18 March 2015

New York Supertalls: 432 Park Avenue

We're particularly interested in visualizing the new super tall developments along 57th Street in Midtown. Here is imagery of 432 Park Avenue, the 1,396 foot tower that topped out late last year. Red floors indicate the suites remaining on the market in this luxury residential building developed by CIM Group.

We'll share more visualizations of the other mega developments under construction in Manhattan soon.

432 Park Avenue, background buildings colourized by building type.

The GM Building, 432 Park Avenue, and 745 Fifth Avenue from Grand Army Plaza
Cesium / Reality

13 March 2015

Examining Hollywood's 3D Cities

We've been paying attention to the 3D city visualizations found in recent Hollywood movies. They can be described as immersive, wireframe building models that illustrate data across large urban areas. Military or emergency services actors typically utilize these wireframe city models to gain awareness of local activity in tactical scenarios. 

Floor-level building visualizations are found in these visualizations, used as the best way of understanding cities in these sci-fi visuals. Color choices are monotone and clean, simplistic geometric models populate the map to provide for transparency and insight.

Examples from the movies Transformers 3 and Hunger Games: Mockingjay are seen below.

Floor-level view of Chicago's Loop from Transformers 3

Transformers 3

Computerized view of The Capitol from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay

When considering the software options available today to recreate the sophisticated interfaces we see in cinema, there are few off-the-shelf products. It would be very difficult to deliver such high quality, real time city visualization systems without significant investment in proprietary technologies.
We're imagining these kind of visualization concepts as we build applications at Cube Cities. Below are examples of the Market Street corridor in San Francisco and the US Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles, visualized with our wireframe styles calibrated for tactical location finding.

San Francisco
Floors of the US Bank Tower in Downtown Los Angeles

17 February 2015

1.5M Sqft of New Retail Space Coming To Lower Manhattan

Here's a visualization of the 1.5 million square feet of new retail space under construction or being renovated in Lower Manhattan. According to the Downtown Alliance, consumers spend over $5 billion each year at over 1,000 retail and restaurant locations in downtown New York.

Development of new retail across Lower Manhattan

Buildings with new retail space coming to market

A report of the properties with new retail space is available here from New York's Downtown Alliance. The report includes 5 under construction properties and 18 projects with new retail coming from repositioned space. Watch the video below to see the entire visualization.

13 February 2015

Cesium: The Best Choice For Mapping On The Web

Development of the Cesium mapping platform is happening fast. The software is now the obvious choice for visualizing spatial data on the web. With strong support from AGI, Cesium development has accelerated since the version 1.0 release in August of last year with new updates every month. Recently, major attention has been given to help provide the same user experience in Cesium as was possible with the Google Earth API. Support for KML, flyTo Camera controls and easy ways to draw placemarks and labels on the map are just a few of the latest updates. Thorough blog posts have been published to help developers use the latest functions. With the recent updates to Cesium there are no longer any technical limitations that make any commercial mapping products a reasonable alternative. In fact, the stability of the Cesium map and rapid, high quality graphics make Cesium the indisputable choice to delivering web-based mapping solutions.

The AGI development team has recently ported the famous Google Earth Plugin site Monster Milk Truck to Cesium. Dennis Wegewijs, the creator of Cycling the Alps has ported his application to Cesium as well. This is evidence that Cesium is a logical alternative to migrating complex GIS web applications and can provide a consistent experience to Earth. These converted applications are especially valuable for developers to see how logic written for the Google Earth API can be translated to work with Cesium in a straightforward manner.

When one considers that Cesium is Apache 2.0 licensed (free for commercial use), uses WebGL (native in iOS 8), requires no plugin to run in a web browser, and is cross-platform compatible, it's undeniable that this software is going to dominate 3D visualization on the web.

Cesium-based Monster Milk Truck!
The Cube Cities team is using Cesium to build new kinds of interactive real estate applications. We've been sharing imagery from the programs we've been developing, but soon we will be giving public exposure to our Cesium-based applications. Below is a look at our building data for Manhattan with a glimpse into the new One World Trade Centre.

Available office space in One World Trade Centre in Lower Manhattan
Contact us to learn more about how Cube Cities can help migrate legacy real estate mapping products to free, Cesium-based web solutions.

12 February 2015

Visualizing Available Office Space in The Durst Organization's Midtown Portfolio

The Durst Organization's buildings near Bryant Park. 
Dark green = full floors, light green = partial floors
Here's a look at new Cube Cities imagery of the available office space in The Durst Organization's New York portfolio. Taken from our new Cesium-based mapping application, this visual shows every floor in each building and lights up the available space in each property. Cube Cities can quickly produce interactive visualizations for any landlord or property owner in New York.

Distribution of the Durst Organizations' midtown portfolio
The buildings in this visualization, clustered on the left include:
4 Times Square
One Bryant Park
1133 Avenue of the Americas
1155 Avenue of the Americas
114 West 47th Street

The cluster on the right are:
655 Third Avenue
205 East 42nd Street 
675 Third Avenue
733 Third Avenue
825 Third Avenue

Buildings visualized with surrounding midtown buildings

8 February 2015

The National September 11th Memorial

South pool of the September 11th Memorial
The National September 11th Memorial is vast and imposing. The Memorial is a tribute to the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center site, near Shanksville, Pa., and at the Pentagon, as well as the six people killed in the World Trade Center bombing in February 1993.

The Memorial’s twin reflecting pools are each nearly an acre in size and feature the largest manmade waterfalls in the North America. The pools sit within the footprints where the Twin Towers once stood. Architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker created the Memorial design selected from a global design competition that included more than 5,200 entries from 63 nations.

The names of every person who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks are inscribed into bronze panels edging the Memorial pools, a powerful reminder of the largest loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil and the greatest single loss of rescue personnel in American history.

[from 911memorial.org]

View NW across the south pool towards the World Financial Center
The plaza is very open, noticeably so when entering the plaza from the surrounding density of Lower Manhattan. White oaks are planted at regular intervals throughout the plaza. The pools are cavernous and contain basins where water falls to unseeable depths. The scale of the site is very impressive.

World Trade Center complex in red
The full buildout of the World Trade Center complex will eventually include over 10,700,000 square feet of office and retail space. The Port Authority of New York will eventually develop 1,300,000 square feet in WTC 5 on the south side of Liberty street. The visualization above shows the density surrounding the complex.