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Archive for the ‘21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11)’ Category

SmartBetterCities Released New Version of CloudCities Virtual Reality Tool

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

In its first version, SmartBetterCities’ released CloudCities virtual reality tool, that can be imported from CityEngine, SketchUp and GoogleEarth. CloudCities is an online platform for hosting, sharing and visualizing smart 3D city models. The models are based on OpenStreetMap, are lightweight and used mostly by mobile users, with an easy drag-and-drop workflow. It was used in a development review at Harvard University urban campus in Kindle Square, where building sensors and monitoring were integrated into visualization.
Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 8.22.03 PM
 CloudCities’ newest release includes a massive 3D format support plus the marriage of BIM and GIS data in its 3D Mash-Up feature, plus support for numerous well-known GIS and BIM formats. CEO and co-founder Antje Kunze talked to GISCafe Voice about this exciting new release.

Revit model placed on 3D Map from Jan at SmarterBetterCities on CloudCities.

GISCafe Voice: Will the objects have relationships with each other in the new release?

Are you referring to our scene object? We refer to objects as the smallest pieces inside a CloudCities web scene. They can be selected edited, equipped with attributes, searched for, presented in dashboards, organized on layers and streamed. However, objects are not cross-referenced and have no parametric behavior. That might come in one of the next two releases.

GISCafe Voice: What makes it possible to combine BIM and GIS?

BIM and GIS exchange workflows are quite time-consuming. Therefore we included a massive 3D format support to CloudCites to make things much easier. But the real enabler for marrying BIM with GIS data is CloudCities’s 3D Mash-Up feature. It is like a 10-minute recipe. Users can now combine multiple files from BIM and GIS inside a single web scene. Or they upload 3D files as asset models. Assets can be then added to a CloudCities web scene by using drag and drop. If your data comes with attributes, you can immediately set up 3D search and dashboards. And you can use CloudCities to add geolocation or attributes – if you do not have any in your 3D. Beautiful and straightforward.
We currently support Esri 3D web scene (.3ws), Collada (.dae), Autodesk FBX, Google Earth (3D .kmz), Trimble SketchUp (.skp) and Wavefront Object (.obj). The next CloudCities releases will add support for IFC, REST service communication and more.

GISCafe Voice: Can you give me a sample workflow, of how this would work for someone building or making a city model?

Just imagine that you are an architect. Typically, you would iterate your design a couple of times, but clients would like to see the urban context. You received a 3D city model in a GIS format. Now you can combine your design data from your 3D CAD or BIM application with that model. Just by sharing everything online and mobile. There are more examples: civil engineers that want to have their subsurface piping from Autodesk Infraworks shown inside a city. Urban planners can use CloudCities to visualize zoning from Esri CityEngine or ArcGIS Pro and to let architects evaluate their designs. Facility managers can now combine their asset solution with GIS and BIM data. Before it was one or the other. Or even if you just like to update a 3D map for enterprise or university campus: You have your existing 3D base map in CloudCities. Now that a new building is added you can simply bring it in 3D into your online map and place it using the CloudCities editor. Or you are an engineer that needs to monitor and communicate construction progress. You take a 3D city model for context; you bring in your 3D construction plans and overlay with your latest drone flight 3D capture.

GISCafe Voice: Do you feel this will have equal value for both BIM and GIS users?

Yes, of course. BIM and GIS users always have looked at the other side of the fence. People had been longing for these new abilities for a long time.


FedGIS 2016 Summit: Earth Science as it is Today

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

At Esri Federal GIS two weeks ago, there were a number of three-hour presentations called “Summits” that focused on particular areas of expertise and featured many federal agency experts.

