Compilation of "Visualization" Techniques and Examples to Improve the Effectiveness of NEPA Processes and Documents - Delivered in DVD Format and Via Website Links and Downloads

Focus Area

NEPA Process


Environmental Process




Under $99k


Under 1 year

Research Idea Scope

The research would solicit, compile, analyze, screen, sort, present, and then distribute effective figures, tables, graphics, visual simulations, video, and other visualization examples for nationwide use and adaptation by practitioners. The deliverable would be a DVD designed to provide users with a menu of choices sorted by NEPA technical topic areas (alternative screening, air quality, Section 4(f), etc.)and a website source for related links and downloads.  The DVD would include a narrated introduction that describes why visualization techniques are important, effective visualization strategies, how to find and obtain items of interest on the DVD and the project website. Users of the deliverables would be able to view visual presentation formats for a wide range of technical topics.

TERI Administrator Note (June 2007): Related Research

NCHRP Synthesis Project 361, Visualization for Project Development (2006)

Abstract: This synthesis presents information on visualization; the visual representation of proposed alternatives and improvements and their associated effects on the existing surroundings. It focuses on the best practices and experiences to date within transportation agencies that are developing and incorporating visualization into the project development process. The report provides an overview, details case studies, addresses the challenges of visualization, and compares the results with a similar study from 1996. This synthesis report was developed by conducting interviews with various transportation agencies, universities, and consultants throughout the United States. A survey questionnaire was distributed in advance of the interviews to assist in the preparation.


Urgency and Payoff

The benefit of this research would be to help improve NEPA processes and documents by making them less reliant on lengthy written narratives, and more reliant on visual tools that are more compelling, accessable and informative than traditional presentations. At this time, practioners do not have a resource to provide them with proven visualizations tools or an effective means of sharing innovations of this type with other practitioners.  This research effort would create that tool and could create an ongoing means of collaboration for practitioners nationwide.

Suggested By

Brian P. Kennedy, AICP, Short Elliott Hendrickson

[email protected]