3D CBD Models

Category: Real-time City
Launched: 2018

Illustrating the transition of Christchurch central business district (CBD) buildings before and after the earthquakes.

How the 3D models were created?

Our 3D models were built by Sydney-based company AAM NZ Ltd. Their GeoCirrus software uses LIDAR (light sensing and ranging) technology, which calculates the exact distance to an object by bouncing laser light off it. The resulting 3D building outlines are combined with high-resolution aerial photographs, existing geographical information system (GIS), and other data to create a detailed and accurate city model.

AAM completed a flyover of the central city in January 2018 to record LIDAR data for the current model.

How we will use the models?

The 3D model will be used for consultation purposes, augmented reality projects, visualisations such as the pre- and post-quake CBD visualisation, and by the members of the public to explore a digital version of their city.

3D models of the CBD

3D models of Christchurch CBD created from flyovers in 2010 and 2018 are used for smart projects such as:

  • augmented reality
  • BIM modelling
  • Visualisations of Christchurch pre and post-quake
  • The flyover was captured by AAM NZ in February 2010 and January 2018

3D interactive visualiser of the CBD

The visualisation starts with a 3D model of the central city in 2010 and illustrates the loss of buildings through the earthquakes and then the subsequent emergence of the new central business district (CBD).

Due to the quality and complexity of the 3D data, the visualiser is not currently supported on mobile devices, or screen resolutions less than 1024 pixels wide or 700 pixels tall. It is also recommended that you use a fast broadband internet connection instead of cellular data network as it may use significant data.

Expected outcomes

  • Urban planners can model alternative scenarios or proposed master plans in a highly visual and accessible way.
  • Advanced views and tools, such as shadow analysis, will help planners to assess resource consents.
  • The usual plans and indicative images provided in public consultations can be augmented with three‑dimensional models that help residents, councillors, and community groups to visualise new projects more clearly.
  • Using an intuitive, interactive view for consultations will encourage engagement, and inspire more residents to have their say.
  • Model data can be used in future augmented reality and virtual reality applications.

2018 3D Models

2018 3D model files available to download here: