“ECOSITE: an application of computer-aided design to the composition of landforms for reclamation” by Mallary and Ferraro

  • ©Robert Mallary and Michael Ferraro




    ECOSITE: an application of computer-aided design to the composition of landforms for reclamation



    Surface mining, though an efficient method of extracting near-surface coal for the nation’s mounting energy needs, requires sound reclamation if the harmful environmental impacts of the method are to be held to a tolerable minimum. Another important requirement is aesthetic quality, a feature which should, but as yet does not, involve professional planners and designers at the early preplanning stage of reclamation. To encourage this needed improvement a multidisciplinary research group at the University of Massachusetts is developing a comprehensive “preplanning-and-design resource package” that includes an interactive graphics program for landform design as an important component. Called ECOSITE, this user-oriented program is the first serious effort to apply the power of interactive graphics and CAD to the design and sculpturing of large-scale topographical compositions for reclamation and other forms of site preparation and improvement. This paper discusses the program from the standpoint of its application, specifications, design, current capabilities and necessary improvements, including the ability to test its own output against relevant criteria.


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