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Shadow on the wall ...
ArcGIS 10 is a complete system for 3D GIS. Gert van Maren and Nathan Shephard of ESRI took the UC plenary stage to show how 3D GIS is used to analyze virtual city models and consider the impact of a proposed redevelopment project.
Using data from the City of Rotterdam in the Netherlands and TeleAtlas, they created a virtual city model. Using the ArcGIS Explorer tool, Gert performed a fly over of the city to give the audience a sense of the city while he zoomed in to areas of interest. Next he focused on the peninsula, where architects have proposed 5 new high rises. The public has raised concerns about the visibility and impact of these buildings, specifically their shadows.
Using the 3D editing environment to answer the visibility concern problem, Nathan ran a line of site analysis using ArcGIS 10 Desktop and determined the visibility from the road point of view, which is visualized in GIS. Significant visibility is calculated for each building against every 5 meters of the major roads. The results were displayed on the map.
To answer the question about how the shadow will impact neighboring buildings, Nathan used a python script model for calculating sun positions with an attribute for every hour of the day based on sunlight at the winter solstice. The results were shown on a map, and the 3D representation revealed when and where building shadows would impact their neighbors.
The analysis was loaded to the cloud so that people can view and interact with it from any Web-enabled device.
Using an app on a mobile device such as an iPad, a person can click on the buildings and retrieve attribute information from ArcGIS Server such as height, building name, and before and after visibility and shadow scenarios.
A 3D shadow analysis showed the shadow cast of existing buildings in grey, and of proposed buildings in red.
Read more: http://blogs.esri.com/Info/blogs/ucinsider/archive/2010/07/12/Analyzing-City-Scapes-Using-3D-GIS-Shows-Impact-of-Proposed-Buildings.aspx