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The following exhibition space is a proof of concept, looking at the ability to share and display city datasets and simulations within an interactive game engine. Available for download on both the PC and Mac (intel) platforms the space is the result of a few days work with the Unity Engine, it is intended to be viewed in the spirit of development rather than a completed product.

The room includes our first ‘crowd and delegate’ models direct from 3D Max, created as basic wander and avoid simulations they provide the building blocks of emergent behaviour within the cityscape.

City wide data sets can to be honest be very ‘dry’, the whole point of digital urban is to look at new ways to outreach, visualise and ultimately communicate urban data. The ability to include 3D models via ESRI ArcScene is a notable step forward, pictured below is the retail and office space in London measured on a 500m grid. We note some polygon issues here but these are known and we think we have a way to fix them – its to do with the way ArcScene exports, the model forms the centre of the exhibition space:

The room features various architectural models, including the Swiss Re building and the GLA in London, it also features a number of our latest output movies, the London LiDAR and Second Life Agents are of particular note.

The model is, as we mentioned, proof of concept, the next step is the addition of themed rooms and a more organised structure. We think the concept of virtual exhibition spaces is a strong one, so as ever any comments are most welcome, if you would also like to know how any of it was done just ask, as is the spirit of digital urban.

Download the model for Windows XP/Visa (221 Mb zip file)

Unzip the file, open the folders and run the Exhibition1.exe file.

Download the model for Mac (Intel) (222 Mb zip file)

Extract and simply run the .dmg file.

We recommend running the application in ‘Window’ mode at 1024 x 768: use the mouse to look around, W/S move forwards/backwards, Space to jump, click and drag the digital urban cube to throw it around…


  • Matt Cooper says:

    Excellent, thanks.

    The cursor is very sensitive on a mac, is this something you can control? I’m sure you’re aware of the motion sickness you can enduce with a twitchy full screen walk thru.

    I haven’t actually go into the software yet but would like to know if this is something you can control.

    I guess i could turn down the movement of my mouse in the system preferences…

    thanks again

  • Anonymous says:

    wow, i really like it. i am no wmaing my dyploma in urban planning, is it possible to do it on my own?

  • Smithee says:

    We will upload a new version with the sensitivity tweaked a bit in the next version (it can be changed in the software) – ive found its slightly jumpy due to a drop in frame rate which is linked to the three movies running.

    In a new build with more that one rooms i’ll be able to spread out the load and that should fix things.

    With regards making your own – download the 30 day trail of 3D Max and the 30 Day trial of Unity and your away 🙂

  • holgster says:

    really nice concept!
    some small bugs (can’t get back in if you jump out the window, but hey, you shouldn’t do that in the first place!)
    Really would like to see some tutorials/experiences about this. For example how well are sketchup models supported, do all textures come in right, how about shadows.
    Did you guys also look at esperient creator, a similar program?
    Love to read this blog with all new 3d-virtual experiments in it, thanks!

  • Smithee says:

    lol i wondered if anyone would jump out of the window – your right you cant get back in 🙂

    We havent got any sketchup models in at the moment but textures etc are all seem to simply work.

    Next week we will be rebuilding the room into a gallery space so I’ll put some posts up on the development path, I’ll also look into SketchUp….

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, here’s another platform and approach towards visualized cities and related data: Contry wide 340.000km2 3D model is “derived” out of several 2D databases (vector and numeric data.)

    BR, Tomas Westerhom

  • Anonymous says:

    SketchUp models are supported brilliantly. Use the FBX export format.

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