Referencing 3D Map Data for Urban Planning is finally possible with the recent APIs available from Google Maps. First time ever we have ability to get our hands on real 3D map data from very much any location. Even in areas that have no 3D city models available.
This gives us instant hands on 3D data to reference from.
Data, of course is only data, and it is matter of imagination how to use it. The data can be outdated and imperfect too, and this has proven to be a challenge in the past, requiring manual checks..
However with our tools we have been able to use such data for reference purposes for simulating real environments.
For data processing we use Houdini to get our environments ready for Unreal Engine 5. There is still some manual steps in the process but if we are asked to build environment for large scale urban planning or architecture project, we now have a solid toolset in our hands.
Any hero assets can also be now modeled to fit the existing environment as the work is as simple as rotating 3D model in a viewport.
We live truly exciting era with tools of utilizing 3D Map Data for Urban Planning.