The 3D Analyst at 10.1 solidifies the 3D GIS story delivered with 10. Continuing to expand a fully functional and easy-to-use solution for visualizing, managing, analyzing, and sharing your GIS information in 3D.
The 10.1 release specifically targets users of:
- Virtual Cities (Urban Planners, Emergency response, Public safety)
- Virtual Campuses (Facilities Managers, Defense, Universities, Hospitals)
- Surfaces (Civil engineers, Defense, Forestry, Government)
by expanding and improving:
- the online integration of 3D
- support for authoring and maintaining 3D City and Campus-level data
- support for point clouds, with focus on airborne lidar (LAS) data
Online integration of 3D
The ability to consume and share 3D content and analysis results is an essential part of the growing 3D Analyst story in ArcGIS. To enhance the user experience in this regard, 10.1 offers:
A new 3D GIS Resource Center
At 10.1, a new 3D GIS Resource Center was launched to host guide videos and templates. These are aimed to show you how to leverage your potential with 3D analysis, as well as enable you to get comfortable with common work-flows using your own data in the recommended setup.
New and easier options to find, consume, and publish city data online
ArcGlobe has applied several new improvements to how you consume and share 3D GIS data:
- Add basemaps and online services directly to the 3D view.
- Easily publish globe services. A new set of analyzers are automatically applied to flag any potential issues before deploying the document as a globe service.
- Access to additional globe services available through ArcGIS online, such as country and state boundary lines and labels.
Improved support for 3D city and campus-level data
It is now easier to maintain, analyze, and share urban landscape data at both the city and building level. ArcGlobe and ArcScene have significantly enhanced the support for both virtual city data (3D city models) and virtual campus data (3D campus models) to improve performance, usability, editing, and analysis.
Visualization improvements for city and campus-level data in 3D include:
- Navigate through extremely large building datasets in ArcGlobe and ArcScene.
ArcGlobe now automatically adjusts the default layer display settings for visualizing buildings. You can now easily add and navigate over 1 million untextured buildings with better performance and usability. ArcScene has also improved its ability to handle large datasets.
- Display a grid and graticule in ArcGlobe
You now have the ability to turn on a reference grid (Military Grid Reference System) or graticule (Lat/Long lines) display to help you locate areas of interest and navigate on the globe.
- Downloadable virtual city templates
Browse the Template Gallery on the 3D GIS Resource Center for templates that enable you to conduct common workflows by taking out the guess work for how to best set up your document. Examples include volumetric shadow analysis or constructing a textured 3D overpass feature in a virtual city.
- Release of BISDM 3.0
Building Interior Space Data Model (BISDM) version 3.0 is now available and includes support for 3D networks (interior network routing) and a structure for storing building assets.
- New Directional Arrow navigation graphic for ArcScene
Intuitive editing of city and campus-level data
The editing experience inside ArcScene and ArcGlobe has been improved so that many common tasks are easier to use with better visual feedback.
- Move feedback
Improved overall visual feedback to help you better understand where you are moving your selected features to.
- 3D anchor points
3D anchor points are now enabled to work with snapping, rotating, and scaling of features.
- Snap to displayed geometry
The snap environment in a 3D edit session will now correctly honor layer settings, such as base heights and extrusion properties.
- Copy Parallel in Z
3D lines will correctly inherit their z-values when constructed using the Copy Parallel tool. This is useful for 3D interior transportation networks and creating flat road sections over terrains.
- Cut Polygon tool feedback
Improved feedback when being used inside the 3D view. The newly created feature will retain the z-values inherited from the source polygon. This is useful for interior spaces and network designs.
- Split Line tool feedback
Improved feedback when being used inside the 3D view. The newly created feature will retain the z-values inherited from the source line. This is useful for utilities, for example, if you need to split electric cable lines.
- Current Z control when editing
The Current Z control is new functionality for 3D editing in ArcScene. It is adapted from the same experience in ArcMap, except you will see a semitransparent plane defined in the view at a height you specify. This is especially useful for digitizing new features, such as rooms and floors for building interiors.
- Feedback for maintaining lines and editing vertices in 3D
The overall 3D editing experience for maintaining lines and polygons in 3D is easier, especially in ArcScene, with the ability to move individual vertices highlighted in the view. You can also constrain the movement to just the z-direction and drag one or more vertices interactively to their new height.
Increased support for lidar
Lidar (LIght Detection and Ranging) is increasingly becoming one of the main methods for collecting information about the world around us. ArcGIS 10.1 recognizes the need to meet the growing demand to better manage, visualize, and analyze these huge collections known as point cloud data.
A new data type—LAS dataset
At 10.1, ArcGIS reads LAS files natively, thereby providing immediate access to lidar data without the need for data conversion or import. The LAS dataset has been developed to handle airborne lidar data stored and managed in LAS files. A LAS dataset stores reference to one or more LAS files on disk, as well as to additional surface features.
LAS attributes can be used to filter out content and symbolize the points in 2D and 3D. Also, as lidar data often comes as a group of files, ArcGIS provides the ability to define logical sets of LAS files for working in localized projects.
At 10.1, you can:
- Quickly view lidar data in 2D (ArcMap) and in 3D (ArcScene)
- Manage huge volumes of lidar-holding data
- Display LAS datasets as points or with TIN surface renderers
- Perform quality assurance checks on LAS files
- Update lidar class codes
- Analyze the lidar as a surface
- Improve the quality of the lidar surface (such as for hydro-enforcement) with constraint features
- Use LAS point clouds as a backdrop for digitizing 3D features
- Take height and distance measurements from LAS point clouds
- Utilize a new and interactive LAS dataset toolbar
With a Standard ArcGIS license you can create a LAS dataset, view it in 2D, include it in a mosaic dataset, and convert it to a raster DEM/DSM. You’ll need a 3D Analyst license, however, to view a LAS dataset in 3D, edit LAS class codes, or analyze the LAS dataset with surface analysis tools.
In the next post, we’ll discuss the new and improved 3D Analyst geoporcessing tools at 10.1
Gert van Maren
Product Manager 3D