Urban Designer Pack

The Zmapping Urban Designer Pack is a fully flexible program aimed at local authorities or other similar organisations. The aim is to assist them to start using 3D city models in the planning process as efficiently, easily and economically as possible.

We realise that sometimes it could be a daunting task when it comes to managing a large 3D model of a city. Decisions regarding what software to use, how to insert models from developers back into the city model, how to create good rendered images or how to produce some animations can all be somewhat confusing. So we have come up with a package that is flexible enough to let you choose just the products or services you need. It broadly consists of three option as follows. However, please note that if your requirements do not fit the below options, we can always try to accommodate your specific requirements as long as they are doable. So please contact us to discuss.


1. License the 3D city model and use it yourselves

If you are familiar and comfortable with CAD programs such as Sketchup, all you need to do is buy our 3D city model data and you are all set to go. Adding 3D models of proposed buildings sent to the council by architects or developers is generally straightforward. The council can then test views from specific locations, create renders and animations. Many of our local authority customers prefer this method since it gives them complete freedom to use the 3D model in the way they want to, without relying on others.

The council has the option of getting the whole borough modelled at once or start with a smaller core area and build the model up over a period of time. You also have the option of either buying the model outright or go for a lease option, thus spreading the cost.

We can advise you on the software and hardware options that are best suited for working with Zmapping data so that you enjoy a smooth start.

Zmapping 3D model data is available for most of London and many UK cities off the shelf. Our local authority clients include many London boroughs, Birmingham, Bath, Bristol, Sheffield, Nottingham, Newcastle, Swindon and many more. If we do not have your city modelled already and available off-the-shelf, we can always build a model from scratch. Just give us a ring to discuss.

Urban Designer Pack - Client logos

2. We can insert new buildings and manage the city model for you

Architects or developers will usually have a 3D model of their proposed development. The council should be able to request this model from them. Once received in the right format, you should be able to insert the model into the city-wide 3D model relatively easily. But in case you would rather have someone else do this for you, we are here to help.

In many instances, the models received will need some prep-work before they can be inserted into the larger city model. We can carry this out, scale the model correctly, remove the existing building or move it to a separate layer, position the new model on the Zmapping model in its correct position and send the digital CAD file back to the council. This frees you up from the hassles of dealing with various types of CAD files received from the developer or in dealing with format conversions or scaling related issues.

The file you thus received will allow you to carry out the necessary assessments, generate views, renders or animations as you please. You can also edit the model as you like. In case you do not need the CAD file but instead only require views from specific locations (or you need both), we can generate them for you like in the example below.

Shell London 3D Model
We can help with the insertion of proposed developments into the Zmapping model. Inset shows existing building.

We can also create simple animations. Click on the image below to open up an interactive animation of the above scene. Click the mouse left button and spin around the model. This interactive animation is created using a series of images that the user controls.

If your requirements are different from the above, please contact us and we can discuss how we can help you. It should however be noted that we are not a replacement for a specialised visualisation agency and for more bespoke services, you should consult specialist agencies.

Click on the image above, wait for 100% download, spin around the model.

3. You can have your whole city in ZmapNavigator – our game engine viewer

If you do not want CAD data at all and simply want to view new developments in the council on an easy-to-navigate game engine viewer, ZmapNavigator is the answer. Using a PC or laptop, the council’s urban design staff can visualise new developments interactively, without the need to learn CAD programs.

You are still welcome to have options 1 and 2 above in addition to the ZmapNavigator option. This is why we say that the Urban Designer Pack is a very flexible package.

ZmapNavigator is our Unreal game engine based 3D city viewer. The engine is powerful enough to load over 100km2 of our London model and still be able to fly around freely even on a laptop. Navigate using an Xbox controller just like you play a video game. You can fly around, walk on the streets, test specific views from far away, interactively change colours of buildings, switch between proposed and existing buildings, add restricted view corridor info (such as the London LVMF views), change lens parameters and interactively change date and time to show real-time shadow changes.

ZmapNavigator offers an unprecedented level of ease and freedom to fly or walk around and visualise new developments in their city-wide context without the need for any additional software. ZmapNavigator can be adapted to your requirements. If you want us to add new functionalities to the Navigator, we can do that for you. Go to the dedicated page on ZmapNavigator to learn more about the amazing things possible with Navigator and to watch videos of the product in action.