Browsed by
Category: ArcMAP

EsriUK Annual Conference 2017

EsriUK Annual Conference 2017

Last Tuesday (16th of May 2017) was the much-anticipated yearly geospatial event from Esri UK.   Their Annual Conference has gone from strength to strength and the venue has been at capacity for the last two years now.

I love the EsriUK conference and being based in Cumbria having an event where I can get to see all the people we work with in one location is fantastic (although I quite enjoyed EsriUK’s Perth event too!).   It used to be I went for the presentations I now go to have meetings and keep the personal connections I’ve developed through social media going.  

Plenary

The opening plenary was interesting and focused (quite rightly) on the significant achievements Esri have made in developing their platform.  I cannot comprehend how complex the process is of developing a cloud presence and slowly (it feels slow to me at least in regards to stability & memory issues) developing the new ArcGISPro application whilst still maintaining the existing and well used product suite of ArcMap, ArcGlobe, and ArcScene.  I guess that’s what they use our licence and maintenance fees for!

What I noticed this time was what I have been saying for a while and told people about back in 2009 (when I started using CityEngine): Esri needs to be invested deeply in 3D to compete in the new and merging industries of ‘smart cities’ and ‘BIM’.  All their competitors are there and coming for the GIS users too.  Fortunately is Esri doing this now.  

EsriUK’s live demo this year was walking around with a GeoSlam device getting a laser scan of the venue, to fly around and measure in ArcGISPro.    Unfortunately I felt this demo was a little limited in scope this year.  We’ve worked with point clouds in ArcGISPro and whilst good there are still some issues so perhaps that’s why it was not as ‘wow!’ for me.

Looking at all their applications, it is truly crazy how many 3D capable products Esri have developed.  Yet amongst all these amazing tools, all too often, I am still meeting people who wonder what they’re going to do with these 3D technologies….

Shameless plug for our new GD3D® brand….

The obvious answer is ‘well first you need 3D data’, and that’s what Garsdale Design’s new project, our GD3D brand, is all about.  Acquiring 3D is still like acquiring satellite data in the early days, difficult and expensive, however I will write more on this soon because it doesn’t have to be.

Post plenary there was plenty of people to talk too, but I did manage to get to see a few presentations:

Mapping London’s 2050 Infrastructure Growth

Dr Larissa R Suzuki  gave a great presentation into the challenges Transport for London were facing managing development and maintenance of their infrastructure.  The mapping systems they are implementing to identify what activity is taking place in the same location (think development and road works etc..) at the same time are fantastically useful.  Let’s hope this kind of technology use gets adopted nationally not just per authority.

A journey through the airport

The Manchester Airport Group have a place in my heart, as I am a big fan of Manchester Airport to be honest.  Small-ish airport in the scheme of things owned by local authorities but punching well above its weight in terms of the region it serves and the places you can fly to.  I can get a train direct from Oxenholme straight to Manchester Airport and be in Dubai or major hubs in the USA really quickly.   Their talk by Vickie Withnell was very interesting, showing us a 3D animation of the next phase of expansion of Manchester Airport basically 4D or construction management.  As one commentator on the Esri AC app put it a “video’ gantt chart”.   Obviously being able to manage data through time and integrate your process with the planning and consultation elements of their business has paid dividends.   Vickie should have received a stand ovation for saying that their planning application for a new arrivals terminal at Stansted only took 13 weeks (supposed target processing time for major planning applications), top it all off they only had one objection.  Any planner (private or public) in the room I am sure was immediately feeling completely in awe.

SWEET, simplicity and GeoDesign

Charles Kennelly CTO of EsriUK was in top form clearly presenting one of his technology passions ‘geodesign’.  The application he demo’d was called ‘SWEET’ and his message was very simple really.  Sometimes making tools that are simple to use for defined purposes really do make sense.  The web application he demo showed off how you could program rules in to editing tools that automatically clipped polygons and stopped you editing outside areas.  Basically, taking away that process us GIS professionals always have to do when receiving someone else’s data which is cleaning up and fixing geometries (like slithers).  In the demo web application you could plot away and be sure that the data you create was clean and clipped to your areas properly.

