With clean OSM data, VELOCITY is ready to automatically create roads. With good vectors, generating roads with simple intersections is easy enough. However, things get tricky when reproducing digital versions of complex road intersections, T-junctions with crossings, angled intersections, N-junctions, roundabouts, and so on.
"We started with roads because we believe they are the spine and veins of a city, and that human activities naturally flow from there”
To overcome this challenge, rather than reinvent the wheel, VELOCITY’s modular architecture is able to leverage existing or established solutions to help resolve these types of items. “The beauty of VELOCITY is that it can use existing applications in your organization,” explains Lajoie. “For example, we used a popular solution to tackle complex road networks. By breaking them down, we made them more manageable and allow distributed processing which allows scaling.”
Lots, Cadasters, and Building Footprints
With a road network in place, you are then faced with empty city blocks, or, essentially, the space between roads. These spaces can contain a single house, hundreds of houses, a vacant lot, a shopping mall, an airport, or… anything, really.
VELOCITY is able to leverage a wide variety of data to help close these information gaps whether they be cadastral databases, commercial sources such as Lux Carta, point cloud data gathered from UAVs, or any other type of vector format in existence. The aforementioned sources can not only provide geo-specific building footprints, but also give you accurate building heights. So, once the database is generated, the building’s shape, volume, rooftop, textures and openings can go from being completely geo-specific to a great geo-representative approximation depending on the availability and precision of the input source data.
Once all known buildings have been generated, there is likely to be large, outlying sections of the city for which there is no precise data, such as suburbs, or remote industrial sectors. For these areas, VELOCITY is able to “backfill” the cityscape in a very realistic manner. This very sophisticated procedural generation analyzes the surrounding area and produces buildings, vegetation, and clutter that is not only in keeping with the country, but also with the local area. The placement of buildings, their category, spacing, style, and density are all determined using an advanced series of algorithms and techniques that ensure they mesh as much as possible with reality.