23.06.2022 Jakob Schoof

A Digital Tour of Zurich

© Stadt Zürich (Screenshot: Jakob Schoof)

In 2018, Zurich introduced a digital model of the city to the internet. Now two web applications allow virtual city tours and trips through time. Moreover, they can perform many analytical functions. Zürich virtuell let users dive into a model of today’s Zurich and its approximately 50 000 buildings. Future structures still at the planning phase are depicted as well.

© Stadt Zürich (Screenshot: Jakob Schoof)

At the click of a mouse, information about individual buildings such as the address, number of storeys and function can be retrieved – the last with dubious precision, for all the churches are described as “administrative”. It is even possible to view urban spaces from a pedestrian point of view, and entering a date and time of day will initiate analyses of daylight and shade conditions for any given time of year. Furthermore, the app has many different measurement functions: distances, areas and building heights can be determined directly from the model.

The Zürich 4D app is based on the same digital urban model. Time – the fourth dimension – comes into play here, for by selecting a timeline, the Swiss metropolis can be visualized in the year 3000 BC, around 1800, ten years ago or today. It is even possible to take a look into the near future thanks to submitted and approved building projects as well as the results of design competitions.

© Stadt Zürich (Screenshot: Jakob Schoof)

According to the City of Zurich, the city model supporting the two apps is updated regularly. In municipal offices, it is already being used for noise simulations, architecture competitions and the integral representation of projects related to building and civil engineering.

© Stadt Zürich (Screenshot: Jakob Schoof)

Both applications are browser-based: nothing has to be installed or downloaded.


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