Closing Plenary

The Customer Success Awards were back again (we won one last year hurrah!) and what a great series of entries, I am glad they keeping this going.  It is always nice to be recognised for hardwork and clearly the winners and nominees have been working hard!.

 

Daniel Raven-Ellison a self-confessed ‘Guerilla Geographer’ (don’t cringe) gave a very impassioned presentation focusing on his campaign to make London a National Park City .  Always the cynic living in Northern England I feel uncomfortable giving London more designations and status.  But he did give a compelling argument but perhaps instead of a National Park City a focus on making all cities green and vibrant as he wants to make London would be better?  Whatever your opinion he is a very passionate and good speaker with important things to say about our cities and environment.  I think we ignore him at our peril.

The future look at the platform was interesting the Esri inc team were represented with Chris Andrews and EsriUK by Charles Kennelly the platform is scaling well and 3D is a big part of this.   

Charles also treated us to an experimental map where the cartography was enhanced or augmented with sounds.  So moving the mouse over particular elements of a map gave a different noise.  I think this kind of approach will be ever more important when augmented and mixed reality technologies become main stream.  Not everything in GIS should be visual was my ‘take away’.

Summary

As usual I have skimmed over details at a ramble for this blog post.  As a company we had a great day talking about our new GD3D® brand and our data service for the Esri platform.  It strikes me that people still are sitting in silos of data though, hesitating to be the first to break out and hindered by restrictive licencing and pricing.  I guess that is often the nature of professions. 

Personally, I met lots of new and interesting people, so thank you if you talked to me and sorry if I don’t remember your name next we meet, it’s not personal! I’m just not very good at remembering faces. 

We gave out lots of badges and stickers which made travelling home lighter and easier too.  Coming up next for us, my colleague Nicholas Duggan will be attending the Geobusiness conference in London.  I have now booked my flights to San Diego for this year’s Esri UC I’ll be attending some 3D sessions there but am also eager to meet up and chat with anyone interested in 3D building data for the Esri platform and of course Esri CityEngine training and services.

Our presentation on Big Data!

I’ll be doing another post on our presentation at the Esri UK Annual Conference entitled “Big data! Offshore to onshore: Streaming 3D cities and point clouds” shortly…. 🙂

 

Flood map visualising using OS Opendata & CityEngine

Flood map visualising using OS Opendata & CityEngine

ce_flood_webscene

Okay it’s a little odd but I’ve been experimenting with Ordnance Survey Opendata and CityEngine on and off for a while…. using ArcGIS Spatial Analyst Extension tools I created from some OS terrain an artificial flood polygon.   I imported the terrain and polygon into CityEngine renamed the flood polygon “flood__water”  (the “__water” tells the CityEngine webgl viewer to render it as water).  Then I exported it out as a webscene.

Whether this is actually useful I don’t know, certainly for this demo it’s not as I’ve exaggerated the terrain a little for ‘dramatic’ effect.

I think it looks pretty good, I’m in the process of adding buildings, roads and forests, I’ll let you know how it goes… I’m also wanting to do this again using opensource software like QGIS and CityEngine (there is no equivalent of CityEngine as an opensource product).

ce_flood_webscene1

 

Oh and I think they need some more water types… I think flood water might be dirtier….  if you’re interested in more do you remember the tree top walkway post I did a while back?

Putting geodesign into practice? ArcGIS & Wacom Cintiq 24HD in use

Putting geodesign into practice? ArcGIS & Wacom Cintiq 24HD in use

2013-05-28 14.14.42
The box is impressive…

Ok first up not all gadgets are trivial, in particular I don’t believe play is trivial (shameless plug for previous post there, apologies).  Recently I tweeted a that we (in my office) had purchased a geodesign gadget.   So you’ve now got two or three questions haven’t you?

  1. What on earth is geodesign?!
  2. What’s the gadget?
  3. Overcoming Software install problems  “A supported tablet was not found on the system”

  4. Why do I care?
  5. Wacom Cintiq 24HD and ArcGIS
  6. What’s next?

Let’s try and answer them (apologies for another big post)….

Read More Read More

CityEngine is changing how we work…

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.

