As you peruse the many options available through your favorite outdoor supplier, you might at first glance only see plants, basic building materials, and traditional tools used in some shape or form for hundreds or even thousands of years. However, if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that high technology is widely available now, too. Combining plants with technology seems counterintuitive at first, but it’s actually a marriage made in heaven. There are actually many ways technology can aid in landscaping design, and the following are five that you should know about.
1. 3D Printing
For all the explosion in smart home tech, 3D printing might be an even more exciting realm of possibility. This was a mere fantasy not that long ago, as were drones and virtual reality, but it’s become surprisingly affordable for many different sectors. A simple machine only costs several hundred dollars, and you can use it for prototyping, getting creative, or just making spare parts. The power and customization possible through this technology is simply amazing in many different landscape applications.
Drones that fly in the air might not immediately seem like they would be useful in the world of designing and caring for physical landscapes down on the earth, but their see-everything cameras and ability to gain altitude give landscapers a true bird’s-eye view of the terrain. Also, they are unrivaled machines in terms of accuracy in taking measurements. Use a drone to get above the canopy, test site lines over shrubs and fences, or even determine the success rate of certain plantings on farms.
3. Virtual Reality
Virtual reality might also be known as augmented reality. Whatever you call it, there are many fans of this technology. Immersive devices allow for virtual visits to landscapes that already exist or the possibility of demonstrating a potential project to a consumer so they see what’s possible before you break ground at the start of the project. This is a great way to refine ideas before physical work starts, and you can see the potential final product weeks or even seasons in advance of its completion.
4. 3D Software
Many landscape gardeners love using AutoCAD, but 3D software is crucial to today’s work and possibilities. Simply put, without this, neither virtual reality nor even 3D printing would be possible. The design possibilities are greater than ever before, but they’re also much easier to work with.
5. Smartphone Apps
One of the most obvious landscape architect tools is the category of smartphone applications. A growing number of landscape professionals can use the technology already in their pockets for productivity and innovation. They can use them to do everything from taking measurements to identifying plants. The mobile nature of this technology makes it perfect for landscapers who spend time walking around outside.
These five technologies have all blossomed in the last few years, and it’s sure to keep coming. The next decade will see these areas of landscaping design and technology continue to bloom while more join the menu of options available.