Village uses 3-D animation to help with downtown redevelopment

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The Village of Deerfield is currently in the process of planning for
the redevelopment of the northwest quadrant of the Central Business
District, commonly known as the “Village Green Redevelopment Project.”
This project currently involves multiple village departments and is the
planning phase. During this planning phase the GIS Department was
requested to run a pilot test program using existing resources create a
3-D representation of the redevelopment area. Until recently this task
would have required a significant amount of work to complete usually
requiring outside vendors whose fees would only increase the overall
budget on the project. However, with the advancement of technology and
the available tools within GIS it was easy to use existing geographic
information in order to keep this request in-house and save the village
some money.

By using the data that the city collects annually the GIS Department
was able to create a 3-D model that included buildings, driveways,
sidewalks, roads and parks for the “Village Green Redevelopment” area.
The creation of this model used GIS tools to extrude each feature listed
above to its true elevation height above ground level. The model is
then adjusted to show these features in a 3D-world where it can then can
be used and consumed for planning purposes including map visualization,
panning and rotating in a 3D view as well zooming in and out to better
understand the data being represented. At the same time, other GIS tools
allow a user to record these movements and replay them as an animation
file thus making this method very affective for community staff
presentations and public meetings.

In conclusion, it is easy to visualize how the functionality of GIS
along with other applications can allow the village to use existing data
in a way that was not easily attainable in the past. Furthermore,
representing a portion of the real world in a 3-D environment allows
village staff to conceptualize what impacts might occur during the
redeveloping of a specific area. This brief showcase illustrates how
communication and data flow between village departments can be used to
produce these types of products and further benefit both the village and
public during an important redevelopment project.