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COP21 of the U.N. Framework Convention Form Agreement on Climate Change Action

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

In December 2015, an historic agreement was reached among 195 nations in Paris at the the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) to combat climate change and work towards a low carbon, resilient future, calling to keep global average temperature increase well below 2 degrees C, and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.6 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Ed Mazria presenting the China Accord at the UNFCCC COP21 Buildings Day

Ed Mazria presenting the China Accord at the UNFCCC COP21 Buildings Day

According the CEO and founder of Architecture 2030, Edward Mazria, who attended the conference, “it was incredible. For the first time governments came together to agree on a long term goal committed to keep global average temperature increase ‘well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C.’ What that means is we have to essentially end the fossil fuel era. We have to phase out all fossil fuel CO2 emissions by about 2050 and total emission by 2060-2080. We need to phase out CO2 emissions from power and industrial sectors by about 2050. There’s some leeway on each side of that depending upon the science and then during our total agreements emissions 2080.”
The agreement also aims to strengthen the ability to deal with the impacts of climate change, such as shorelines, melting polar ice, and health hazards, to name a few.

“The Paris Agreement allows each delegation and group of countries to go back home with their heads held high,” said Laurent Fabius, president of COP21 UN Climate Change Conference and French Foreign Minister.

French President Francois Hollande told the assembled delegates: “You’ve done it, reached an ambitious agreement, a binding agreement, a universal agreement. Never will I be able to express more gratitude to a conference. You can be proud to stand before your children and grandchildren.”
According to a conference press release, the agreement commits all countries to “aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible . . . and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter.” It includes 188 national government submissions – Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) – containing the actions each country intends to take to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Mazria says that these initial INDCs submit to the UNFCC, what they are going to do to lower their emissions and reduce GHG. Given their particular circumstances. In the agreement, they have all agreed to a review every five years and to increase their targets and the reduction targets. The current U.S. INDC pledge is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025.
“Right now if you add up all the INDCs it doesn’t limit the global temperatures by 2 degrees. The idea was to start out with the first INDCs commitment pledge and then to review those pledges every five years and increase the reductions,” says Mazria. “It’s now verified reductions and its all made public. There will be a lot of pressure on the countries to not only meet their commitments but increase their obligations in time.”

The most important thing this agreement does is 1) it lays out publicly what each country is going to do and 2) it sends a message to the markets that this is where the world is headed, Mazria points out. This will shape how building and developing take place and also what kind of power will be used if all emissions must be phased out by the middle of the second half of the century, CO2 emissions by about 2050.

 Chen Zhen, Secretary General of CEDAAB (left) and Leon Qiu, Vice Secretary General of CEDAAB and Principal at DLR Group

Chen Zhen, Secretary General of CEDAAB (left) and Leon Qiu, Vice Secretary General of CEDAAB and Principal at DLR Group

Both developed and developing nations signed on. China has huge problems with pollution and a huge energy demand as a result of their fast infrastructure growth.


GISCafe’s 2016 Trends Report

Friday, January 8th, 2016

Top trends that we can expect to see dominating the geospatial landscape in 2016 are trends driven in large part by world events and climate change. Technologies play a large part in how well we will be able to manage climate change and attendant disasters, world events that include terrorism, and disease.

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Contribute Ideas to our Trends/Predictions Article for 2016!

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Hello Readers!

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GISCafe Editorial Calendar 2016*

Thursday, December 10th, 2015


Editorial Calendar 2016*

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Hexagon and Huawei Partner to Create Smarter Cities

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Hexagon and Huawei are partnering to meet the challenges of the global city dwelling population, with all its safety and infrastructure needs. Since most people live in cities, Hexagon and Huawei see an opportunity to integrate Huawei’s communications hardware with Hexagon’s safety and infrastructure software solutions.

Overall architecture of Smart City Joint Solution

Overall architecture of Smart City Joint Solution


21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11) to Convene in Paris Monday

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

France will chair and host the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11), from 30 November to 11 December 2015. The conference is crucial because the expected outcome is a new international agreement on climate change, applicable to all, to keep global warming below 2°C, a level that would ensure safety of the planet’s fragile resources. If that level is not achieved, it could have devastating consequences on world populations and survival.

One of the challenges of the Paris agreement, where heads of state will all gather, will be to establish a periodic – ideally five-year – review mechanism to raise the ambition of each Party and progressively improve the collective effort toward keeping global warming below 2°C.

Each country represented will obviously have reasons to participate but also issues, largely economic and political, that may create a climate of resistance to the review mechanism.

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