Cube Cities Blog

The Cube Cities Blog

8 December 2014

Cube Cities granted U.S. Patent for Real Estate Information Technology

On December 4th of this year the United States Patent Office granted Cube Cities patent protection for it's real estate data visualization technology. With a priority date of November 2010, this patent describes a system and method for converting traditional formats of commercial and residential real estate data into geospatial objects that can be used to visualize many types of building information in 3D.

Cube Cities now holds patents in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Singapore.

Cube Cities visualization of Lower Manhattan real estate data

1 December 2014

Altus InSite Launches 3D Commercial Real Estate Search using Cube Cities Technology

Altus InSite, Canada's largest commercial real estate information provider has relaunched it's website featuring 3D search capabilities from Cube Cities. Users can now see the Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal office markets with new 3D floor-level visualizations from Cube Cities.

The new Cube Cities search functionality allows users to save 3D search results as well as refine markets by district and filter by Building Class and Direct or Sublet lease types.

Here's a look at the new AltusInSite website:

The new AltusInSite Homepage, Cube Cities search panel highlighted in red.

Vancouver's Office Market

Calgary's Office Market
Toronto's Office Market

19 November 2014

Visualizing Downtown San Francisco's Office Vacancy Rate

Market Street, Downtown San Francisco
This is a data visualization of the office vacancy rate downtown San Francisco. Recorded at 6.7% in Q3 2014 by CBRE. The visualization illustrates buildings in and around the financial district with color codes indicating the building class. Blue buildings indicate commercial properties with available office space. Red floors approximate available space. Watch the video below to see a tour of the district.

South of Market, San Francisco
Fullscreen Video Link

17 November 2014

Midtown Manhattan Building Classes

Here's a floor-level visualization of the buildings of Midtown Manhattan colorized by building class. Blue for office, green for residential, purple for hotels, white for under construction and several others types. Imagine flying through Manhattan as the sun rises sets and seeing every floor and every building core, this is what this visualization depicts.

Fullscreen Video Link

29 October 2014

3D Building Security: Mapping Motion and Sound in NYC

Cross section of Midtown Manhattan

Cube Cities works with building automation software that can export building security data from motion and sound sensors. The graphic above is an illustration of commercial buildings in the Sixth & Rockefeller submarket in Midtown Manhattan. Green indicates detected movement on a floor and red indicates detected sound levels above normal room conversation (60 dB). This visualization is generated from private data sources and can be customized for tenants or property managers to learn more about their buildings.

These 3D visualizations can be explored from any perspective. Here is the same data as seen from Central Park South.
Detected motion and sound in Midtown buildings

See The View From Any Floor & Share with Twitter

Here's a new micro site that allows anyone to see the view from any building floor and then share the view as a direct URL using Twitter. We call the page Cube Views and its available here.

To get started, visit the top floor views of these famous buildings:

Cube Views
Questions on the Cube Views page? Looking for a building that's not in our list? Contact us here.

28 September 2014

Mapping Your LinkedIn Connections with 3D Cities

Cube Cities can map your contacts on LinkedIn to the floors in the 3D buildings on Google Earth. With the LinkedIn developer tools its possible to connect your contacts to floors and reorganize how you see your LinkedIn network, especially in dense urban areas. It's even possible to map the precise area of a floor occupied by your contact if the space is known. Watch the video below for a look at this integration and contact us for more information.

22 September 2014

3D Manhattan on Cesium using the iPhone 6 Plus

The latest version of iOS introduces support for the WebGL standard. This enables the Cesium mapping software to work on iPad and iPhone, without any app, plugin or special settings. This exciting development means that Cube Cities can now visualize any building or floor-level data directly onto iOS devices in the browser without any platform compatibility issues. The same user experience from desktop to mobile browser is now possible thanks to this significant leap forward for 3D virtual world software in the consumer market.

What's even better is Apple's latest iPhone introduces the new A8 chip and M8 motion coprocessor. This hardware makes a big difference with our Cesium pages, resulting in the smoothest virtual world application we've ever experienced on a mobile device using our building data. Below is a screenshot of Lower Manhattan in 3D using Cesium on the iPhone 6 Plus. Buildings are colorized in the traditional Sim City usage pattern. Contact us for a demonstration.

