Succeed with 3D: An Emboldened Vision of Downtown Miami

CyberCity 3D, Inc.
Mar 16, 2015 · 3 min read

When the Miami Downtown Development Authority first contacted CyberCity 3D about a 3D model of the city, it didn't take long to realize what an impactful project it could be for everyone involved. As an independent public agency of the city of Miami, the Miami DDA strives to strengthen and promote the economic health and vitality of the city’s downtown. In early 2014, the DDA started a “pilot” 3D model of the downtown district- the same area that Miami-Dade County received with one of our popular Data Exchange Agreements. Thanks to an Esri Enterprise License Agreement, the DDA was able to import the models into its Esri CityEngine software, and share the completed 3D web scene with the community’s stakeholders. The initial project spurred interest in a larger, more robust 3D model.

Pilot model of downtown Miami, FL (image from Garsdale Design)

Despite its early success with 3D, Miami DDA faced a challenging road ahead. To transition from building a basic web scene to creating a larger, analytical model required further technical support with CityEngine. After weighing its options, the staff ultimately decided to partner with CyberCity 3D to both host and participate in the first CityEngine Pathfinder Workshop. Garsdale Design’s Elliot Hartley and Matthias Buehler, two of the leading CityEngine users in the world, empowered participants with a deeper knowledge of the inner-workings of this Esri software product.

The Pathfinder training event, hosted by Miami DDA and CyberCity 3D, Inc.

With this additional expertise, Miami DDA set out to further develop its 3D grasp on the city. They then expanded their Downtown Miami study area to 6 km with models stretching along the waterfront. From there, the DDA began incorporating other data sources into the project, including imagery, roadways, and proposed building models. This CityEngine project grew from a basic visualization of downtown Miami into a rich, data-packed 3D scene. The final product both accurately represents the current state of the city, and looks ahead to future development. As Nicholas Martinez of the DDA explains, “Using realistic buildings from CyberCity 3D, we were able to create a true showcase of the future envisioned for the development of Downtown Miami.” After just a few months of training and implementation, the DDA has created something truly innovative: an invaluable tool that exemplifies everything that CyberCity 3D and CityEngine can deliver for cities across the US.

Downtown Miami Skyline Story (image from Miami DDA)

Miami DDA presented its final scene, the Downtown Miami Skyline Story, to hundreds of Miami professionals at the State of Downtown event this past week. The unveiling generated an overwhelmingly positive response, with many city officials optimistic about expanding these 3D efforts across Miami Dade County. From this pilot model, to Pathfinder training, to final presentation, the Miami DDA has enjoyed massive progress in its 3D achievements. These outstanding results can serve as an incentive to cities contemplating the incorporation of 3D into their urban planning and community development efforts. The moral of this story is that innovation, perseverance and strategic partnering can achieve great success in 3D. We congratulate the Miami DDA, Garsdale Design and the Esri CityEngine team on a job well done.

Miami DDA presents their final web scene at the State of Downtown (Feb. 27, 2015)

Austin Logie & Rae DeVito (CyberCity 3D, Inc.)
Nicholas Martinez & Michael Walton (Miami DDA)
Matthias Buehler & Elliot Hartley (Garsdale Design Limited)
Ali Fein & Geoff Taylor (Esri CityEngine)

    Written by

    CyberCity 3D is a state-of-the-art 3D geospatial modeling company specializing in smart 3D buildings. Let's build your city!

    Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
    Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
    Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade