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Citizen Science 3D City Modeling



Six billion people will be living in urban areas by 2050. In order to keep our cities more livable, equitable, and resilient, it is essential to better operate, plan, and develop them. GIS, CAD and BIM (Building Information Modeling) have begun to converge toward one seamlessly integrated high-fidelity, large-scale 3D city model. Such 3D city model, embedded with feeds from real time sensors and other online data, will help achieving the above goals.


The Need

The current generation of large-scale “mirror-copies” of actual urban environments - like Google Earth - don’t have the precision and level-of-detail crucial for supporting most of professional and commercial applications. Similarly, high-resolution architectural modeling software is incapable of visualizing and running real-time simulations at the city scale. Moreover, neither of these technologies can convey the genuine sense and look of the cities at street level - where we work, live and play.



To turn high-fidelity outdoor and indoor 3D-city modeling into a technically feasible and commercially viable solution, a new technology is needed. The WWW3D project is based on GeoSim’s technology. Please see to learn more.


Making It a Citizen Science Project

Yet a city-scale 3D modeling project is a prolonged, multi-million dollar effort. Should we be able to execute the 3D modeling process in a more distributed manner, a much more feasible and scalable solution for building high-fidelity, large-scale 3D-city models could be offered worldwide to meet quickly growing demands, ranging from urban research and science and all the way to various professional and commercial applications. This is an open invitation to participate in such an effort, and a call to form an interdisciplinary team that will help creating the first ever citizen-science platform for launching the “Interactive 3D-City Model” projects. We would like to focus on the New York City project as our first experimental effort to prove the feasibility of the suggested concept and platform, expecting more cities to join thereafter. Once started, the NYC modeling effort will be shared by 2,000 people who will commit to collaborate in this largest 3D modeling effort ever undertaken, in order to create a ground breaking “open-source” 3D-urban platform.We already have a core group of scholars interested in this initiative, and we are looking forward to more researchers to join in; commercial organizations are invited to join in as well.


Please write me if you wish to learn more.

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