Seattle 3D Model: A Prototype for Sustainable Urban Development
Integrating Seattle’s urban center into a cohesive 3D model began about six years ago when the local office of venerable infrastructure design and engineering firm Parsons Brinkerhoff had several major projects on tap ranging from mixed-used condo development to retrofitting the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall. Representing clients both public and private, these various projects each presented their own particular challenges and objectives. From this variety, however, a pattern started to emerge.
From the constituent client modeling projects a fully integrated and adaptable 3-D city model of downtown Seattle began to develop. Using a combination of datasets including GIS, laser data and even photography of exterior structures, models of the core downtown Seattle area can be adapted – or “aggregated” – for specific purposes. Like the city it represents, the model is an ongoing work in progress, that now expands from the urban core out to the University of Washington campus and into the city of Bellevue.
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