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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!

CityEngine 2014.1 Patch released fixes 3 issues

CityEngine 2014.1 Patch released fixes 3 issues

ce_2014_1_1703 140831R Splash Screen

Okay for all you CityEngine users, you will need this patch…

Esri CityEngine 2014.1 FileGDB and CGA Compiler Patch

This patch addresses three issues in Esri CityEngine 2014.1. First, the FileGDB Importer now handles short integer fields correctly, instead of converting to a Boolean field. Second, the CGA Compiler is updated to version 1.4 which creates correct .cgb and .rpk files for rule files with styles. Third, a crash is fixed for handling polygons with holes. It is strongly recommended for all users to install this patch.

To get the patch go directly to the download page by clicking here.

Back story – “Master Planning Cities in Iraq” or “Sedbergh, where is it?”

Back story – “Master Planning Cities in Iraq” or “Sedbergh, where is it?”

Nasiriyah Overview

Well this is a topical post and it’s not a coincidence! Some of you who know me, know that I’ve been working on a number of city related projects in southern Iraq. Those that don’t, now do…

I’ve already written a couple of times about our Iraq projects more as a mention rather than a full article (apart from this one here “An interesting day at the office GIS & masterplanning in Iraq”), but those who haven’t I’ll give you some background.

For me it is very rewarding work but sometimes it is ‘just another day at the office’ work.  I’ve realised that many people have found what we do and where we do it from to be an interesting story.

…sometimes it is ‘just another day at the office’ work

  1. A family firm
  2. City Master Plans
  3. Iraq Projects
  4. What’s it like working on a project based in Iraq?
  5. Consultation
  6. Training
  7. Location, location, location
  8. Why am I in the Guardian
  9. Sedbergh – Yorkshire Dales or Cumbria

Read More Read More

In case you missed it: I’m on the Guardian Cities blog

In case you missed it: I’m on the Guardian Cities blog

‘We can’t go to Iraq because it’s too dangerous’ ... Derrick and Elliot Hartley of Garsdale Design in Sedbergh. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian
‘We can’t go to Iraq because it’s too dangerous’ … Derrick and Elliot Hartley of Garsdale Design in Sedbergh. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian

A week or so back I met with Stuart Jeffries a writer for the Guardian to chat about our interesting in work in Iraq and our exciting future in 3D.   The result was what seems like a popular article in the Guardian Cities blog.

Whilst many people have quoted other passages one of my favourites is this:

To my eyes, there’s a touch of the pleasure of playing video games to Elliot’s work – certainly it looks like great fun.

He’s not wrong!

Elliot Hartley and Stuart Jeffries hanging out...
Me and Stuart Jeffries hanging out…

I’ve read a lot of the comments, both below the article and on twitter.  To be fair I think it’s been quite a positive response, clearly the article didn’t address everyone’s concerns though.  As to the usual trolling well that’s the internet.   I think I will write a response to the article and post it here in the coming days, more for my therapy than anything else.  Thank you to all those who retweeted the story and responded both positively and negatively to the story, I genuinely mean that.

You can read more here.

Sedbergh 3D in ArcGIS Pro

Sedbergh 3D in ArcGIS Pro

 

ArcGISPro_Sedbergh3D_02

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here sorry!   I’m getting ready for my Miami PathFinder workshop but as a bit of break I’ve been working with CyberCity3D data of my home town in ArcGIS Pro.  Here’s what I like, drag ‘n’ drop, split screen 2D and 3D and I love being able to connect the views so as I zoom and pan in 2D I get the same actions in the 3D pane (or vice versa).   You don’t have to have the, linked but it’s fun.   I also think being able to do 2D and 3D on one paper map layout is going to give us some interesting maps.

ArcGISPro_Sedbergh3D_01

If you’re based in Sedbergh and want to us this 3D model, please don’t hesitate to get in contact!

3D Building Data from CyberCity3D

CyberCity Black

Esri UC 2014 San Diego : My presentations

Esri UC 2014 San Diego : My presentations

procedural_sheep_esiruc_01
Procedural Sheep? Ewe better believe it!

“Another conference?!” I hear you all say, well to be fair this one is a lot of fun, especially if you’re in the Esri world.  Although there is a lot here for you opensource types too (okay not about the software but the use of GIS at least).   Last year I did one presentation at the 3D Mapping forum before the main conference.  This year I’m doing two presentations one at the 3D & Lidar Mapping forum (with it’s own venue this year!) and one at the main UC.  Oh and I am meeting my business friends such as CyberCity3D

Working with CityEngine (and how to enjoy it)

So what will I talk about?  Well my presentation for the 3D Mapping forum is provisionally entitled “Working with CityEngine (and how to enjoy it)”.   This looks like a cop-out presentation title doesn’t it?  Well it’s not.

You see the people I talk to who have started to use CityEngine are often stuck in a GIS world or a 3D world or a planning world or an architecture world… you get the picture they’re in their own little professional bubble.   The idea of this presentation is to show how truly versatile CityEngine is and that thinking outside the box can help.   Come along and see if you don’t believe me!

Oh and the procedural sheep make a triumphant return!

procedural_sheep_esiruc_02
This won’t get too surreal…

Modelling Arabic Urban Cores using CityEngine

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My main UC presentation is really more technical for those interested in getting some ideas and help in how to model real world areas in CityEngine.    I’ll explore workflows and strategies which hopefully won’t give all my secrets away!

I’ll look at how I choose what’s an important in a scene and how to think about the limitations of 3D.

Days and times for my presentations:

3D Mapping Forum

  • Smart 3D Cities Track
  • Sunday, 13 Jul 2014, 1:45pm – 3:45pm
  • Location: Omni Ballroom A/B

2:30-3:00pm Working with CityEngine (and how to enjoy it) 

EsriUC 2014

  • 3D GIS Workflows and Design for Mass 3D Modeling
  • Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014, 1:30-2:45pm
  • Location: Room 23C

 1:30-2:45pm (not sure on exact time I’m only one listed) Modelling Arabic Urban Cores using CityEngine

If you’re attending the EsriUC this year get in contact with me to chat about CityEngine and my company’s (Garsdale Design) services!