3D Tree Shade Analysis

06-15-2018 08:51 AM
Status: Open
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New Contributor III

What about a 3D tool that would allow us to model tree canopy shade and select for further analysis all features that are located in that shade? Parks and Gardens might use this tool to perform garden-wide shade-related plant health analyses, improve trail shading, and conduct shade-related geodesign. I work in Phoenix, one of the hottest cities on earth, and I wonder if a tree canopy shade analysis (bus stops, benches, sidewalks, assets that might be damaged by sun exposure, etc.) might also be of interest to urban forestry.

As far as I understand, at present you can create 3D tree canopies by floating a polygon feature class on a DEM, elevating each polygon a certain height above the DEM, and extruding the polygons to 3D so that they can be input into the Sun Shadow Volumes tool. Unfortunately, the output from the Sun Shadow Volumes tool can't be turned into an accurate 2D shadow footprint that could be intersected with 2D feature classes. The Multipatch Footprint tool comes close, but creates an oversized footprint due to the oversized output by the Sun Shadow Volumes tool.

It is also possible to simulate tree shade in ArcGIS Pro to create visualizations, but this also doesn't allow for further intersection or selection analysis.



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