The CEDRA Corporation offers CityEngine implementation and migration services. CEDRA
staff are able to guide clients in the development of a 3D GIS as well as perform the actual
work, if so desired. In developing a 3D GIS it is important to have some prior experience in
building a 3D GIS because there are certain nuances one needs to be aware of. CEDRA staff
have been through this process many times and can inform their clients of the procedures that
will yield the best results.
The interest in utilizing a 3D GIS has grown considerably in the last few years and as such many people are at the least investigating the effort in developing a 3D GIS. The most popular applications of employing a 3D GIS include: (a) flood modeling, (b) visibility analysis of new developments, (c) line of sight analysis and (d) redevelopment scenarios.
In the case of a redevelopment, CityEngine's powerful parametric modeling of roadways enables planners to create a multitude of scenarios such as the one shown below. Shown in this figure is an example of how a street can be modeled having no median (left most image), a median with trees (center image) or a median with barrier, sidewalks and side street parking (right most image) by simply changing a few parameter settings. Other parameters that can be controlled include Stop Markings, Crosswalk Markings, Lane Width, Bus and HOV Lanes, Bike Lanes, Sidewalk Plantings, Sidewalk Benches, Sidewalk Lights, Parking Meters and much more.
One of CityEngine’s powerful features is its ability to generate realistic 3D Buildings. Pre-defined
CityEngine building rules can be employed or custom-building rules developed and applied. Depending
upon the client’s requirements, CEDRA staff will assist in developing and applying the appropriate
rules to achieve the desired look. In creating the buildings, information such as building height,
number of floors, roof type and so forth can be taken into account to render a realistic building
image. The generation of the buildings is facilitated when this information is stored as attributes
with the building footprints. The more building information stored in the database the more realistic
building that can be generated upon import.
In developing a 3D GIS, a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) or Digital Surface Model (DSM) can be incorporated. Using one of these terrain models a 3D GIS such as that shown in the figure below can be created. Examining the street in the low left corner of the figure, it can be seen how the road has a dip in it. This is because 3D street centerlines were created using a DSM. In so doing, the 3D GIS properly reflects the surface of the terrain. Note that if a client does not have a DEM or DSM, CityEngine provides the ability to download one from within the CityEngine software. Utilizing a DEM or DEM truly provides the ability to create a realistic 3D GIS.
Once a CityEngine model has been developed it is possible to share the model via the Internet
using ArcGIS Online or an internal server for hosting the model. The process of sharing a
CityEngine model on the internet involves: (a) creating a CityEngine Web Scene and (b) uploading
the model to the appropriate server be it ArcGIS Online or an internal server.
A CityEngine Web Scene provides the ability to have predefined bookmarks which can be viewed individually or in a "flythrough" manner. For an example of a CityEngine Web Scene that is hosted on ArcGIS Online click here. The model is approximately 86 MB in size and encompasses two square mile sections for the City of Edmond, Oklahoma. Google Chrome and Firefox browsers display the Web Scene quite nicely. Depending upon the version of Internet Explorer being used, the Web Scene may not display or may not display properly.