Okay so this came sooner than I thought it would and just in time for the Esri UC in San Diego next week!
If you are a CityEngine user this is a very good release with key improvements that will make our lives easier when working on projects. If you’re thinking about working with CityEngine for the first time this is a good release to come in on, and you can come to us for one-to-one training to get you started!
CityEngine 2017.0 has now been released and you can download it from your ‘My Esri‘ area, alternately you can grab a 30-day free trial here.
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.
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!
It’s not all about the numbers here! It’s also about the mix of datasets you use to do useful 3D analysis and make a compelling 3D web scene… I’ve been working with ArcGIS Pro and whilst I don’t think the product is there yet for most work I can see potential.
Last week Garsdale Design (that is myself and Matthias) attended, exhibited as well as conducted a workshop at the Middle East’s premier annual Esri GIS conference called GISWORX held in Dubai. This is hosted and run by GISTEC an Esri Distributor. Those who follow me know I’ve been before, in fact I was the guest speaker the first time around (The Power of Play).
Imagination is required to use CityEngine, I’ve said this before and I say it a lot in our 3DPathFinder CityEngine training sessions (shameless plug). The power of the rule file is in it’s ability to be used in other contexts and is often only limited by your imagination. Some of what I think Geodesign is also about this, connecting up other peoples workflows, joining disciplines together to form a coherent team.
Take the humble rule that places a parapet around a roof top and places a satellite dish inside, this is the same rule that I use to make my infamous “procedural sheep”. Get your head around that and the world is yours (in a metaphorical sense).
This leads me to a little rule file I adapted yesterday, my colleague and friend Matthias had created a couple of rule files for a client (Philadelphia University’s Geodesign course). One rule file coloured a surface depending on the steepness of a slope, which clearly when drawing a path or a road can be useful. The other rule file was one that placed arrows facing down a slope in a grid pattern, think about water run-off and this is cool, useful stuff.
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…
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!