogeological and solarization databases and software

    a few samples (US)
    https://websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov/app/HomePage.htm
    https://store.usgs.gov > Topo Maps > Map Locator
    https://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/old_data/ns ... ook/atlas/
    https://www.spatialhydrology.com/software_hydrostat.html

    (AU)
    https://www.connectedwater.gov.au/resour ... _Data.html


    personally A nice clay model and observation is a whole lot simpler than software modeling.
    Databases are useful in a general way, but dont typically address natural or purpose built microclimates ;)
     
  7. Tim Auld

    Tim Auld Junior Member

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    Re: Design software for permaculture

    I am a software engineer with 10 years of experience, including 3D graphics. I'm now training in permaculture, having completed a PDC and now doing APT3. For a while I have been considering developing software specifically for permaculture design. It could also contain communication features to help share knowledge (e.g. plant information, growing tips) and connect with other people using the software. An initial iteration of the software may take 12-18 months. The problem at this stage is funding. If anyone is interested in discussing or backing such a project please PM me.

    Cheers,
    Tim
     
  8. ductape

    ductape Junior Member

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    This topic deserves a bit more discussion.

    I have used a WIDE variety of commercial an open surce software form simple drawing up to GIS applications. NOt one of these offers the depth of tools I imagine a site designer might want.

    -2d representation of the site, in a grid of cells. Each cell contains data such as elevation and soil characteristics.
    - Zone and sector tools
    - elements on the site, input and outputs lists. linkages. closing the loops.
    - ecosystemic modeling.
    - accurate water modeling, swale simulation helping us define size and spacing on the landscape.

    I have much more on this. Looking to perhaos develop with Python and PyQT with graphical output in the PyQT GUI as well as GIS such as ArcView.
     
  9. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
  10. warren.cascade

    warren.cascade Junior Member

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    Anyone using Adobe Illustrator?

    I've found this free symbol set for it
    https://ian.umces.edu/symbols/#_About
    The IAN symbol libraries contain over 1500 custom made vector symbols designed specifically for enhancing science communication skills. The libraries are designed primarily for use with Adobe Illustrator (requires version 10 or better), however we also offer eps and svg versions for non-Illustrator users. The symbols allow diagrammatic representations of complex processes to be developed easily with minimal graphical skills.

    They also put together an image gallery, which I found the natural processes most useful.

    A landscape design studio also put together a bundle of a couple hundread Illustrator symbols and sells it for $150. Gonna see how AI goes and if IAN will do the trick before that investment.


    I already have Adobe Illustrator and will be taking a course in it next quarter, so I'm going to be playing around with it's ability to do landscape design. I've decided to drop the CAD program. Being able to create 3-D landscapes sounds great, but I'm thinking I can leave that up to someone who's spent more time at a computer them me. I think my time put into wrangling ESRI's GIS suites will be better suited anyway.

    I came across this blog post about software tools used by a permaculture designer that I found interesting:
    https://permaculturedesigns.blogspot.com/2009/04/i-get-this-question-all-time-what-are.html

    cheers,
    warren
     
  11. craigembleton

    craigembleton Junior Member

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    I'd advise Open Source. Gimp rather than photoshop, Inkscape rather than illustrator (Inkscape will open vector images including maps from wikipedia) and for 3D work Blender. Sketchup's good too. Not Open Source, but there's a free version and you can integrate stuff you create with Google Earth. Cheers, Craig
     
  12. craigembleton

    craigembleton Junior Member

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  13. WHILD

    WHILD Junior Member

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  14. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    That's pretty neat WHILD. Is it an actual design for a place, or just playing with the software? It'd be great to compare it with a real video once the place is done.
     
  15. craigembleton

    craigembleton Junior Member

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    Coffs Harbour

    Great work WHILD - I looked up your design for Coffs Harbour too. Really good idea of what your trying to design. Must help get the client on board.
    What software are you using, if you don't mind me asking?

     
  16. WHILD

    WHILD Junior Member

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    Thanks really glad you liked it. Yep it's for a client. we are a new business. It looks like they may take a long while to implement if at all due to financial issues but the design will always be in their control that's the beauty of it. I agree an after video would be excellent. We have thought of that.

    The community garden design we did has just got the go ahead from council (unanimous vote after presentation of video and information package) so that may be the first implemented video that we do as they have the funding to make it happen. It will also take a long time though.

    We are looking for that first client that is able to complete the whole process straight up. can't wait to see people enjoying our designs for real and eating organic home grown.
     
  17. Sammy_D

    Sammy_D Junior Member

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    I have been considering something similar. I think there would be great value in a tool that could evaluate the efficiency of a design based on the elements in a system, their inputs and outputs and the distance between each elements' outputs and the corresponding elements' inputs.

    If the tool had a database of elements, each with their inputs and oputputs, these elements could be overlaid on a map of the system to create a visual representation of the relationships. The benefit is twofold: firstly it provides a checklist of potential relationships to prompt the designer, and secondly it would allow a means of quantifying the efficiency gains from shuffling elements around.

    I'd be keen get involved in making something like this happen.

    Sam
     
  18. WHILD

    WHILD Junior Member

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    Can you let me know if this eventuates? It sounds fantastic.
     

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