Category: 3D GIS

CityEngine Urban Planning Example now available for download


It has been awhile since we released Esri CityEngine 2011 at the EUC in Madrid. In the last month we have been working hard on an ArcGIS – CityEngine urban planning example and we are happy to let you know it is available for download now in the gallery section on the CityEngine resource center.

This example highlights how CityEngine can be used to create and design 3D urban content based on GIS data input such as building footprints and street lines with attributes.

Starting point is a 3D geodatabase with:

  • building footprints with attributes such as ridge height, eave height and roof form
  • street center lines with attributes such as street width
  • vegetation locations with attributes such as vegetation type, rotation and size
  • street furniture locations with attributes such as furniture type, rotation and size

The example comes with a set of rules that allow you:

  • turn your building footprints into 3D textured buildings

  • turn your street center lines into 3D streets.

  • turn your vegetation and streetfurniture points into 3D models

  • Import existing 3D content such as 3D buildings, trees, cars and street furniture

  • do a redesign on any part of the city


You can download this CityEngine: Philadephia example in the gallery section on the CityEngine resource center.

For more information on how to:

  • bring your CityEngine models back into ArcGIS
  • turn your 2D features into 3D

go to the gallery section on the CityEngine resource center and have a look for the CityEngine to ArcGIS and 2Dto3D templates.



Esri R&D Center Zürich




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CityEngine 2011 Release, October 26, 2011


The next planned release of CityEngine will be available on October 26, 2011 and will be announced live this Wednesday at the Esri European User Conference, in Madrid.

CityEngine 2011 will allow ArcGIS users in urban planning, urban design, defense, simulation, and entertainment to use their existing GIS data to create high-quality 3D content.

Gert van Maren

3D / CityEngine Product Manager




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Update to ArcGIS 10 and 10.1 Deprecation Plan

The ArcGIS 10 and 10.1 Deprecation
has had a few updates recently.  Make sure and check the
latest version
for the most up to date information on product and platform
support plans.  There have been updates to the ArcGIS Desktop section
regarding VBA support and some new information on ArcInfo Workstation moving
from “General Availability” support phase to the “Mature
Phase” as of January 1st 2012.

Plus there are a few other updates to the plan for ArcGIS Server so have a
look and let me know if you have any questions.


Note - This is a re-post to fix my spelling errors. Sorry for the confusion – Spell Check only works if I type the right word. Thanks for pointing out my mistake. I just wanted to let everyone know of some updates to the ArcGIS 10 and 10.1 Deprecation Plan.



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2D to 3D


ArcGIS allows you to visualize 2D data ‘in 3D’ in ArcScene and ArcGlobe. However this is done through setting layer properties in the Base Heights tab, leaving the actual feature geometries as 2D.

Sometimes it is necessary to turn the 2D geometries into 3D features using on an elevation model. This is especially true when you want the feature to interact with the surface (e.g. burn building footprints into the terrain) or use them in 3D spatial analysis.

The new 2Dto3D template shows the process of creating 3D features from 2D using an elevation model. The data used in this template is a subset of the buildings available in the Virtual City template.



3D Product Manager


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Update to ArcGIS Explorer Desktop

A new version of ArcGIS Explorer Desktop (build 1750) has just been released. See the ArcGIS Explorer blog for more information.

Check these locations to download the latest version:

ArcGIS Explorer Desktop is a free, downloadable GIS viewer that provides an easy way to explore, visualize, share, and present geographic information. The latest release of ArcGIS Explorer Desktop (build 1750) delivers fixes and improvements to the previous release. See this previous blog post for a list of new features and capabilities introduced with Explorer 1700.  

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New Glare Analysis template available

We have made a new glare template available in our template gallery.

This template describes the process of creating volumetric glare objects using the new Skyline Tools available in ArcGIS 10.

Have a look at this video to see what glare analysis can do for you.


Gert van Maren

3D Product Manager.

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Esri CityEngine showcased at INTERGEO 2011

Esri CityEngine will be shown at the INTERGEO 2011 Conference in Nuremberg, Germany, which will take place September 27-29. The INTERGEO conference is one of the largest exhibitions for geodesy, geo-information, and land management.
Esri CityEngine is used in urban planning, urban design, defense, simulation, and entertainment to create high-quality 3D content with existing GIS data.
Come see us in booth A37, hall 7 for a live demo of Esri CityEngine.

Gert van Maren

3D Product Manager 
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Esri Acquires 3D Software Company Procedural


In case you missed it: we are very exciting to have the team from Procedural join the Esri family. Procedural’s CityEngine is one of the world’s most innovative 3D modeling and design software tools.

Official press release here.

More information on the road ahead, integration into ArcGIS, licensing, support and training will follow in the next couple of weeks.

Have a look at a preview of what CityEngine can do for ArcGIS users.

Exciting times ahead!

Gert van Maren

3D Product Manager


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3D at UC 2011

Not long until the UC 2011. Check out the 3D sessions here:
or come see us at the Mapping and Visualization Island.
See you there!
3D Product Manager 

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New release of ArcGIS Explorer Desktop

There is a new release of ArcGIS Explorer Desktop.  The build 1700 is now available for download and has several new features and improvements. Checkout this blog post on the ArcGIS Explorer blog to learn more about the new release.


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