Cube Cities Multigeometry Building Data in Lower Manhattan

12 September 2014

Cube Cities on Cesium @ FOSS4G 2014

We've been working with the Cesium 3D mapping software to visualize our building data. Cesium is exciting because its an open-source virtual globe that does not require a plugin to work in the web browser. Cesium has a very rich set of functionality and promises to deliver amazing city and building search interfaces for Cube Cities in the future.

This video clip from a Cesium presentation by Patrick Cozzi, founder of Cesium, points out our development efforts at the FOSS4G 2014 conference this week. A link to the full presentation will appear when posted.

The images below are Cesium screenshots showing our Chicago building data visualized by usage: commercial, residential, other.

Chicago Multigeometry Buildings on ESRI Maps in Cesium

Chicago Multigeometry by Usage on a Stamen Toner map.

Densification of the Chicago Loop from 1870 to Present

Here's a quick floor-by-floor visualization of the growth of Chicago's commercial core since 1870. See the video below for the full growth animation.

Chicago Loop 1960
Chicago Loop 1980
This video shows buildings emerging as the decades pass and shows only buildings that currently exist today.

High resolution, fullscreen link

7 September 2014

Floor-indexing San Francisco: Cube Cities API

Cube Cities now offers API access to our database of floor information for commercial and residential buildings downtown San Francisco. Our database contains over 20 attributes for every building, including floor-specific geospatial data. 

One key application for the Cube Cities API is enabling customer mapping of their internal private data sources such as tenant information. Another is to visualize floor-level data that regularly changes such as energy and water consumption. 

The Cube Cities API provides authenticated access to our dataset through a simple REST API. Contact us for pricing and license terms.

The imagery below illustrates Cube Cities floor data relative to Google's autogenerated 3D imagery, which now provides a complete virtual representation of urban San Francisco. 

One Rincon Hill - South Tower

Transamerica Pyramid
Four Embarcadero Center
Millenium Tower 
345 California Center
555 California Street

5 September 2014

Cesium: The Future of Virtual Globes

Cesium is a free, open-source virtual globe platform for web browsers that uses WebGL to create sophisticated 3D maps without a plugin. Cesium uses a geospatial data schema called CZML that can draw building models, lines and polygons overtop of base maps. 

Cube Cities building data such as floors, outlines, internal building cores and multigeometry shapes can be drawn and distributed using Cesium. Using the Cesium platform Cube Cities building data can now be seen with base map data from Bing Maps, ESRI, OpenStreet Maps and Stamen Design.

Learn more about Cesium here.

Cube Cities building geometry in Cesium with the Stamen Toner base map

The video below is an example of a Cube Cities multigeometry building model (500 West Madison Street in Chicago's West Loop) drawn in Cesium with a cycled series of open source base maps.

Fullscreen, high resolution link

1 August 2014

Cube Cities: One of Alberta’s 25 Most Innovative Organizations

From Alberta Venture Magazine:

Cube Cities

Aug 1, 2014

by Alberta Venture Staff

Senior executive: Greg Angevine
Founded: 2010
Headquartered: Calgary
There is lots of free data available on the Internet about real estate for rent – which buildings, how many square feet, cost. But the information has also been, well, flat. Cube Cities is changing that. Over the past four years, Cube Cities has developed software that takes real estate data and creates three-dimensional animations. Now, landlords can drag their Excel sheets full of building information, space availability and tenant listings directly into Google Earth. As a renter, you can watch interactive videos showing you what floors in a building are available, with colour coding to delineate different prices and other search criteria.
But as CEO Greg Angevine says, the software can do much more than that. “What we’ve built is a floor-level visualization,” he says. “Commercial real estate is the obvious application, but we’re also talking about developing a visualization system for first responders in the U.S. and we’re talking to the development authority in Singapore about basically building a city dashboard.”

30 July 2014

Cube Markets Flight of Brookfield's Portfolio - Downtown Toronto

The Brookfield Office Properties portfolio in Toronto

This image shows the available office space market in Toronto (in red) and the Brookfield Office Properties portfolio downtown Toronto.

Brookfield office properties in blue, available office space in red.

This video flies to each property in the Brookfield Property Partners (NYSE: BPY; TSX: BPY.UN) portfolio interacting with the available office space market downtown Toronto.

15 July 2014

Cube Cities @ TEDx Piraí

Cube Cities is pleased to have our city data visualizations featured by John Jung, Co-Founder of the Intelligent Community Forum in his recent TEDx presentation in Piraí, Brazil.

