September 10th, 2007 | Published in Google SketchUp
A few months ago while I was in San Diego for the ESRI International User Conference, I had the chance to sit down and talk with some very passionate GIS folks from the Laboratory for Geographic Information Science at West Virginia University. For the past few months, this team has been working on a project to re-create the city of Morgantown in a 3D GIS—not as it is today, but as it was at the turn of the 20th century. They've used both SketchUp and ArcGIS, and have just finished modeling the city and pushing it into ArcScene (which is part of ArcGIS 3D Analyst). Project manager Susan Bergeron had this to say:
"...it was a lot of fun to do, and everybody is so proud of the results, even though we keep tweaking the scene and the models when we find something we could do a little bit better. The best moment was when we previewed the finished product for everybody in the research lab, and flew through the scene with the theme from Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood playing in the background."
Data attribution is the next phase of the project, which will involve embedding information about the model into ArcScene. I'm psyched to see how this project progresses. For information on how the team did it, including the workflow, a picture gallery, and other information, visit their project web site. And be sure to check out the growing Virtual Morgantown collection of models in the 3D Warehouse.