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Month: October 2017

GISTEC’s 3DGIS Workshop/Seminar session

GISTEC’s 3DGIS Workshop/Seminar session

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.   

A great big thank you to all my trainees!

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.   

A fun interactive format of round table discussions about new workflows and technologies for enabling your 3D GIS

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:

  • Geodesign and Urban Planning – Designing Cities
    Elliot Hartley – Garsdale Design Limited
  • 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
    GISTEC
Great roundtable discussion on Smart Cities and the Internet of Things by Andrew Rippon of NXN

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.

Dileep from Cirqus discussing VR & texturing of GIS buildings

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! 


CityEngine 2017.1 Beta (a sneak peek)

CityEngine 2017.1 Beta (a sneak peek)

Well I’ve been a bit busy as of late working on some exciting 3D projects and attending some really interesting conferences!  One day I’ll get around to writing about them.  🙂 There is so much going on in the 3D GIS space that it can feel a bit too much.  Fortunately that’s where our expertise lies, making sense of it all and helping clients.  

Viewshed from the Motte & Bailey in Sedbergh towards the M6

I’ve made some time though to talk a little bit about the new CityEngine 2017.1 Beta that I’ve just installed. But before I continue this is a sneak peek at a beta release some or all features I talk about maybe removed at the last minute, don’t plan your future projects based on this blog.  What I would say is yet again, if you are thinking of working in 3D and the Esri platform, CityEngine is worth a look, especially for planners.

The team in Zurich seem to be hell bent on adding new features quickly now especially for the Urban Planners among us!  I wanted to show you a very cool new feature/toolset called viewsheds.  This gives you live (see animated GIFS below) views of viewshed domes or corridors in the CityEngine viewport, giving you an indication of what you would see from particular vantage points.  You can change the colour for each area too (colour visible by all, colour visible by one, colour not visible by any) and place multiple viewsheds. 

Well I can think of a number of industries (and former trainees of mine) that would love this particular tool!  Now before you get too excited you can’t export these results yet (its a live dynamic view within the viewport).

If you’re looking for help either training for CityEngine (we’re the first to offer CityEngine training and have been using it longer than Esri even!), or you need help with 3D data capture, contact us directly.

Sedbergh’s 4G mobile telecommunications mast….

There are some usual bug fixes and a few new rule functions I can see coming up (I may write about these later), and there is a facility to import and synchronise feature layers hosted in ArcGIS Online!  This brings some potentially exciting opportunities and workflows but as a new feature I think as usual this should be used with caution, but the direction of travel here is interesting. 

Now one final thought: remember how a previous release of ArcGISPro (1.4) incorporated the ability to edit multipatch geometries using SketchUp-like tools?  Did I mention this really was first seen in CityEngine…?  Now, if I was a betting man (which I’m not) I would look at CityEngine features to see perhaps where new ArcGISPro 3D related tools may come from…. just a thought and I have no insider knowledge here…

oh, this is a lot of fun!

Nice work Esri R&D Zurich, nice work.

 

While you’re here it would be good to know what you think of CityEngine and/or it’s direction into Geodesign and planning.  Add a comment to continue/start the discussion (all comments reviewed/moderated).