In his presentation, John discusses the state of the smart cities movement around the world and the implications for society. Cube Cities visualizations of building data in Lower Manhattan and downtown Calgary are used to explain the emergence of intelligent communities. Watch John's presentation here.

3 July 2014

Google's 3D City Rollout Across Canada

Over the past several months Google has been rolling out new autogenerated 3D imagery across Canada. Large sections of metro Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Oshawa/Ajax and Montréal have been released to date. The maps below show the boundaries of this new 3D coverage. Examine the skyline imagery of Vancouver and Montréal to see the fine detail.

Cube Cities can deploy its building visualization technology to any city using this new 3D imagery. The complete coverage of every building in these cities makes them come alive in Google Earth and enables very high quality city data visualization using the Cube Cities technology platform. 

Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City and Halifax are the largest centres in Canada that have not yet been released in 3D. Subsequent releases have included Victoria, Peterborough and Greater Sudbury (week of July 21st) and Saskatoon (July 29th).

Download a KML file to these 3D imagery boundaries from Cube Cities here.

Vancouver Skyline
Oshawa / Ajax
Montréal Skyline

13 June 2014

Visualizing Risk to Buildings

Cube Cities now provides 3D risk mapping services to organizations that maintain data on different types of threats that exist for large residential or commercial properties. With the Cube Cities platform its easy to drop an Excel file with coordinates or building addresses and instantly see risk proximity visualizations. Even very specific floor-level visualizations are possible to explain hazards or danger in a building. 3D risk mapping services are now available in all major North American cities.

Watch the video below to see how Cube Cities identifies buildings of highest risk of damage from the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, wandering towards Park Avenue from East 52nd Street in Midtown Manhattan.

Fullscreen, high resolution link:

Below is an animated GIF version of the video created by a posting on this product from

6 June 2014

Styling 3D Building Data

The Cube Cities platform allows customers to create and style 3D maps of dense urban areas using their own building data to produce effective communication tools for real estate. Our large dataset of building coordinates for over 25 cities in North America and Europe can be styled to help customers find specific data in dense urban areas like San Francisco, Chicago and New York. It's easy to load and explore real estate data in these Cube Cities applications by simply dragging a Excel file into Google Earth.

The examples below illustrate some different styling options for visualizing building and floor data in San Francisco's Market Street corridor and surrounding financial district.

8 May 2014

3D Visualization of Building Ownership by REIT and Large Cap Firms

Cube Cities visualizes building ownership in selected major downtown markets. See ownership by REIT and large cap firms in downtown Toronto and Calgary in the market videos below. Companies surveyed: Brookfield, Dundee REIT, H&R REIT, CREIT, Allied REIT, Artis REIT, Morguard REIT, Cominar. (Q1 2014)

Downtown Toronto:

Downtown Calgary

23 April 2014

Cube Cities Granted Patent Protection in Singapore

Cube Cities Inc. has successfully extended it's intellectual property protection outside of Canada with the granting of Patent 190102 by the Registrar of Patents in Singapore. Cube Cities IP covers the world's most efficient and economic method of visualizing building information.

9 April 2014

Cube Cities @ CanTech 2014

Cube Cities will be attending the Canadian Real Estate Technology Conference in Toronto this week. Meet our CTO James Cuff at 12:30 during the CanTech networking luncheon.

3 March 2014

Cube Cities CSV Loader Now Available For Testing

Drop data from Excel directly into Google Earth
With the Cube Cites CSV Loader users can drop a spreadsheet of real estate information directly into Google Earth and see the data visually in 3D. Try the Cube Cities CSV Loader here:

CSV Template Fields:
A: Cube Building ID
B: Building Name (can be excluded)
C: Floor Number
D: Available Space in square feet (don't use commas!)
E: Annual Operating Costs per square foot
F: Space Type (HL= Head Lead, SL=Sub Lease)
G: Date Available
H: Suite Name
I: Description Field
J: URL Path to Floorplan image file

1. Download the CSV template from the link above.

2. Find the Cube Cites building ID from the search box in the CSV Loader web page for all records in column A.

3. Populate the remaining fields with real estate listing details.

4. Save as CSV format from Excel

5. Drop file onto the Earth Map

The Cube Cities CSV Loader currently works only with the Chrome and Firefox web browsers.

Here's a video of the CSV Loader in action: