“The Barriers to Building 3D Synthetic Environments” at the Transport Systems Catapult

Last week I attended and presented on behalf of Garsdale Design at the Transport Systems Catapult (TSC) 3D cities event in a foggy Milton Keynes.   This was a “one day opportunity to collaboratively identify challenges and showcase solutions” and “gain insight into virtual/synthetic testing for transport”.

TSC have been having a conversation with us about modelling 3D urban environments using procedural  technologies found in Esri CityEngine and integrating those models in Unity.    I have to be honest though, I was initially concerned about focusing on this negative idea of ‘barriers’ as all we see is opportunities here at Garsdale Design!  However, here was a gathering of people from a variety of industries who understood what it meant to actually make 3D city models and use them in commercial contexts. 

Presentations

The session had some key aims, firstly to understand what a variety of people were doing to create 3D cities, secondly to discuss some the hurdles or barriers of city creation (and publication) and lastly to have ‘round-table’ discussions to identify some of these barriers and how we might overcome them.   Have a look at who came and presented and you can see we had some very interesting presentations!

  1. Transport Systems Catapult : TSC current projects
  2. Future Cities Catapult : Use of environments for smart cities
  3. Satellite Applications Catapult : Satellite
  4. Mantle: Creation of game ready content from GIS data
  5. ESRI : 3D GIS
  6. Leica Geo Systems : Technology behind 3d Lidar Environments
  7. MK Surveys : Creation of 3d Lidar Environments
  8. Garsdale Design : The Art & Science of 3d Cities
  9. UCL : Intelligent positioning within 3d environments
  10. Rust Ltd : Creation of AAA quality game environments
  11. Imsim : Autonomous vehicle fleet management

The event started with an overview of who they were and what Transport Systems Catapult were working on and with.   Catapults as I see them are there to fill the void where companies like ourselves can’t explore or experiment with technologies.  With the best will in the world Garsdale Design hasn’t got unlimited resources to ‘play’ with all the exciting new technologies coming through! 

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Exciting things to watch for from us this year

 

After a period of ‘radio silence’ I’m looking at doing more regular postings here.  As I’ve discussed before this blog is naturally a semi-official Garsdale Design blog as well.  As such we’re looking to have our Southampton colleague Nicholas Duggan contribute every so often.  Nick (or @Dragons8MyCat ) is a well known blogger and the European Editor for XyHt magazine as well as having vast GIS and mapping experience in the Nuclear and off-shore industry. 

Garsdale Design’s work in 3D GIS is well recognised in the Esri world, I’ve heard us called the ‘3D-Guys’ more than a few times from separate people/organisations now.  We’re looking to capitalise on our knowledge by creating a new brand (which will be launched soon) to separate ourselves a little from Garsdale’s Architectural, Planning and heritage business.   We’re also on the cusp of launching (subject to some bureaucracy, don’t ask) a 3D data service for people who just want their 3D basemap now.   If you’d like some more details you can contact us directly.

If you’re an Esri user you should start looking at ArcGISPro seriously now

We’re getting increasing numbers of enquiries for CityEngine and ArcGISPro training, not least because we are the official EsriUK CityEngine trainers!  I think this is mostly down to increased awareness of the 3D capabilities of the Esri platform (have you tried ArcGISPro yet??).  Planners seem to especially ‘get’ Esri CityEngine.   Also whilst there is much talk of BIM more and more organisations realise that BIM doesn’t sit in a vacuum and often requires GIS.  BIM is 3D and so knowledge of 3D GIS is required.

This year we hope to organise a geospatial mini-conference here in Cumbria, with some speakers and followed on by a couple of days of training/workshops.  If you’re interested in getting involved or coming along please get in touch.

Keep on the look out for our new brand, we’ll do a blog post here on launch day.  In the meantime if you need Esri CityEngine or ArcGISPro training contact us!

CityEngine Rule of the Week

It’s been a while since I’ve posted I know! Anyway this year the CityEngine team at Esri have been publishing ‘Rules of the Week’ videos not only that they’ve been publishing the actual rule files as well.

A great way to learn CityEngine is to look at the code other people have written, and who better to (ahem) copy form than the CityEngine team itself.

It’s a bit of a shame that the audio quality is so good in places but if you like CityEngine it’s well worth a view!

Season’s Greetings

Okay I’ve been unforgivably silent on the blog for quite a while.  Work has got in the way and we’re planning at Garsdale Design something big for 2017! Stay tuned.

A Merry Procedural Christmas from Garsdale Design Limited on Vimeo.

In the meantime have a very Merry Christmas and a productive peaceful 2017. 

Revisiting Cartographers Toolkit for CityEngine

peterson4
A longtime ago in 2013 I did a video demoing some color pallettes being used in CityEngine, I’ve decided to revisit that work making it compatible with CityEngine 2016.1 and adding additional features.  The rule now ramps Peterson’s colours based on building elevations, assign your rule and then choose the page number of your favourite Palette in the Cartographers Toolkit (just the palettes obviously) and click generate.  The rule uses CityEngine’s ability to query lists of data to make it all work.

peterson_tool

I always love CityEngine’s ability to become a flexible symbology tool, I may make this a rule package for use in ArcGISPro too.