3D visualisation of a port

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3D visuals: communicating estate redevelopment potential

Using 3D visualisation can enhance communication, as our project for ABP demonstrates.


The sharing of visual media, such as maps and figures, is traditionally accomplished using 2D images. While these can be useful for certain projects, it can be more helpful to use an intuitive 3D image.

Associated British Ports (ABP) commissioned ABPmer to help communicate the planned redevelopment of a port to stakeholders. Recognising that visual presentation is key to understanding, we created 3D visualisations of the port pre- and post-development, as well as construction phases. This approach was designed to help stakeholders understand the plan, and contrast the existing facilities with the proposed redevelopment.

Attention to detail in 3D visualisations goes a long way to helping people gain a clear picture of such proposals. We developed a complete 3D model of the port based on mapped data in GIS along with background visuals, as well as custom-made 3D models of vessels, buildings, construction equipment and manufacturing material to bring the scene to life. Naturally, all model items were built to the same scale, so the real-world sizes of elements could be compared.

Having a close working relationship with the client ensures such projects are fit-for-purpose. Developing the 3D visuals was an interactive and partnership-based process; we produced a draft model for ABP’s feedback, which was adjusted, and items added, in line with requirements.

Once finished, ABP could view the 3D model of the entire port and select the best images for customer engagement. ABP selected 25 stills of the port scene to aid discussions about the planned redevelopment.

Prepared by Aidan Walsh


To learn more about ABPmer’s data and GIS services, email Chris Jackson, or call +44 (0)23 8071 1856.