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How do we get to know places? Tools and approaches shape our understanding of places and our ability to express that understanding. With an environmental design perspective, this website looks at ways to have a richer direct experience with the world we inhabit and then to analyze and communicate the resulting understanding. The project comes from an interest in how mobile digital tools could facilitate this process and then stimulate better environmental design solutions.


Progress explains the PlaceTools project goals and documents progress to date with conference papers and grant progress reports.

Topics and Approaches provides an overview of kinds of place information and briefly describes approaches from different disciplines. It connects themes of inquiry to appropriate techniques with links to top examples.

Tools narrows in on digital field tools that our group has tested. It contains both an overview of how to approach a site visit and specific quickstart tool guides.

References highlights selected readings.

Contact provides ways to reach project participants.

Field Guides header

Digital Sketching

Measuring Guidelines

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