3D Rotterdam in the Cloud

3D Rotterdam is a collaboration between Esri, the city of Rotterdam, and mental images® (a subsidiary of NVIDIA®) with the goal to explore smart 3D city solutions based on GIS data, procedural modeling and GPU-based rendering in the cloud.

Project Description

The project introduces a new pipeline for the creation, analysis and visualization of photo realistic 3D cities generated from 2D ArcGIS data with CityEngine and RealityServer®. The latter runs in a GPU-based cloud computing environment, enables the sharing and full remote interaction with complex 3D cities on mobile devices such as netbooks, tablets or even the iPhone.

CityEngine to RealityServer Pipeline

In CityEngine, the scene can easily be exported to RealityServer® (via the mental ray® scene description format .mi). For Rotterdam, the different scene elements have been exported per layer. This allows easy changes to the visibility of the corresponding groups of objects in RealityServer®.

Credits and Copyright:

Core data provided by City of Rotterdam (Copyright ©2011 City of Rotterdam)
3D models of existing buildings in inner circle of city provided by Tele Atlas® (Tele Atlas® Advanced City Models LOD4)
3D model aggregated, enhanced and extended by Esri.
RealityServer® renderings courtesy of mental images®



The illustration below shows the data flow through the pipeline. 2D GIS data can be imported and processed in CityEngine and exported as 3D data to either ArcScene for further analysis with ArcGIS 3D Analyst in ArcScene, or RealityServer®. With RealityServer®, the generated city models can be directly uploaded and accessed in a browser for visualization and interaction.