Toronto’s remarkable OpenData gesture: 3D buildings released with city-wide coverage.

Toronto’s remarkable OpenData gesture: 3D buildings released with city-wide coverage.

torontoDEMO_1
Toronto in 3D with Height Zoning map! You can tell it’s Toronto by that building in the bottom left…

 

Warning these opening lines are painful to read, at the time I thought I was being clever… apologies to all of Canada. 

O Canada (specifically Toronto)!
My wife’s home and native land!
True 3D love for all thy peoples to command.
With glowing heart we see 3D rise,
The True North (specifically Toronto) strong in 3D!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we create visualisations for thee.
OpenData keep your land glorious and in 3D
O Canada, we create VR for thee.
O Canada, we create AR for thee.

This is all to do with the news that the OpenData initiative in Toronto has gone and released a combination of 3D detailed and 3D massing models as OpenData.  What this seems to be is just the models with no attributes and in a variety of formats.   True OpenData advocates will no doubt be upset to read this is just ESRI Shapefile, Geodatabase file, MicroStation files, but honestly who cares?! Those lot are so technical they can open anything right? 

We already have height data in OpenStreetMap but this is different as it seems to be a combination of detailed ‘landmark’ buildings and block modelling (i.e. simple extrusions for the rest).  The result is a very good looking model.   This data will of interest to many types of people and industries, first person to make a Minecraft map out of it wins I guess…

Toronto, now in glorious 3D! Torontoist Article

Lovely wording to go with the release as well, what other planning department in the world would do this?  London couldn’t do it here as someone would shout “Ordnance Survey Licence” and suck all the fun out of the party… 

Exploring new ways to share information with each other is a cornerstone of improving the planning process. To do this it is essential to have city-wide data in accessible formats. A variety of 3D digital information and models exist but currently the data is not readily available to the general public. Providing a consistent city-wide 3D data source will link these digital city planning models and materials together and will allow us to imagine our city from different perspectives. The Open Date site will enable access to  to application developers, designers, urban planners and architects, and the public. Ideally this will enable the creation of a visual portal and access to a large collection of city building ideas.

The expected disclaimers apply to but who cares?! 

Further to the Open Government Licence, the Context Massing Model is being provided by City Planning on the OpenData website for information and illustrative purposes only. City Planning does not warranty the completeness, accuracy, content, or fitness for any precision purpose or use of context massing model for such purposes, nor are any such warranties to be implied or inferred with respect to Context Massing Model as furnished on the website.

City Planning and the City are not liable for any deficiencies in the completeness, accuracy, content, or fitness for any particular purpose or use of Context Massing Model, or applications utilizing Context Massing Model, provided by any third party.

A word of warning the files are large and it takes a while to load into some programs *cough ArcGIS* and importing all of it into CityEngine in one go should be interesting for you.  As is always the case careful data preparation is key!

I’m waiting for someone to put it in a Cesium demo next….

I’ve been having a go with the data already in CityEngine as you can see from the webscene shot at the top of this article.  Have a look at it in LumenRT too below.

torontoDEMO_2_LumenRT
Even when I model Toronto in 3D I can’t resist making the weather miserable and overcast…

 

So what are you waiting for? Go download it!

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