City of Cambridge, MA
The City of Cambridge has a rich history with a wide variety of communities from residential to businesses, to the renowned educational institutions of Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The GIS Team connects with their constituents, government colleagues, educational counterparts and the architectural / designer community using innovative 3D workflows and methods. They have been a leader with their 3D system of record and spatial approaches for more than a decade. Today, they are discovering new 3D GIS workflows leveraging reality mapping, digital submissions and advanced spatial analytics that help everyone see the bigger picture and model the community as close to reality as possible.
The City of Cambridge, Mass. is one of the most densely populated, built-out cities in the United States with approximately 120,000 residents in six-square miles. It is the home of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University.
Over the last 10 years, Cambridge has collaborated with MIT and Harvard to build a citywide 3D system of record, perform analysis and create greater engagement with the community. They utilize a 3D mesh of the city that helps get the city closer to meeting its outreach and climate resiliency goals.
Many of the City’s traditional 2D maps are available as 3D web scenes for residents to explore their community. The City uses the Crowdsource Reporter tool to encourage members of the community to engage with the City through public comment.
Trees are critical infrastructure in the City of Cambridge. The Cambridge Canopy Change Analysis identifies where an increase in the canopy is needed and educates local businesses, universities and residents to take action.
The Department of Public Works (DPW) manages an urban forest that includes approximately 30,000 trees within parks and city-owned spaces in Cambridge, and leverages ArcGIS Pro to determine where to plant its goal of 1,000 new trees each year.
About 28% of Cambridge is covered with buildings, so the team uses 3D to analyze roof types and locations to find the optimum buildings to convert to cool roofs.
MIT leverages the City’s 3D models to provide context of the area surrounding the university, pulling them into ArcGIS Enterprise services for their own campus projects.
Cambridge is committed to putting data in the hands of the public through its open data policies, making it available for download from their GIS website.