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Developing an Aerial View

Developing an Aerial View: MDP's Integrating Esri’s City Engine, Trimble’s SketchUp and Google Earth

MDP Maryland

on 29 April 2015

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Transcript of Developing an Aerial View

City Engine


City Engine is rule-based 3d Modeling
Learning-as-we-go with ESRI's City Engine (
1 license
Follow ESRI tutorials & seek feedback
Utilize building local Lidar and building footprints (
when available
), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (
NOAA - currently down
), US Geological Society (
USGS - currently down
), and DNR
So far we have modeled downtown Salisbury, the Remington Neighborhood in Baltimore, and Charles County.
However we have modeled each in different capacities and for different purposes...
Charles County, Maryland
Visualizing the Effects of Septic Sprawl
Salisbury, Maryland
Created a 3D representation of downtown Salisbury, along with infill scenarios for 2 existing parking lots

Site design and models of buildings informed by Salisbury's local zoning code, subdivision regulations, and development standards

Used SketchUp to fill-in more realistic, "iconic buildings,' and create potential infill project on gateway northern parking lot targeted for redevelopment
Remington, Baltimore
In Remington - we utilized city-provided building footprint shapefiles along with building type data to create a City Engine rule file that exploited the number of floors (per use)
This may not look like much - but each building is georeferenced and extruded by building type.
Once we add in imagery
from Google Earth and the road
network from Open Street Map,
We can see our City Engine buildings
in context.
Remington, Baltimore

City Engine


City Engine contains
customizable code
which is, relatively,
easy to modify
. It's
. And it can provide low & high levels of detail.
In Charles County, we employed City Engine a bit differently. We used our state-created growth model (
creates a NHC - "New Housing Capacity" index based on Zoning and acreage
) to visualize houses within the County's Agricultural Zone that could potentially be built if the county alters their plan to Rural Residential use.
City Engine:
Assigns and positions Houses Within Parcel Boundaries based on NHC value

Created simplistic, but realistic-appearing, single family homes that are not graphics-intensive. These models are in turn called by the rule file in City Engine

Google Earth:
Google Earth Pro Movie Maker
Charles County, Maryland
Visualizing Redevelopment
While not perfect, City Engine places the SketchUp Models within the parcels so visualization can be achieved
Salisbury, Maryland
Visualizing Redevelopment
Surface Parking lot can become a mixed use tax revenue generating development -- This lot is 3.51 Acres

Zoning regulations utilized to develop realistic visualization of potential development
Using Zoning Regulations, site requirements, the 3.51 acre site can accommodate a mixed use development.

862,082 Square Feet of Floor Space with a FAR of 5.6, 47,888 Square Feet of Open Space (31%), 0 Square Feet of Parking (0%)
Compared to The Centre of Salisbury Mall just north of the Town Center – a total lot size of 63 acres
1,434,474 Sq Feet of Parking (52%), 309,272 Sq Feet of Open Space (11%), 861,000 Square Feet of Floor Space with a FAR of 0.3
The entire proposed development from the Town Center – the 3.51 acres – fits over a portion of just the mall’s building.
We can integrate Google SketchUp Modeling of existing locations to give context to our buildings generated by City-Engine
But what if our 'rough' City Engine buildings aren't detailed enough?
The Town of Salisbury is interested in redeveloping "Lot #10" at the northeastern corner of the town.
Now we are dealing with a 2.96 Acre Lot

Again - the buildings surrounding have been created (
) with City Engine and are rudimentary (
a few iconic buildings were touched up in SketchUp

Let's bring in a potential mixed-use building designed in SketchUp
The SketchUp Models allow much more detail while still integrating with the CityEngine buildings surrounding
And once you have the surrounding buildings created from a City Engine footprint, you can make different SketchUp Models to drop into Google Earth
Downtown Development Opportunities Map | Jakubiak and Associates
from A Plan For Transformation
ESRI City Engine

Trimble SketchUp

Google Earth

Salisbury, Maryland
Visualizing Redevelopment
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