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2016
Get-map-data2.jpgThe CityEngine 2016.0 release was a ground breaking release. For those who are new to CityEngine and unfamiliar with the workflows, the new release cuts out a significant amount of time required to access and prepare data for use in CityEngine. For those who still want to use their own data…great!

You can find more information about preparing your data here.

For those who want a quick way of getting data and getting a CityEngine project up and running as quickly as possible, CityEngine 2016 is here to help with the Get map data wizard.

The Get map data wizard can be accessed by opening a scene in CityEngine and going to File > Get map data.  In the wizard, use the map to zoom to and select the area you want data from. The area selected can be from 500 m x 500 m to 100,000 m x 100,000 m. Three types of data can be grabbed by the wizard: Basemap, Esri World Elevation, and OpenStreetMap.

The basemap data is used as imagery (also referred to as texture) to be draped over the elevation layer. The basemap options allow you to select the basemap you want (Satellite, Streets, Topo, Dark Gray, or Light Gray), along with the image resolution. The resolution you select will determine the number of pixels the imagery has. The actual resolution of the imagery will depend on both the extent and resolution. For example, a 500 meter extent with a low resolution of 1024 pixels wide is less grainy than a 1,000 meter extent with the same resolution. As high resolution is not available across the globe, you may need to choose a lower resolution or larger area to get data. The Esri World Elevation will pull terrain data, or digital elevation model (DEM) data, from the Esri elevation service. OpenStreetMap data includes networks (streets) and polygons (building footprints).  OpenStreetMap is an open source, user-produced dataset, so coverage cannot be guaranteed, particularly for building footprints.

One thing to keep in mind when selecting data is that CityEngine is a memory intensive program and the larger the area and the higher the resolution, the more memory is required. If the computer has limited memory, you must consider that when selecting data to import.

With each new version of CityEngine, the software gets smarter, easier, and more groundbreaking. This blog only touched on the Get map data portion of the software, but there are more exciting features to check out, such as sharing scene packages, alembic modeling, and accessing data from ArcGIS Online. For a full list of new features, go here.
Rebecca R. & Andrew J. - Desktop Support
At Esri, we are always looking to provide you with cutting-edge capabilities that help turn GIS ideas into a powerful reality. One of our newer features is the ability to create, serve, and consume vector tiles, and it is exciting to see users taking advantage of this technology. We would like to take this opportunity to address some of the system requirements needed to implement these services.

As per our Vector tile services documentation, in order to share vector tile layers within your own infrastructure, you will need ArcGIS 10.4 for Server or higher - including the full Web GIS stack. This is comprised of Portal for ArcGIS, a hosting server using ArcGIS Server, and ArcGIS Data Store. To create the vector tiles, you will use ArcGIS Pro 1.2 or higher.

You might ask: Why are ArcGIS Pro and Portal for ArcGIS required to accomplish this task?

ArcGIS Pro offers a robust system of authoring capabilities, which allows content creators to build beautiful maps; and it has the tools to store these maps as vector tile packages for sharing with portals. These vector tile packages are then uploaded and shared through your portal, whether that is ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS.
VectorTilesDemo_medium-1024x472.png

Vector tile layers can be restyled without needing to rebuild the vector tile package.



Vector tile layers have unique capabilities. For example, they can be easily restyled with a custom look and feel, which happens dynamically without needing to rebuild the vector tile package. This is possible because Portal for ArcGIS takes advantage of the ArcGIS geoinformation model, which allows you to use, create, and share geographic information throughout your organization, the community, and openly on the web. For ArcGIS Server users who are used to sharing map layers with a portal by registering the REST endpoints as an item, or by creating custom applications directly against those REST endpoints, the geoinformation model provides a more flexible framework whereby geographic information is arranged into map and scene layers. These can be combined to build maps and scenes that can also be used in apps, in analysis, shared with groups, and so on.
GeoinformationModel.png

The ArcGIS geoinformation model is a framework that lets users easily build informative and compelling maps by pulling different layers together.



To recap, create vector tile layers and vector tile packages using ArcGIS Pro. Share the vector tile packages with Portal for ArcGIS. The portal will automatically unpack the package so that other people can use those vector tile layers in their maps and apps.
Thomas E. - Server Advocacy Lead

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