Q&A With Chris Munz: The Colorado Convention Center 3D Interactive Map

March 8, 2018 by Sam Slater

Tell us about the project – how does the Concept3D system support the Colorado Convention Center?

“The Concept3D platform brings the Colorado Convention Center’s massive, 584,000 square-feet of space to life online with a 3D, interactive map and VR-enabled virtual tour capabilities. Many companies, municipalities, universities, and others have sizable physical assets  – like a convention or exhibition center – or a big campus with a host of different buildings – and they’re looking for the best way to bring that into the digital world and make it accessible, explorable and ideally a memorable and useful experience. Not only do Concept3D maps work for promotional and wayfinding purposes, but they’re also amazing tools for meeting and events planners, staff and employees, and to profile the surrounding areas – hotels, restaurants, attractions, airports, etc.

What geospatial technologies were used?

“The Colorado Convention Center map uses OpenStreetMap tiles. Concept3D’s creative team is able to build up richly detailed 3D models of the building or buildings to be highlighted, and our software makes it all interactive and easy to manage with our map content management system. Essentially, every map location can have data assigned to it – information, images, video, live feed, etc. All of our maps have wayfinding capabilities, including mobile-friendly point-to-point directions, so people can easily find their way to and around a location.

“Concept3D uses the the geospatial data from the open source OpenStreetMap (OSM – akin to the Wikipedia of maps) but uses Mapbox to deliver that data. If OSM is the gasoline, Mapbox is the engine running the car that is Concept3D’s platform. Since Mapbox can provide vector OSM tiles, it allows us to build interactive elements that create a true 3D or 360° experience.

 Did Concept3D face any challenges during this project?

“Concept3D has launched the interactive maps for several convention centers now (as well as hundreds of universities and other locations) so we’ve got it dialed in. But mapping the interior and exterior of a 500+ thousand square foot facility takes time, particularly with the high level of detail that goes into it. Every room has to be measured and built; every single tree identified and added to the exterior. The project can take weeks to build and refine, and every client has specific needs that they require from the Concept3D platform. But the platform is incredibly flexible and can integrate data from just about any third-party feed such as live parking lot occupancy data, live bus routes and transit feeds, live event feeds, data visualization, communications, and more. Those add a bit more complexity to a project but are always amazing to see live and really add a new level of utility for guests. 

“It can also be a challenge for clients to see the longer-term benefits of adding a VR-enabled virtual tour. But every time a client experiences their tour, it blows them away and they are ecstatic about the potential. The experience really sinks in with visitors, and we see a lot of potential in the future for tying our geospatial technology to VR for space planning, construction and sales and marketing.”   

How is the Concept3D platform helping the convention center? How does the map help people with the convention center, event and meeting planners, and guests?

 

“The Concept3D platform is helpful for several audiences. The custom tool we built – MapSpacer – is a powerful application that makes it easy to search for ideal meeting spaces based on a meeting/event planner’s specifications: number of people, square footage, desired layout, etc. Using this same tool, convention center professionals can quickly design the space – pulling items directly from the inventory – and share that with a meeting planner in 2D or 3D fly-throughs. It’s a really powerful way to make changes on the fly, and simplifies the RFP and event planning process significantly.

“On the guest service side, it’s very easy for convention center staff, exhibitors and others to share their exact location and even embed that  – with directions – on a web page. Ultimately it’s about improving the overall guest experience, and the interactive map makes it easy and fun for guests who are coming to a convention to explore the space, orient themselves, and find exactly what they are looking for.   

“Finally – and we’ve seen this more and more – the Concept3D platform is a way for Convention Centers and other sizable locations to “bring” their location with them. Whether it’s having someone strap on VR goggles at a trade show to get a really immersive look at the space, to replacing a slide deck and using the platform for a presentation to show how an event will take place, figure out foot traffic flows, pick new places for concessions, or as a way to communicate with guests for promotional opportunities and upcoming events, the Concept3D platform has a lot to offer.”

Chris Munz is VP of Business Development at Concept3D.

Interested in learning more about how Concept3D can bring your convention center or event venue into the digital world? Contact us for a no-obligation chat about how our system can benefit your teams, from sales and marketing to facilities and more.

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