Tuesday, July 15, 2008

District of Columbia Releases Comprehensive Collection of 3D Buildings

The District of Columbia's Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) today announced the release of one of the largest collections of three-dimensional (3D) building maps posted on Google Earth to date.

The 3D building data, developed by OCTO's Geographic Information Systems (GIS) program, covers the whole District of Columbia. The data represents a total of more than 84,000 3D buildings. In addition, the data includes corresponding two-dimensional footprints that provide height information for each individual building.

The data includes rooftop details that differentiate each building from those around it. The District is known primarily as a horizontal city because of its strictly enforced height limit, but it is also a city of spires, penthouses and domes. Now all of these dramatic roof details are visible in 3D.

For several years the District has published 3D images of the city’s downtown and major commercial centers, but the new release expands to encompass the entire 69 square miles of the District. Economic development was a primary driver behind the expansion. The District chose to model the whole city to fulfill Mayor Fenty’s commitment to bring planning and development to every ward and neighborhood, not just downtown. For the first time, developers, architects, and planners will have all the data necessary to assess possible new structures throughout the city. Additionally, the public will have unprecedented access to this data, and can now be more effectively engaged in development and planning.

To ensure that the District's new 3D building data is as widely available and easily accessible as possible, the data will be hosted on Google EarthTM , the free mapping program available via download from Google.

In addition to the new 3D data released via Google Earth, the District has for years provided a wealth of geospatial data to the public via the Internet. Among the 200 geospatial data sets available on the District’s GIS site are wards, trails, parks, museums, building permits, fire hydrants and zoning maps, as well as service- or incident-based maps like abandoned vehicles and crime locations. Visit dcgis.dc.gov to see the District’s entire geospatial repository of maps and databases.

“Our new 3D maps are just one part of the rich technology resources that the District offers to the general public,” said District Chief Technology Officer Vivek Kundra. “From GIS data to brand-new PCs in every classroom to our web portal with about 200 online services, we’re leveraging technology to bring the best and most convenient services to residents, businesses, and visitors of the District of Columbia.”

To learn more about DC government technology initiatives and resources, visit octo.dc.gov or google-latlong.blogspot.com/2008/07/cities-in-3d-program-in-action.html.

Google Earth is a registered trademark of Google Inc.