You may have seen that I was out in the United Arab Emirates a couple of weeks back. I was there for two reasons, one to conduct a CityEngine training session for a number of GISTEC clients (we do this training here in the UK either with EsriUK or at our offices in Sedbergh as well as worldwide). As always training often turns to bespoke advice and discussions around workflows and use cases.
Basically, most things that a client asks for with 3D GIS can be done, you just to have a clear idea of what you want (oh and a budget!), technology (hardware and software) has progressed so much recently that most clients are now spoilt for choice.
Want a smart city? Well you may need a 3D basemap. Do you have any sensor data? If so what’s the quality? The answer invariably to all these questions and more is “it depends”. That’s why on the 20th of September I went to help present at our friends and partners GISTEC 3D GIS workshop/seminar event in the Roda Al Bustan in Dubai.
As a new format for GISTEC we were all excited and apprehensive to see how invited guests and clients would respond. We shouldn’t have been nervous as the response was overwhelmingly positive. The sessions allowed people to find out what was possible with particular aspects of the Esri platform and where they could join up some of those dots. My discussion table didn’t just talking about CityEngine. We talked about data acquisition (from UAVs for example, in fact I used demo data from the UAV table), about smart cities and story maps. The day was designed to find out more about everyone’s workflows and problems as well as informing and discussing potential solutions.
The format was informal and less about a sales pitch and more about discussion (no one likes presentations which basically say ‘buy me’). We had divided the session up into tables and each table had a theme to talk about (mine was Geodesign and Urban Planning of course!). The table’s moderators also used flipcharts and post-it notes to engage with the attendees and come up with problems and solutions around each table’s theme. This meant that at the end of the day each table had gained insight into some of the issues surrounding 3D GIS (in for example designing cities) but also discussed potential solutions and workflows (as well as software) to help. These flipcharts and notes would then be shared with the attendees as well (not just the table group but everyone).
Each table’s theme discussion was led by an expert in their field and as you can see we had some amazing people:
Smart Cities and IoT Solutions – Smart City and IoT
Andrew Rippon – NXN
Getting 3D-GIS Data from 3D-CAD – BIM to GIS
Nandakumar Menon – GISTEC
Data Capturing and 3D Data Preparation from Drone – Working with Drones Giuseppe Catania – b-link
Texturing Your Landscape and Building VR Solution – VR Solutions
Dileep Verma – Cirqus
Building Different 3D Applications – Working with Story Maps
The largest group of attendees had come to hear about smart cities and the ‘Internet of Things’ from Andrew Rippon of NXN (formerly Nexgen group) from what I heard (and saw a little of) this was a well received talk and discussion on some issues and challenges as well as the amazing solutions NXN are implementing for smart city projects.
The day ended with a quick panel summary of each tables discussions and a question and answer session. Questions about workflows and interest in what was possible seemed to be the main concerns. All in all I really enjoyed the day with GISTEC and the attendees I think I may have learnt more off of them then they did of me!
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.