The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XL-5/W1
13 Feb 2013
 | 13 Feb 2013


M. Saldana and C. Johanson

Keywords: Procedural Modeling, Architectural Reconstruction, GIS, Interactive Games, Virtual Worlds

Abstract. RomeLab is a multidisciplinary working group at UCLA that uses the city of Rome as a laboratory for the exploration of research approaches and dissemination practices centered on the intersection of space and time in antiquity. In this paper we present a multiplatform workflow for the rapid-prototyping of historical cityscapes through the use of geographic information systems, procedural modeling, and interactive game development. Our workflow begins by aggregating archaeological data in a GIS database. Next, 3D building models are generated from the ArcMap shapefiles in Esri CityEngine using procedural modeling techniques. A GIS-based terrain model is also adjusted in CityEngine to fit the building elevations. Finally, the terrain and city models are combined in Unity, a game engine which we used to produce web-based interactive environments which are linked to the GIS data using keyhole markup language (KML). The goal of our workflow is to demonstrate that knowledge generated within a first-person virtual world experience can inform the evaluation of data derived from textual and archaeological sources, and vice versa.