Corpus Christi, Texas Steps into 3D GeoDesign and Emerges a Winner
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Corpus Christi, Texas Steps into 3D GeoDesign and Emerges a Winner

By Rae DeVito

September 13. 2012 -- El Segundo, CA- When the Corpus Christi Downtown Management District (DMD) decided to use 3D visualization to help promote and plan its revitalization program, it probably did not know that it would turn into a case study for one of the most significant movements in city planning today, GeoDesign.

The Corpus Christi Association of Realtors® obtained a $5,000 National Association of Realtor’s Smart Growth Action Grant for the DMD, a quasi-governmental professional organization focused on downtown development and expansion.  The DMD then commissioned El Segundo, CA-based CyberCity 3D™ to build a 3D visualization model with the funds to showcase improvements to an initial, two-square block area of Chapparal Street.

“We were seeking a parallel path,” shares Tray Bates, Former Corpus Christi Association of Realtors Chairman and DMD Vice Chair.  “This is a great way to partner in the community to show realtors working with the DMD to promote growth.”


Above: Downtown Chapparal Street with improvements in Esri® CityEngine®

Next came the completion of a 1.5 square mile area encompassing downtown Corpus Christi.  CyberCity 3D’s GIS modeling software generated the 3D buildings from off-the-shelf stereo images provided by Keystone Aerial Surveys, Inc.

"We are looking at this project as the cornerstone to really kick off the revitalization efforts downtown," said John Vidaurri, Executive Director of Corpus Christi Downtown Management District.  “We’re very interested in 3D texturing and looking at it as giving folks a good abstract look at the downtown area and to market the facilities and buildings that are available.”

The DMD introduced the 3D model to the City of Corpus Christi, which liked what it saw. “When we looked at the data the first words that came to mind was game-changer,” stated Corpus Christi City Planner Andrew Dimas.

“This successful program is a great example of how governmental agencies and the private sector can work together to reach a mutually beneficial goal that enhances business while beautifying the area for local citizens,” notes CyberCity 3D CEO Kevin DeVito.

The 3D model illustrated the ability to use 3D GIS to better communicate planned street design changes to stakeholders and the community at large.  The completed model totals 12,500 individually modeled structures including all roof details; each roof polygon features a broad range of automated measurements such as line-of-site and building footprint locations--all with six-inch accuracy

Above: 3D Corpus Christi Buildings with Solar Roof Values in ArcGIS®

CyberCiy 3D incorporated the 3D GIS buildings into Esri’s ArcGIS® and its new Esri® CityEngine® extension to construct a comprehensive 3D framework for analysis, planning, and promotion. CyberCIty 3D delivered a 3D visualization fly-over, a new building footprints map, sustainability data, and first-responder and disaster planning information for flood plain analysis.

Above: 3D Corpus Christi with FEMA Flood Data Layer in ArcGIS

“Esri® CityEngine® transforms 2D GIS data into smart 3D city models,” stated Dominik Tarolli, Director Business Development for 3D Markets at Esri. “CyberCity 3D has streamlined the workflow process with CityEngine. This enables local governments around the globe to better communicate, collaborate, and engage the public in the decision-making process with smart 3D city models. Corpus Christi is a first-mover in this exciting new effort.”

The 3D pilot project in Corpus Christi is growing, and has all the signs of burgeoning into a city-wide sustainability program as stakeholders see how this pioneering deployment of 3D GIS and GeoDesign have the ability to enhance key city functions.

“Other departments will definitely want to get on board.  There are so many applications:  visual aids, utility master planning, FEMA information, green data, rooftops for solar and runoff statistics.  It’s really a new frontier.  Once you go 3D, you can’t go back,” Dimas reveals

The City of Corpus Christi, Texas

Corpus Christi, located along a flood plain, was founded in 1839, and has grown into the eighth largest city in Texas with a population topping 300,000 while housing the fifth largest U.S. port.

Above: Street Design concepts in CityEngine with CyberCity 3D buildings

The Main Project

A two million dollar bond referendum passed in 2008 paves the way to a larger revitalization effort that will eventually connect the downtown area to the civic center by converting all of Chapparal Street into a two-way venue.  That will improve traffic flow and access while vastly improving downtown aesthetics with pavers along widened sidewalks, bollards along street intersections, new pavement, enhanced lighting, irrigation, and new vegetation.

Esri® CityEngine®

Esri CityEngine is a stand-alone software product that transforms 2D GIS data into smart 3D city models. It is the tool of choice for huge 3D city models in GIS, urban planning and entertainment production. CityEngine is integrated with ArcGIS and shares 3D city scenes in the browser.

CyberCity 3D, Inc.™

CyberCity 3D is a dynamic, state-of-the-art, 3D modeling company specializing in emerging GIS and visualization solutions. Based in southern California, the Company’s range of cutting-edge products and services include high resolution 3D buildings, solar roof measurements, enhanced 3D building footprints, 3D models for all Esri applications, 2D/3D mobile maps, 3D building measurement information, automatic photo-texturing processes, and an off-the-shelf city model library.  CyberCity 3D is an Esri Partner and one of Google Earth and Maps™ largest 3D building content providers.

Press Information

Contact: Rae DeVito, CyberCity 3D 

Tel.: 425-634-1197

E-mail: Email Contact

Contact: Jessica Collins, Esri 

Tel.: 909-793-2853, extension 1-4896

E-mail: Email Contact