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Virtual City Model of Hamburg Realized with ARCHICAD

Fraunhofer Institute report played key role in Hanse city's decision to use the software

Budapest/Munich, November 6, 2000 - A virtual survey of Hamburg is being made possible by means of a 3D digital city, a reproduction of all the existing buildings, streets, green areas, inland water, grid, and utility and recycling systems. The benefit: city planners will be able to use the simulation to study the impact of new buildings prior to beginning construction. Graphisoft's CAD software, ARCHICAD, made a significant contribution to the recording of the 755 sq. km area. The basis for modelling was supplied by the digital city ground map from the Office for Geoinformation and Survey of Hanse city Hamburg, aerial photographs, photogrammetric shots of the façade and building documents supplied by the local government.

"We chose ARCHICAD because it's very easy to learn and use within four days, at the most. In addition, the CAD system runs on both Macintosh and PC platforms and has many interfaces to other current CAD file formats," said Marek Kleciak, external counsellor of the Office for Geoinformation and Survey of Hanse city Hamburg. "Of course, the Fraunhofer Institute's report on the town's behalf played an important role in our decision."

Initiated by the research results of Marek Kleciak, in 1999, Hamburg decided to build up a 3D model covering the entire city area. After the software testing phase and the positive report of Frauenhofer Institute, the city chose ARCHICAD as the tool. The committee was convinced first of all by the software's photorealistic visualization capability, which increases the usefulness of the 3D model tremendously.

Through ARCHICAD's application programming interface, several functions were added to speed up the automatic recording of complex areas. Graphisoft R & D's development team made it possible to convert 3D surfaces and polylines into walls and roofs. Moreover, Graphisoft has programmed routines that automatically convert the complete content of existing SQD files in ARCHICAD, like information about position and geometry, use, street, house number, date of actualization or number of floors.

During the first phase, 320,000 house blocks with enlarged ID numbers including street and building data have been "built" in just a few weeks. The completion of a central area of 170 sq. km that will cover the complete roof landscape including roof constructions, eaves overhangs as well as a digital terrain model on a grid of 1 sq. meter, will be completed by 2002. The project has already become a unique world-wide communal project. With the availability of continuously updated files, in the future the city development and planning can be concluded with fewer problems, and the development of the industry, the port and the facilities can be better controlled. Further applications like viewing, visiting and managing buildings, stores and hotels through the Internet are planned.