I help institutions and individuals organize, understand, and share observations and ideas about places; to understand how places work in their context; so that people can more effectively collaborate, make more informed decisions, and appreciate the quality of places as are, as they change or may be changed. I have trademarked a short phrase that captures this mission: cultivating spatial intelligence. Lets take observations and ideas from multiple points of view and make them stick together in useful ways!

For more information email paulbcote@gmail.com

New and Notable 2018:

New! Boston Planning and Development Agency launched its city-wide 3d model. pbcGIS developed this model from various sources, and developed turn-key workflows for managing a collection of models for every buildng in the city, including historic buildings that don;t exist any more through buildings that have been proposed, approved, rejected and undr-construction. pbcGIS also developed the tools for tiling the cyty-wide model into 1-kilometer square sketchup models that include detailed terrain, groundp-plan and buildings. This is very similar to the set-up we made for Cambridge, last year. Tomorrow the world!

City Model Lifecycle

Data Lifecycle in pbcGIS City Model Architecture

The big idea behind these city-modeling projects is to provide a smoother interface between the world of urban design and development with the data-management culture of municipal GIS. When this succeeds, designers and planners in quickly-developing areas like Boston and Cambridge will have a common-operating-picture of the near-future city that includes projects that are in the design-review pipeline.

Under the covers, the work behind these city models is much more than ordinary data-wrangling. It is hard enough to create a city-wide model as a snap-shot. But to be a sustainable, maintained city-model requires a structure for integrating data from lots of sources and levels of detail, automatically-generated building models of existing terain and buildings conditions, which are up-dated from time-to-time. and hand-made renditions of proposed buildings. Unexpectedly, the difficult thing about developing a system for managing the models through time, requires a sensible, intuitive organization for the files and tools. The system has to scale without becoming more complicated as more and more new and historical data accumulates. The model systam also scales as additional city models are added or models for in-hlodings such as campuses. Our new data model does this quite well and is still simple and intuitive to figure out where any nw piece of information should be filed or where any old piece of information about a particular place and time, can be found.

Stay tuned for the How to Organize your City Model Handbook!

2017 Highlight:

2016 Highlights:

2015 Highlights:

Highlights from 2014

Selected Publications and Presentations on City Modeling and Information Architecture