Translating text for ArcGIS – Google Translate + Excel – A quick guide

Translating text for ArcGIS – Google Translate + Excel – A quick guide

This is a useful tip that has been pointed out to me by a colleague, so useful in fact I have to make sure I note it down somewhere.   Until my idea is incorporated into ArcGIS this is a quick and dirty workaround for translating Arabic labels in ArcGIS.

arcgis_arabic_translation
Yes, but what does it mean?

We have received some GIS data from a client, it’s landuse in a geodatabase with Arabic labels.  Trouble is our maps are needed in English!   In the past we’ve tested the Microsoft translation tools (for office) against Google’s online translate tool and found that Google does a much better translation.

So how do we translate this large landuse table quickly and easily?   Use Excel of course!   Please note that this bullet point list assumes you know ArcGIS and Excel quite well, to instruct from a beginners point of view would be a bit to long winded for me.

  1. First create a field name for the English Translation in ArcGIS
  2. Open a new Excel document
  3. Copy (using this method) the table from ArcGIS into Excel.
  4. Create a PivotTable that lists the row labels (in this case Arabic Landuse)
  5. Copy and paste this list out (so the text is static, you probably don’t have to)
  6. Copy the Arabic text into the text box at translate.google.com

    google_arabic_translation
    Google Translate
  7. Now Copy that English translation text list back adjacent to your Arabic landuse list into Excel

    excel_arabic_translation
    Pasted back into Excel
  8. Now you have to use some Excel magic, select the English and Arabic text and under the Formulas tab (in Excel 2007) define a name ( in this case I called it English Translate)
  9. Once you have done this go to the English Landuse field name column and type in code like this “=VLOOKUP(E7,EnglishTranslate,2)”.   E7 is the Arabic landuse in your original table in Excel, EnglishTranslate is that Name you defined above and the number 2 is the column number of the EnglishTranslate you need to use if matched.
  10. Then click and drag copy this down your English translation field to check it works.
  11. Now copy back this data into ArcGIS or Join/Link it.

Well that’s it if you have any improvements/questions/suggestions please add them in the comments section below!

GeoDesign Summit 2013

GeoDesign Summit 2013

Well a quick announcement really… I’ll be one of the featured speakers at ESRI’s HQ in Redlands, San Diego, early next year (January 24-25 2013).

This is what I’ll be talking about:

Garsdale Design, which specialises in master planning and urban design has been working on four city master planning projects in southern Iraq. These projects required the analysis and planning of these cities for their expansion over the next 40 years. So how did ArcGIS and CityEngine maximise our productivity giving the client better outcomes?

Large-scale city master planning projects inevitably move slowly over many months since the work proceeds stage by stage. At certain points work can often stop while the client consults and chooses options from a series of drafts. Frequently new data or requirements can emerge, the consequences of which have far reaching implications.

What if a city can be fully described at each stage of a project? CityEngine has demonstrated a new and exciting direction for us. With the concepts of ‘GeoDesign’ we are now looking at our project workflows in new ways. What if the project team could change detailed plans with ease taking into account new data instantly, and avoiding the laborious redrawing of layouts? This is the promise of the ‘Instant City’.

If you’re a regular  reader of my blog, you’ll know why I’m talking about CityEngine, it’s become a bit of an obsession really….

Drop me a line if you’re intending on going it would be great to meet other geo-professionals!

Follow their twitter account here https://twitter.com/GeoDesignSummit

The agenda is here : http://www.geodesignsummit.com/agenda/index.html

ArcGIS Toolbox – CityEngine Raster and Vector Clipper

ArcGIS Toolbox – CityEngine Raster and Vector Clipper

The blog post on the ESRI site “Easily clip an entire workspace for a specific study area” alerted me to the toolbox “Clip Workspace“, which I thought would be useful for ArcGIS to CityEngine exports.   What I’ve done is tidy up the original rule tool and added a raster clipper tool as well.

It’s a beta release (is there any other release nowadays?!) so use at your own risk, modify if you like and perhaps you can share it back?

Anyway here is the download:

CityEngine Toolbox
CityEngine Toolbox
CityEngineTools.tbx
221.5 KiB
930 Downloads
Details...