I recently purchased an HTC Vive for some ‘out of hours’ Research and Development. What strikes me is how quickly you can take 2D GIS data, turn it into 3D and walk around it in a Virtual Reality environment for testing out scenarios for urban planning or even visualising underlying data (think smart cities).
like with maps and statistics you can lie with 3D visualisations
Like with most things it doesn’t have to be complicated, you need the right workflows and data but much of this is understanding requirements and matching your workflows to suit a particular need. When dealing with GIS data you need to have an understanding of accuracy, projections and provenance of data as well, because like with maps and statistics you can lie/mislead with 3D visualisations.
This is quite incredible that we can go through multiple urban design scenarios in a day (modelling in CityEngine) analysing this data using Esri’s 3D Analyst extension (in ArcGISPro of course!) and then walking around the scenario in a fully immersive environment! Yes most of the visuals need some polish but this kind of setup we could only dream of a couple of years ago.
We have the tools, we have the data it’s just a question of joining it all up. If you need some guidance or help come talk to us at Garsdale Design because we’ve had the time to work on the workflows and datasets.
Just some screenshots of experiments I’m doing with the new Environment Agency LIDAR Opendata. LASTools has been helping me a long the way too! One thing I’ve noticed the press releases about the new point cloud data release all seem to show London… yet I can’t find that London data… Nevermind Liverpool is a better choice for me!
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.
Before I write a main blog post about ArcGISPro I thought a couple of screenshots would be in order. Initial impressions? Nice 2D & 3D integration, I like the ribbon interface (hope I’m not alone), but it can be very very slow and the PC specs seem pretty steep…
I’ve described the ribbon interface as a marmite moment, that is you’ll either love it or hate it. Personally a contextual interface is far better and helps me concentrate on the important production of maps not trying to remember every hardly used tool…
Potentially one stumbling block in all of this, no not the speed or the crashing (which is an issue just not in a beta), well I think more people should have access to the beta. It looks like if you have a Developer or Home ArcGIS online account you won’t as yet be able to use this.