Antje Kunze, CEOUrban planning is a complex process that involves management, analysis, budgeting, and disbursements of resources, finances, and infrastructure. The advent of GIS tools and solutions, mostly in 2D or 2.5D modeling, has immensely simplified many convoluted town-planning processes. However, CIOs of many city planning departments and engineering firms are flustered with challenges like resource depletion, rapid growth, and climate change in cities. “Today, the role of 3D modeling extends beyond virtual city maps and is foundational in the creation of lifecycle models and Smart City solutions that transform cities into more ‘livable’ places,” opens Antje Kunze, CEO of SmarterBetterCities. “CIOs need highly scalable and integrative 3D solutions to have an easy access to knowledge across all planning domains to make the right decisions. SmarterBetterCities exist in the GIS market to empower companies with visualization and decision making solutions to ‘breathe life’ into their ideas.” Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, SmarterBetterCities is a firm that aims to bring the concept of smart cities with 3D urban scale to every small town or city across the world.
The company’s innovative product offerings include CloudCities, 3D Cities Libraries and Smart 3D that not only help share projects in 3D on the web, but also elucidate the method in which these projects are planned, designed, and marketed. CloudCities is a user-friendly, 3D content sharing website used for visualizing and discussing urban models. This solution is fully integrated with Esri ArcGIS Online software where the users can easily upload and save the 3D content and link it to their social media accounts or websites. The core capacity of CloudCities lies in the triangle of 3D representation, Smart Layers and dashboards that ensure clear and intuitive 3D navigation and visualizations from various data sources.
3D Cities Libraries enable the automatic creation of large-scale, highdetail parametric 3D City models that may generally take weeks in a matter of few seconds. This solution uses fully parametric CGA grammars and can be plugged to both Esri CityEngine and ArcGIS PRO software to generate different geotypical buildings. In addition this, 3D Cities Libraries benefits the users by helping them design fully semantic models of the buildings and simultaneously, analyze reports and make necessary cost calculations.
The core capacity of CloudCities lies in the triangle of 3D representation, Smart Layers, and dashboards that ensure clear and intuitive 3D navigation and visualizations
SmartZoning, one of SmarterBetterCities’s 3D analytics tools comes in handy in zoning plans and visualizing and assessing legal information that is scattered across arbitrary documents. It is a first of its kind approach to compute 3D zoning code representations. The solution consists of a novel workflow and a set of multistep algorithms that translate legal information into interactive 3D diagrams of whole cities.
“Although 3D technology has not completely permeated into the GIS space, we believe our company is currently at an exciting time in the history. As a software company, we are continuously advancing our products to be at the forefront of innovation,” adds Kunze. “Our solutions and capability to efficiently convert 2D datasets into parametric 3D models are true differentiating factors.”
SmarterBetterCities has had various cases of capacitating its customers with right set of tools to achieve business goals and address challenges that are prevalent in urban planning processes. The company implemented a custom SmartZoning App based on the zoning regulations for the City of Zurich. The app helped customer review the effects of current and future zoning laws in a 3D environment and detect the demand and requirements for urban systems.
Going forward, SmarterBetterCities plans to release CloudCities as a public 3D content sharing website and carry out business operations in its newly-established subsidiary in Redlands, CA.