Project 1: Case Study

The first project this semester is a short case study presentation on a matter relevant to Urban Information Modeling.  Consider the presentation from last week which introduced projects, software, hardware, standards, cities, etc.  Select from something you saw or something new you have discovered.

Please bear in mind that this is not necessarily the same as the type of project you are going to do.   However they might be related some how or another in the end.  For example, you may do a case study on a standard such as cityGML, and you might decide to use it to help organize a custom data structure for your project.  Another example would be to select a city, almost any major city will have one or more examples (like those in recent lecture) of projects or initiatives to model the city.  Topics may be historic, contemporary or progressive in nature.

Potential topics

Please select a topic and prepare a 5-10 min presentation which explains the problem and solution spaces pertinent to the topic.  You may work in small groups, in which case multiply the length above by the number in your group to determine adequate length.

Due for presentation in class 2/10/2012



5 thoughts on “Project 1: Case Study

  1. Hi Prof. Kearns,

    I’m not sure if you want us to post our preferences or if you were expecting us to wait until class this Friday, but I’m interested in looking at older forms of urban information modelling. I think presenting on the Sanborn Fire Maps might be interesting, or looking at Robert Moses’ career and highlighting the information mapping that he started in New York (granted many of his efforts turned out to be racist and in favor of larger corporations rather than the public good contrary to their humanitarian public image). Similarly, it might be quite interesting to look at urban information modelling during war (specifically World War II). For example, when the allied forces bombed Europe, efforts were made to locate stolen artwork and pinpoint those locations on pilots’ radars so as to avoid their destruction. Similarly, the connection between the Nazi’s and IBM leads me to think that there are some significant examples of early forms of urban information modelling (much less their physical, “fantasy” urban modelling of the Berlin super-capitol).

    If not, the modelling of Boston at the GSD I’m also interested in.



  2. For anyone who is still looking for a case study, or general info relative to IM…I found record from a conference that took place at ETH in 2010 that had an unbelievable amount of great academic papers/speakers presented at it. You’ll have to set up an account to access the full papers. Topics include: Virtual Reality (sorry Prof. Kearns), Information/Knowledge Architecture, CAAD Curriculum, Simulation/Visualization/Prediction and Evaluation, Design Tool Development, and so on.

    The paper titled “Models for Creating the Prospective City: Opportunities and challenges of 4D GIS and virtual environments” in particular cites 7 different UIM projects for 7 different cities, should you be looking for something like that. I mentioned the Virtual London project in class earlier today, so I call dibs on that one. Although, I may change it up so I’ll post here should someone else want to use it.

    There is another good paper titled “3D-GIS Integration for Virtual NewcastleGateshead.” This project is a direct representation of what we discussed in class today (stakeholders, CityGML, data exchange, 3rd party software, etc.).


  3. Here are links for the “Stats of the Union” app I mentioned in class the other day:



    This app was built by the information design/visualization firm co-founded by Ben Fry (of Processing fame…see for more info), and uses data from Community Health Status Indicators (CHSI) report, which consists of data from federal agencies including the Census Bureau, Department of Health & Human Services, Department of Labor and the Environmental Protection Agency to power the app. It was designed for General Electric’s Healthcare division.

    It offers more than 70 healthcare factors, projected on to any location in the US, and allows the user to take a snap shot of any map and share it via most social networks/email/etc.

    This mobile app illustrates how an obtuse set of data can be channeled into an inviting interface and contribute to our social consciousness. At worst, it’s fun to play with!

  4. Hi Everyone ! I’m wanting to do a project on the ” Chicago Skyline ” .

    Points of focus :

    1. How did the Chicago Skyline evolved from history to present ( it can be related to a little bit of history of the city too… specifically the developement of the city after the fire and the defination of the city through it’s SKYLINE )

    2. Typologies / Statistics / Heights / Shapes or Geometry of the buildings which form the skyline

    3. The tousim generated due to the Skyline of Chicago
    – The no. of people visiting ( this can be drawn on a timline of may be around 100 yrs of time frame , as an example )

    – The funds generated out of this tourism

    4. Most visited Buildings .

    5. Transitional phases ( if any )

    6. Location and adjacencies of the buildings which form the Chicago Skyline
    These are just some random ideas / thoughts that i’m wanting to work on.

    If this topic matches anyone’s interest , then do let me know. I haven’t yet thought of pairing with anyone specific , but would love to know , what are the topics you all have chosen.

    Sakshi A.

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