Palmerston North City Council is encouraging the use of 3D information to assist in planning and decision-making. Council GIS analyst programmer Lucas Mostyn says that using the city library’s 3D printer to physically model digital designs is a new and novel way of communicating cartographic information, and is leading to greater interest in other 3D tools such as GoogleEarth, Sketchup and ESRI’s CityEngine.
Lucas presented a paper at ALGIM’s recent GIS Symposium on how 3D printing is fuelling GIS innovation. He says 3D mapping gives a sense of reality and perspective not possible in 2D, especially when considering engineering plans, urban space design and a city’s skyline.
“Producing a portable hardcopy 3D print of the city at a 1:1000 scale is allowing us to communicate information about the current state of the city quickly and effectively, without powerful computing and graphics technology.
“Mayor Grant Smith has already commented on how it highlights the importance of the square, as well as the number of car parks in the city.”
This article was first published in the June 2015 issue of NZ Local Government Magazine.