I’ve recently been able to get my hands on some beautiful real urban 3D data from the guys at CyberCity3D. These guys can take stereo imagery of any area and work some magic and give you back a 3D model for pretty much any 3D modeller package you need. They’re really keen on CityEngine at the moment and their data works really well with your rule files, so you know why I’m looking at this stuff!
The real skill is merging all this real 3D models, with GIS data and procedural buildings and models generated in CityEngine. This is where you start to realise how amazing CityEngine is purely in terms of the 2D and 3D data formats it handles. Within in 10 minutes I went from raw 3D data and some rule files to something I don’t mind putting onto a webscene.
With all this power comes great responsibility I heard once, well just because I have all this data and the ability to combine it, it doesn’t mean I should combine it all, does it? Obviously we now have to start thinking about 3D cartography (I’m looking at you @PetersonGIS and @kennethfield!) what is the appropriate level of detail for your project, do pastels work in 3D? Was I right? Perhaps less is more?