Island of Oahu
- it would be nice to take advantage of the large amount of GIS data that's
available for Oahu
- island extents are ~66*50km, UTM zone 4, covered by 16 USGS 7.5" quads
- the whole island is one county, called the "City
& County of Honolulu" (CCH)
- 10m DEMs available from USGS for the whole island
- at 8K*8K, a 8.0*6.1m grid is possible
- on 2000.02.29, extracted a 4k BT at (573909.5, 2350636.3), ( 66305.6, 51264.8),
looks great, though the shoreline seems quite inaccurate
- reportedly, LIDAR data exists for the Honolulu downtown shoreline - need
DLG and DRG
and hydro DLG at 7.5" are available. 2001.02 ordered, received, data looks
good, and fairly well up-to-date
- DRG: 2001.02 ordered, received. 14 of the files are normal USGS scanned
topo maps, but one of them (Koko head) is from NIMA
- the NIMA DRG looks radically different
- all lines are rendered with aliasing, small buildings have no orientation,
overall it is clearly computer-rendered from digital sources rather than
scanned from a paper map
- fortunately a large number of the landmark buildings are present as outlines
- Oahu DRGs are online on the SOEST site
as well as the USGS Clearinghouse
- SOEST has
Imagery and Data for Oahu (shockwave!)
- however, the files are troublesome - the JPEGs lack CRS info, and the
TIFs appear to be badly formed?
- Emerge Aerials for Oahu:
- In 2005, the USGS Seamless Server (SDDS)
list of hi-res orthophotos which includes the whole island. This is
now accessible through The
- Urban Area: Honolulu, HI
- Acquisition Date on Imagery: April 2004
- Resolution: 0.3 meters
- Projection: UTM
- Date Available: January 13, 2006
- However, like other SDDS rasters, it is only available for download
in custom sections, slowly, given a small area of interest as a rectangle,
no more than "approximately a 4 x 4 mile area", yet Oahu is roughly 42 x
33 miles in extent.
- What is the source of this data? The metadata says "Credits: National
Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
The following companies produced the data to support this task -3001, Inc.
and EarthData International, LLC", specifically "EarthData Aviation".
EarthData Aviation acquired the assets of Emerge (announced October 17,
2005). Possible connection to the 1m Emerge aerials collected in Hawai'i
from 2001-2003? Probably not. Looks like NGA hired EarthData
to gather fresh data.
also says April 13, 2005 for Source_Time_Period_of_Content,
instead of 2004 as the SDDS site says
- Where is it available in one piece? Why is it not available on
the DPP site?
2005 coastal aerials
- unreferenced aerials from the shoreline on the southeast half of the
- very high resolution - full scans of the (film) photographs are 6400
x 6539 px
- coverage emphasis on the Kaneohe area of windward Oahu
Commercial City Models
- GIS layers for the whole island exists, certainly including buildings, and
parcel boundaries - who has it, and how much does it cost?
- some layers are online, on the
Statewide GIS site
and the Honolulu
Department of Planning and Permitting
(DPP)'s site gis.hicentral.com
- the DPP, according toPACAF has
many data layers including some which might be useful for visualization:
- Highways/major Streets
- Parcel Boundaries (DPP/FIN)
- Street Centerline
- Topographic 5 Foot Contour Lines
- the DPP had both a web viewer
(ArcIMS based) and even some data directly on
their FTP site
- strangely, all their data appears to be in the old projection "Old_Hawaiian_StatePlane_Hawaii_3_FIPS_5103"
- other layers include 100m false-color LandSat, and high-res aerials of selected
areas in MrSID format
- Historically, for Oahu, the situation as of the mid-1990s was:
- You must lease the right to access the data layers from the Department
of Land Utilization, for one year, cannot give it to anyone else or make
any reproductions of it, and must pay a varied fee for each layer depending
on data size and comprehensivity: the cost is approximately $35,000 for
all the data layers of the City and County of Honolulu [...] The State of
Hawai‘i not only has no vision of public information access,
but it has no current policy: State data layers used by OSP (Office of State
Planning) and other departments, also collected with public funds, cannot
be purchased at any price."
- the building footprints from the DPP site are somewhat spotty
- consists of around 8 areas on south-eastern Oahu
- interestingly, the largest patch of footprints are in an area which
the 10m DEM says is ocean, consisting of most of the town of Kailua
- each footprint has height in stories, and a large fraction of the buildings
also have height in feet!
- The Building Footprint Geo-Database Project (2004)
undertaken by the DPP "To further enhance the City's existing GIS. The
City contracted USI-Hawaii Inc. [no longer exists]
to implement data acquisition and Geo-Database development."
project is described in
Hawaii Building Footprint Geo-Database Project: 3D Urban Visualization,
Paper# 1693 (pdf)
- beyond footprints, they actually captured texture-mapped models for
the buildings, and used these to produce flyover movies
- they used ESRI products and
Photo for most of the work, and 3DS MAX for the flyover (non-realtime)
- the area was relatively small: just Downtown, Kakaako, Waikiki, and
- why do the resulting footprints not appear on the DPP site?
The RAPIDSite model
- Back in 2000 or 2001, the CCH GIS department used E&S RAPIDsite software
to create a nice visualization of Waikiki Gateway Park. There is
an article describing the project at Geoplace: 3-D
Visualization Illustrates Hawaiian Gateway. The source data included
"a Shapefile with 20-foot contours, a color digital orthophoto with 1m resolution,
Shapefiles with building footprints and heights, DWG files with detailed building
footprints for modeling 'landmark' buildings, and a set of 360-degree horizon
- CCH GIS Manager Ken Schmidt said some really exciting, promising things
about GIS and 3D:
- "CCH is considering a 'virtual permitting' program that would use visualization
technology to evaluate all proposed developments in Honolulu. Each developer
will submit source data to the planning department, which will use it to
create a dynamic 3D site model in RAPIDsite and incorporate it into a RAPIDsite
model of Waikiki."
- However, its not clear what became of this project. Despite the success,
i haven't found evidence of any further 3D as part of the CCH planning process.
The RAPIDsite software was later discontinued. Perhaps the 3D initiative
fell victim to the usual government budget and priority fluctuation.
- It seems that Ken Schmidt is still with CCH GIS (at least as of 2004),
- MegaCITY Hawaii
for MS Flight Simulator 2004
- Apparently takes the USGS
hi-res orthophotos from 2004 and reformats them for use in MSFS, available
as a reasonable $10 download.
- While the source data is at 1 foot and 2 feet per pixel, in MSFS 2004
it displays at 4.8 meters per pixel.
- Test Drive: Unlimited for
- Models the entire island of Oahu, including 1600km of roads, for a racing
- although the emphasis is on racing action, not terrain, the scenery
in the games looks quite nice, with a lot of hand-modelled culture along
View of Downtown Honolulu area taken from the top of the Honolulu
View north from Aloha Tower.
View east from Aloha Tower.
View east across Manoa Valley.