Berlins neue Skyline

I'm happy about all the feedback about the visualization project Berlins neue Skyline.
It's time to give you more insight into the work.

Morgenpost Interactive Team

The team with Julius Tröger, Moritz Klack, Christopher Möller approached me the with initial ideas early 2015. They did 3d visualizations in the past but wanted to go for something more advanced. Read more about their work here and here.

I had René Schulz supporting me in 3D modelling and data conversion aspects.

Data conversion

As a surprise an official city model of entire Berlin was published in summer 2015. Along with a lesser known HD model of the city center - the one we used. We were also very lucky for administration's special support and their last minute update for 2015.

The key for all our work was to get the data converted the right way. We read the CAD files into Sketchup and exported all relevant information to OBJ format as OSM Buildings has support for it.

This transformation brought 770 MB down to 400 MB. Not bad but not acceptable to present this to users. Several attempts to slice, compress and reformat the solution came in flavor of GeoJSON.

Now every building part, roof, dome, column, facade detail became an individual extruded feature rather that a triangle collection. Besides few visual impact, size reduction was now at jaw dropping 25 MB.

The converter is now avaliable on Github.

OSM Buildings viewer

Next months Morgenpost team flooded us with ideas. While almost driving us crazy, I'm very grateful as this pushed OSM Buildings massively forward and gave us a lot of insight into customer requirements.

Few special features are:

  • a transform method to place HTML labels at seemingly correct 3d position
  • methods to selectively show and hide objects
  • animated growing of buildings on load
  • handling of very large OBJ and GeoJSON files

Special thanks to Robert Buchholz (osmstreetview, flatmat.ch) as he fixed excessive tile loading by introducing a proper bounding area calculation.

For your ideas, data, support get in touch!

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