As part of the Virtual Los Angeles project, the Urban Simulation Team @ UCLA is building a real-time virtual reality model of the entire Los Angeles basin. The team has completed models of various Los Angeles regions including Downtown, Exposition Park, the Pico Union district, Mid-Wilshire, Westwood, UCLA, Santa Monica, Hollywood, MacArthur Park, Playa Vista, and a portion of South Central. Negotiations are currently underway for other areas of the city.
The Downtown portion of the model has been under construction for fifteen years and currently covers over 200 city blocks. The computer file for this one area of Los Angeles is over 400 megabytes in size, including the geometry and over 6,000 individual texture maps. When completed, the entire Virtual Los Angeles model will cover an area well in excess of 10,000 square miles and will elegantly scale from satellite images to street level views accurate enough to allow the signs in the shop windows and the graffiti on the walls to be legible. The finished downtown model is estimated to exceed 1 terabyte in size and will be maintained on a large multi-client server that will allow multiple simulation clients to seamlessly fly, drive and/or walk through the Virtual L.A. Model simultaneously.
Beyond urban planning applications, the possible uses of the model are endless. For example, the team has been in discussions with Metropolitan Transportation Authority about using the model to plan security efforts in the subway system. Other discussions with the City of Los Angeles have focused on the feasibility of using the model in conjunction with Global Positional System (GPS) transponders to accurately locate and remotely manage Emergency Response Vehicles in real-time.
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LA City Council Chambers Renovation
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LA Police Department Headquarters
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