Sandra L. Arlinghaus

February 2, 2004

Part of a continuing project:I hope to come away with a sense of what folks would like and then give it to them (pro bono), with timing reflecting various priorities.

All computer files are available online, link to current issue of Solstice) or from the author (by request to )

All virtual reality models require that the free browser plug-in, Cosmo Player (go to Google and type in Cosmo Player to find a convenient download site) be loaded (in advance).

1.3D views of the DDA showing buildings without textures or detail—see online animation at link above showing a growing building at a site noted by The Mayor.The building grows from 3 to 12 stories and there are two views of it—one showing the impact of the new (red) building on the skyline and the other on the view looking west along Huron Street.Some of these files have been demonstrated to the Ordinance Revisions Committee of Planning Commission over the past year or more.List in this category is organized by ease of execution, beginning with easiest and moving to most difficult

2. What style of output is desired?About a year ago, I took Karen Hart on a visit to the CAVE and the 3D lab at the Media Union.This past summer, Matt Naud came out to the CAVE, too.This past November, a group came to the GeoWall to view the skyline file and offered input.Input from Karen, from Matt, and from Jean Carlberg and Joan Lowenstein, as well as on a more casual basis from some members of the Ordinance Revisions Committee, has been helpful in shaping direction for this project.I’d also like to factor into the continuing work any priorities of this group.For example, Joan noted that she thought the files would be useful, pretty much as is, but that street names needed to be added (subsequently I added them—as one takes a closer look, they become evident).
3.Kelbaugh showed me maps from Planning involving buffers: I think it is an easy matter to make 3D maps from those files and
What I need next is to get files from Planning if you wish to pursue this direction.
4.Local view—see attached printout.This past fall, I agreed to serve as a “Faculty Advisor” in Prof. Peter Beier’s Engineering 477 course at UM.The name of the course is “Virtual Reality.”I worked with a group of four students throughout the term (with some input from colleagues Matt Naud and John Nystuen).The students took the base files I’d made linked at December 21a 2003 and field checked them for four blocks, one each direction from the intersection of Main and Liberty (see link to December 21b 2003 file).Then, they photographed that area, in detail, and applied the photographic evidence to the skeletal skyline to come up with a virtual reality file of that area.One view of that scene is attached.There is a certain roughness to this scene:
·the foreground has not been removed from the photographic evidence, so cars, people, trees, and so forth is plastered against the building—removal of the foreground should be done but is quite time-consuming.

·The street trees, sidewalks, streets, and other “artifacts” are simply virtual clip art.

·The building rooftop texture and street/sidewalk textures were not photographed

·Peter worked on the final file to reduce its size; these files take time to load.

5.Currently, I am working, with a team of associates (including John Nystuen, Matt Naud, 3D Lab at the Media Union, Mitch Rycus, Jerry Lax, Merle Johnson, Jim Turner, and Kris Oswalt) to generate a large grant that will produce files

·Of the entire city at least at the level of the animation files above

·Of the entire DDA at the level of detail showing photographic textures.

The grant will employ a number of students and others.One focus is to create this 3D model.The application is to Urban Security.The City will receive a copy of all completed files, as a 3D ATLAS OF ANN ARBOR, to use as it wishes—in Environmental Coordination, in Planning, and elsewhere.One component of the proposal involves creating a training facility at UM to train first-responders (on a regional basis).More will be forthcoming on this matter; work already done with 3D modeling of Ann Arbor, and work soon to be done, will serve as a pilot for this larger project.


Solstice:  An Electronic Journal of Geography and Mathematics, Institute of Mathematical Geography, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Volume XV, Number 1.