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38 (available online at http://trb.org/news/blurb_detail.asp? could accelerate the continued development of these tech- id=6313). In its findings, the scan team observed a number nologies while ensuring the broadest possible application by of progressive methods underway to improve the safety of groups within the transportation engineering field. roadway design, including human-centered roadway analysis and design and driving simulators for roadway In contrasting the findings of NCHRP Synthesis 229 design and visualization. The report contrasts the more with the findings of this synthesis it becomes clear that extensive and integrated use of driving simulators as part there has been a considerable increase in the use of visual- of design in Europe with the less extensive and less inte- ization technologies on all fronts. Despite these advance- grated use in the United States, even though the "level of ments, however, visualization in state DOTs within the fidelity (e.g., degrees of motion, image size and quality) at United States remains largely an incomplete and minimally the agencies visited was comparable to the range of simu- organized afterthought with regard to the project develop- lators in the United States." In the United States, the ease ment process. This situation, however, is beginning to with which DOTs will be able to leverage these tools will change. depend on More and more transportation stakeholders are begin- Improving the frequency and ease with which DOTs ning to see the value of visualization and are starting can create 3-D models in support of visualization tools to insist on it through all aspects of the project develop- and ment process. This trend is evidenced both in increas- Gearing 3-D and 4-D data standards toward the needs ing demands of DOTs for 3-D modeling by highway of the highway transportation industry. contractors and in recent SAFETEA-LU legislation. The FHWA's "Interim Guidance for Implementing Key SAFETEA-LU Provisions on Planning, Environment, and CONCLUDING REMARKS Air Quality for Joint FHWA/FTA Authorities" states the following (available online at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ Although visualization is certainly about technology, the hep/igslpja.htm): effective application of visualization is ultimately about effective communication: Visualization Techniques in Plans and Metropolitan TIP Between those who establish the functional require- Development: As part of transportation plan and TIP [transporta- ments of a system and those for whom the system must tion improvement program] development, MPOs [metropolitan satisfy real and/or perceived personal as well as social planning organizations] shall employ visualization techniques (see amended 23 U.S.C. 134(i)(5)(C)(ii) and 49 U.S.C. needs and values; 5303(i)(5)(C)(ii)). States shall also employ visualization tech- Between those who formulate preliminary system require- niques in the development of the Long-Range Statewide Trans- ments and those who must translate those requirements portation Plan (see amended 23 U.S.C. 135(f)(3)(B)(ii) and 49 U.S.C. 5304(f)(3)(B)(ii)). States and MPOs must employ visual- into design; ization techniques prior to adoption of statewide and metropolitan Between those who design and those who build and transportation plans and metropolitan TIPs addressing maintain the system; and SAFETEA-LU provisions. Between those who collectively design, build, and maintain the system and those who ultimately use the In the transportation community, visualization is becom- system. ing less the special interest that it used to be and more a core requirement within the highway project development Visualization is proving to be an effective tool in facili- process. Transportation agencies need to adapt to this tating communications. The research outlined in Appendix A change.