A growing number of Australian councils are currently acquiring 3D city models as an economical and efficient geospatial dataset for application including emergency and disaster management, urban planning, assets management and tourism.

These 3D models can be integrated into interactive GIS environments to provide complete geospatial solutions or used as a powerful visualisation and marketing tool.

Over Adelaide, several products are currently available off-the-shelf, ranging from textured building models (Google Earth, PLW Modelworks, AAMgroup Adelaide 3D models and Adelaide City Council) to fully-textured high-resolution 3D scenes including 3D facades, cars, trees, poles (aero3Dpro).

aero3Dpro Adelaide 3D city

Adelaide 3D City Council

AAMgroup Adelaide 3D city

Brisbane 3D city from PLW modelworks (base on AAMgroup pictometry data)

Tourism and Marketing

Photo-realistic 3D models offer new and powerful marketing alternatives to promote existing or development sites. Councils can also promote in a very unique way tourism, by creating virtual and interactive tours.

Urban planning and development

Photorealistic and geographically accurate models give planners, architects and designers the right 3D information to analyse and visualise how a design fits in its environment. Sun and shade analysis can be applied to simulate the effect of the sun at any given date and time on the new building design itself and it’s impact on the surrounding area.  3D models contain key information to check that neighbour’s privacy and line of sights are respected.

The quality of shadow and line of sight analysis will greatly depend on the quality of the 3D city model and the most accurate results are obtained when trees and other objects are fully modeled.

Assets management

Having access to reliable and up-to-date 3D information integrated into a GIS environment can greatly improve the task of managing councils’ assets. We see the world in 3D and having the possibility to visualise and interact with assets in a 3D environment makes decision-making easier.

Emergency and disaster management

Access to an accurate 3D model will support the decision-making processes. A good 3D model gives access to building ingress/egress information, support intervention planning and improve the communication of complex information when time is critical. 3D models are also a very valuable resource in case of a disaster such as explosion, building collapse, land-slide, earthquake, flood or bushfire. 3D model created after a disaster can be retained as a record for analysis & provides accurate measurements for reports long after the event.

Technology is evolving quickly and new products are emerging  in Australia. Do your homework and make sure that you are getting the right 3D models for your requirements.  Check what is available in the market before investing in a 3D city model. Accuracy, quality, price and coverage should be the parameters to take into account.