pho-to-sim \ 'fot-o-'sim \ [E, 2000, Timberline Engineering, Inc.] n : a computer generated photographic simulation of a real world scene that has been modified to reflect a future, revised appearance. Typically utilized by creative engineers, such as Timberline Engineering, Inc., to demonstrate the addition of a building, tower, equipment or other physical appurtenance(s) in order to gain acceptance, generally by the public, of the appurtenance(s) prior to actual construction.
Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and communication system projects often involve the construction of towers or poles. Neighborhood acceptance of these structures is usually dependent upon their size, location, and appearance. When it appears that a structure may be of concern to its neighbors, Timberline is frequently called upon to create a photosim, or photographic simulation, that reflects the installed structure. Photosims are often generated from several perspectives in the adjacent neighborhoods, especially in residential areas where aesthetic sensitivity is usually the greatest. These photosims can then be utilized by the client in presentations to the neighbors, public meetings, environmental compliance documents, etc. By presenting a "photograph" of the completed project, the concerns of neighbors are determined before project design begins. This approach demonstrates that the client is a "good neighbor" and it minimizes the likelihood of protests later in the project, when revisions to design and construction can be quite costly.
Photosims can be utilized to show communication towers and poles; equipment enclosures, such as remote terminal units (RTUs) installed along public right-of-way; and frankly any infrastructure application that may be viewed by the public. They can also be utilized for internal purposes, such as viewing interior revisions to buildings, including the addition of control consoles, rack mounted equipment, etc. As they say, "a picture is worth a thousand words, " and should be utilized in any application where it is difficult to visualize the completed application, particularly when the public is involved.
The examples included in this section are photosims that Timberline has produced for its clients. They demonstrate the concept of photosims, as well as show the diversity of structures that can be utilized for a particular application.