Q GIS – Coordinates

When I tried to add a coordinate file in QGIS I realized that this program do not read degrees, minutes, seconds Coordinates (41° 00′ 18.48″ N, 87° 40′ 52.57″ W) therefore, it have to be converted into GPS Coordinates (41.003519, 87.791722)

Here is some Links that can help you:

Find Latitude and Longitude                                                                                            Convert Lat/Lon (option1)                                                                                              Convert Lat/Lon (option2)

Additionally, The link below is a tutorial about: How to Create a Shapefile from XY coordinate data using QGIS.                                                                                                 XY coordinate data to shapefile

By Soledad Hernandez

SOM – San Francisco Digital Model

Stakeholder  & Developer: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, San  Francisco

 Process of SOM ‘s Digital Model

With over 20 ongoing projects in the Bay Area, SOM San Francisco decided to create  a 3D Model of the city to better understand and analyze the complex environment of the City.

The creation of SOM’s digital model began with an analysis of historical and present-day maps. The underlying structure was City of San Francisco’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) database, for this reason, 3D model would correspond directly to the 2D GIS data to simplify overlays of new geospatial data and future changes.

Because the GIS data is 2D and not intended for 3D visualization, the team then redefined the geometry of the streets and blocks to facilitate 3D operations. SOM created a curvilinear contour model of San Francisco and draped the 2D street grid over it, resulting in a 3D representation of the streetscape. The intersections were subsequently leveled automatically.

With this 3D groundwork in place, SOM then focused on the buildings. Because no database existed with comprehensive information on the City’s buildings, the team referred to aerial photographs, leasing plans, and design drawings to draw 2D outlines of building masses on appropriate parcels. Those outlines were projected onto the sloping ground planes and extruded vertically to create 3D buildings. Some of the buildings are simple box-like forms, while others are modeled in great detail.

The metadata is periodically checked for accuracy by two individuals in SOM’s Digital Design Group and linked to outside resources such as the city assessor’s office.

Model Use / Model User

Wind analysis 

The model records lot numbers, zoning restrictions, and other variables that SOM can use to create specific views to analyze issues like environmental conditions and their effect on existing and potential infrastructure. Moreover, the model is being used by the city planning department of SF to visualize potential zoning changes and development proposals.

City’s current height limits

Certainly, the digital model of SF is a good example how  create and how use a urban information modeling.

 More Information


Architect Magazine

By Soledad Hernandez

3D Ripper DX

Although my presentation focused on all forms of translating 2D data into 3D info for modeling cities and buildings, I want to focus on this one.

With the (DirectX version) you can go to Bing maps and rip the mesh data off of your graphics card. . It comes as a mesh into 3ds Max or Maya. The graphics card will read everything in the scene which sometimes gives you some unnecessary information that can be cropped away in the 3D program. Older versions of DirectX and software rendering engines do not support 3D Ripper DX.

I think this was developed for ripping game scenes but it has been successful in getting full models of cities from Bing maps. I have been told that you should find the old developer version of Bing maps though to make this work best. I have attached the best YouTube videos that show how the program works but there is song attached by the original creator, so turn the volume down and the second video shows the tutorial twice.

There is also an alternative for OpenGL which I believe Google Earth uses. I wish I knew more about this but I have only been informed about Bing and will look into this as I move forward this semester.

To use, you must download the 1.8 or 1.8.1 version. Open 3D Ripper DX, pick the executable program you would like rip from and then specify parameters. The website below can give you some more details.


Case study: Events, Social Media, and urban information modeling

My case study  mainly focused on three main events that happened during 2011, which were the Egyptian revolution, Japan’s Tsunami, and Occupy movement in New York. Those events could be like any events happened in the world, except that regular people started to publish and make news within the big headlines.Users of social media websites, mainly twitter, where the news publishers,reading the whole picture of the event and through them,where able to understand the social context of the events.

Besides, I was focusing on the news feeds, which are instant tweets coming from the users at that certain place of event. The collection of tweeps (people who tweet) in the certain geographical location starts a hotspot or a hub of information production. Without understanding where this information is coming from ,geographically, the information will not be complete and could be misleading.

This fluid of information coming from people through social media could be a valuable source in understanding human landscape, the social complex structures and relationships between people and how they interact with each other. It is far more vibrant and interactive than other information sources such as the census since it shows how people with similar opinions interact together and “geographically” presents the human terrain of ideas. Specialists in campaigns, marketing, advertising, and socio cultural analysts could benefit from such information.

Harvesting social media feeds is through three operations:

-Extracting Data from social media servers using API (Parsing, integrating) and storing this data in a resident data base.

-Analyze the data

Twitter content revealed emergence of socio-cultural hot sports ,and provides advanced warning of forth coming events, as was the case with Tahrir square reference in Arab spring events of spring 2011.It also offers a mechanism to obtain a rapid assessment of the impact area of natural disasters as demonstrates by data collected during Japan’s Tsunami .It provides unparalled situational awareness by supporting the monitoring of evolving events, as was the case with the Occupy Brooklyn bridge experiment.