Bearspaw Digital Terrain Modeling


Brookfield / BrookCal, LP


O2 Planning and Design


Calgary, Alberta, Canada




GeoDesign, Urban Design, Urban Planning, GIS, 3D Visualization

To support the exploration of neighborhood design alternatives at a former quarry site in northeast Calgary, Brookfield retained O2 to build a digital terrain model of existing conditions and then explore different approaches to grading the site.

I assembled a 'master' terrain and land cover model in ArcGIS and scripted several data integration and analysis tools in Python to lead this process. This terrain model seamlessly integrated fine-scale LiDAR data captured for the site with a coarse Geobase DEM, resulting in a model that provided a topographic context from the site all the way to the front range of the Canadian Rockies. I conducted topographic and viewshed analyses on the base model, and the project team then generated renderings of the base model using Visual Nature Studio.

Supporting environmental design / landscape architecture staff designed several alternative site grading approaches in Rhino, for which I developed three conceptual neighborhood design configurations (i.e., three coarse master plans including streets, blocks, lots, and land uses).* Using my scripting-supported workflow, I automated the integration of their grading design with my neighborhood concepts into a master GIS database, and ran topographic, viewshed, and urban form analysis tools.

*Note: alternative site grading/design approaches are not shown, as the project is still in early stages of public consultation.