ESRIUK 2013 Conference write up

2013-05-21 09.12.38

 

Well last week saw me talk at the ESRIUK 2013 Annual User Conference at the Novotel in Hammersmith.    I have always tried to make the ESRIUK conference, for one thing I’m a customer and most of our clients that want a GIS want ESRI formatted databases.   I know some of you GIS professionals are shaking your head right now, probably wondering why I’m not extolling the virtues of Opensource.   A discussion for another time, suffice to say we have to give the client what they want and expect.

Two excellent posts summarising the conference have already been written that I’m aware of and you can read them here:

Obviously these types of posts are only ever going to be a personal take on an event since we can’t attend all the seminars and talks!  This post of mine is  more like stream of consciousness so it’s not necessarily an order list of observations.

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A personal disclaimer here I spoke at the ESRIUK conference and they kindly paid for my travel and accommodation, oh and they gave me this thing on the right…

I personally like ESRI (UK and Inc.) especially the staff, they always seem quite passionate and genuinely interested in what they’re doing.   I haven’t had the trouble that some might have.  I do have a problem with ESRIUK pricing sometimes, namely I don’t know what anyone else is paying.   With ESRI Inc I can go to the website and at least see prices.   For a small company money is tight and thinking other people could be getting a better deal just because they’re bigger is a reality that I dislike.

So let me summarise some stuff and see if it makes sense:

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Treetop walkway in CityEngine

UPDATE : Come see some screen shots of a 3D visualisation of a flood type map using Ordnance Survey opendata!

Inspired by the treetop walkway in Kew gardens I thought I’d make a quick rule file to change a road network into one.  Here is a screen capture of the result.

Treetop Walkway, plus trees controlled by elevation and soil type.
Treetop Walkway, plus trees controlled by elevation and soil type.

It is really quite simple and small as rule files go, and I still need to make proper handrails and of course an access point (stairs and lift).   I used SketchUp to model the pylon and then adjusted the road width to a walkway width and the sidewalks are used as railings.   Instead of junctions I used roundabouts and placed the SketchUp pylon model in the centre of the roundabout.

ce_walkway_trees_rev1
Different rule file from above similar result….

I hope to put this example and others up online in the near future….

UPDATE : Come see some screen shots of a 3D visualisation of a flood type map using Ordnance Survey opendata!

CityEngine is changing how we work…

As part of a new urban renewal project we obtained the previous master plan as a PDF (naturally).  Reading through it we felt that we needed to understand what was proposed and how the proposals would look in 3D.

My First Animated GIF on this blog, apologies to all those living in the present...
My First Animated GIF on this blog, apologies to all those living in the present…

It’s a largish urban area and previously we would never even dream of modelling it at such an early stage of the project.  Too much work to model in SketchUp and certainly not to just understand part of a report.   Things have changed and now we are aware of what CityEngine can do we’re starting to modify how we approach jobs.

You wonder why I’m interested in CityEngine?  Well I can see how it is changing our work and what it will change for us in the future.   Less than a month into a project and we’ve modelled an entire urban area in less than 1/2 a day, just to understand something better.

Pre-CityEngine we would never have done this.