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What is Esri CityEngine

14 Apr

What is Esri CityEngine

Esri CityEngine is a stand-alone software product that provides professional users in architecture, urban planning, entertainment, simulation, GIS, and general 3D content production with a unique conceptual design and modeling solution for the efficient creation of 3D cities and buildings.

CityEngine city example.
View conceptual representations of construction, based on common urban planning rules, such as setbacks, offsets, and maximum building heights.
More specifically, it allows users to:
  • Efficiently create 3D cities and buildings based on their existing 2D/3D GIS data
    Steps to creating a 3D city.
    Workflow to create 3D cities from existing 2D/3D GIS data
  • Maintain (modify/update) 3D city data
    Modify a building model.
  • Do conceptual Geodesign in 3D based on GIS data and (urban planning) procedural rules
    City design rules.
  • Save the changes directly to the geodatabase for further analysis
    Analysis of 3D building models in a city.
  • Share 3D City and Campus scenes through ArcGIS Online (browser-based)
    Sharing 3D cities.
    Sharing 3D cities.Sharing 3D cities
The software can be used either in isolation or as part of existing workflows, and it is an essential tool for anyone working with 3D urban environments, both real and imagined.

The ability to easily create 3D urban scenes based on existing GIS data is one of the key strengths of CityEngine. The software allows you to create high-quality 3D content using nothing more than a combination of 2D data, attributes, and procedurally defined rules. This means that any GIS organization will be able to create visually stunning 3D urban environments using the data they already have.
Street centerline
Street centerline, building footprints, multipatch footprints, street furniture, and vegetation data for the City of Philadelphia

CityEngine relies on three key topics: feature geometry, feature attributes, and procedurally defined rules. The more detail provided in each of these elements, the greater the complexity and real-world accuracy that will be included in the generated 3D content.
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A graphical representation of an intersection in CityEngine

Another key strength of CityEngine is the ability to design in 3D. Because the 3D city model is rule driven, iterating through a number of design scenarios is as easy as changing rule parameters.
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Integrated reporting of important building parameters such as Floor Area Ratio (density) lot coverage is available while designing.
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The ability to visualize urban planning and zoning rules in 3D is also important in the design process.

Zoning regulations are text-based descriptions (per city) of allowed building volumes, usage, and density. They are the main tool defining the image of a city and/or growth/development investment money. In most cases, however, they are hard to understand by the public and other stakeholders. CityEngine allows you to specify/visualize/analyze and store/maintain zoning regulations in 3D.
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