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Winter 2012 Edition

Solving Problems in 3D with CityEngine

CityEngine, a stand-alone 3D modeling and design tool, is the software of choice for 3D city modeling in urban planning, architecture, defense, simulation, game development, and film production. It can export generated 3D city models to other software packages: high-resolution simulation packages, data management/analysis packages (like ArcGIS), and web-ready clients.

In July 2011, Esri acquired Procedural, the creator of CityEngine. Esri will integrate CityEngine into ArcGIS, allowing ArcGIS users to create and design 3D urban environments leveraging their existing GIS data, such as parcels and street centerlines. CityEngine will continue evolving as a stand-alone product, and Procedural's offices in Zurich will become a leading-edge R&D center in the field of urban design and 3D content creation.

CityEngine allows GIS users to efficiently create 3D urban environments at a variety of resolutions based on existing GIS data using procedural modeling. With procedural modeling, rules (procedures) are used to generate 3D content. Procedural rules can use attribute data stored in GIS data to drive 3D content from 2D geometries and attributes such as number of floors, building height, floor height, roof type, wall material, and window type.

The newest release of the software, Esri CityEngine 2011, includes support for georeferenced data and an improved user interface. It now includes support for georeferenced data such as Esri's file geodatabase (GDB) and KML. The user interface has been greatly improved for ease of use with drag-and-drop data importing features.

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