Tower (PDF)

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Title: Tower_pdf

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The Friendship Tower - Created in ArcMap and ArcScene

Any successful project must begin with a strong foundation or base to build from. In order to begin this project, I downloaded a
file that contained the proper geographic coordinate system for the project area along with elevation information. In this case,
the files data type was TIN and it was projected in NAD 1983, UTM Zone 15 North with a base elevation of 495 meters.

The site visit revealed that the four columns were connected by four steel “I” beams. This can be created by making a new
feature, coping that feature and adding a narrow web between the two. By using the “Rectangle Tool” again, create the top
flange of the beam for one side and the center web for that beam. Repeat the copy and paste to produce a copy of the flange
to make the bottom flange of the beam. With the three components created, use the copy and paste functions to produce the
other three beams. Move them into place and use the rotate tool to rotate two of the beams to make the other sides.



For access from the lower level to the upper level, the design called for a set of spiral stairs. To begin, construct a small circle in
ArcMap, centered on the bottom lid. This will represent the center post of the stairs. With the center post constructed, “buffer” a
circle out from the center post. This will help in the creation of the stair treads. Divide the Construct it approximately 16 sections.
With the post and the newly formed circle as guides, use the snap function to trace the outline of one tread starting at the center
point and moving out along the outer circle. Construct one tread and copy, paste, and rotate each additional tread to complete
the set. After all 16 treads have been created, moved into place, and given a height in the attribute table, each step was made
into its own feature by highlighting one step, right-clicking on the features name, selecting the “Data” option, and finally exporting the data. Repeat this process until all 16 steps have been created. Using ArcScene, add the “Steps” data and extrude to
produce the spiral stairs. Repeat the copy/paste application within ArcScene to create additional sets of stair treads and modify
the base height until the desired number of treads have been created..

With the tower recreated in the digital world, the finishing touches can be added. Researching the internet, I determined that the
tower has text on all four sides of the bottom lid of the structure. The text reads “Who is Wise? He who learns from everyman”
in four languages: English, Hebrew, Dutch, and Maastricht Dutch. The ArcScene software package used supports the English
language so for this project the text on all four sides will only be displayed in English. To place the text on the side of the tower,
first rotate the view to a point allowing for better viewing of the desired location. Select the “3D Text” button located in the 3D
Graphics Toolbar and add the text. Move the mouse cursor to where the text needs to be placed and click the mouse button
and begin typing the phrase. With the phrase entered, press the “Enter” button to complete the process. The text may not be
exactly where it needs to be and the correct size may also need to be corrected but with the “Select Graphics” tool on the 3D
Graphics Toolbar it can be fixed. Using the pointer, select the text that was entered and a menu will be activated that will contain the spatial data regarding the text (size, x, y, and z location, rotation, and font are just a few of the features that can be
modified). To move the text into place edit the x location, y location, and elevation by changing the numbers displayed gradually. Changing the font style, text size, and rotation also need to be changed to finish the application of the three-dimensional
text. In order to duplicate the text on the other three sides, repeat the process..


The idea behind this project was to allow students to see an object, or structure, and be able to reproduce it in the computer lab using specialized software. The assignment will utilize the abilities to translate two-dimensional data into an
extruded three-dimensional structure using tasks and applications covered in the classroom.

The overall objective of this project was to familiarize the student with aspects of ArcMap and ArcScene; more importantly,
the three-dimensional capabilities of the software. The ability to transform an apparent flat two-dimensional object in
ArcMap into an object with height or elevation in ArcScene is the projected outcome.

3D Text

The area of interest for this project is located on the campus of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Missouri. The campus is
located approximately 60 miles east of Kansas City proper and just south of US 50 highway. The University was established in 1871 but the project structure wasn’t constructed until 1998. It is located South of the University’s football stadium
between Washington Street and Holden Street, and is known as the Friendship Tower.

To begin the process, data must first be collected. Data was collected during a site visit to the structure and from information gathered in a classroom lecture. The site visit allowed students to view the structure first-hand to gather key information regarding size and object proportion. Upon returning to the classroom, data from the internet was collected, downloaded, and finally extracted to begin the processing step. To gain additional knowledge on the process, I researched the
several textbooks, the software’s online “Help” menu, and contacted a current GIS analyst with over 15 years of experience
with ESRI’s Arc software packages.

Once the base is set, the first bit of the tower can be constructed. This structure consists of the foundation made-up of three
dimensional polygon shapes stacked one on top of the other. Using the editing tool in ArcMap to add a new feature, the layers
containing steps can be produced and height can be given to them in the attribute table and then extruded in ArcScene to
display their height.

Above each steel beam is a decorative unit that contains three voids each. Within these voids there are members that form a
mesh. Constructing these items took several steps. First the Decorative unit header can be drawn with the same width as the
header below them. Extrude the objects up to give them the height required. Continue by constructing the smaller pieces that
will represent the voids. Once extruded, the items can be removed or subtracted from the larger object with the use of the “clip”
command. This will produce the voids required so the mesh can be added in the next process.


After the tower foundation was placed, the next step would be to add the University crest in the center of the Towers floor. To
reproduce the crest, download the image from the university web page and simply trace the key details. This can be a little
tricky but with the help of the “Editors” Union, Intersect, Clip, and Merge functions. Once completely tracing the outlines of the
crest, it can be given a little height to help give it detail. This can be done by modifying the attribute table. See Figure 3 for

With the voids created in the units, the steel mesh members can be created. To begin, it’s easier to construct the horizontal
units first. Start at one location and copy them to the other three sides. To create this feature, use the “Rectangle Tool” again.
After making one unit, copy and paste it to produce a total of 4 horizontal units within ArcScene. Each of these units will be the
same height but have a different starting or base height. Constructing the vertical elements is a bit trickier. Start with drawing a
small rectangular shape in ArcMap and make copies of it so that the 8 copies are equally spaced along the horizontal members.
Use the “copy/paste” function to reproduce the vertical members to fill all three voids. Now one side is completed, repeat the
copy, paste, move, and rotate steps to get the other three sides completed.

To construct the upper walls of the tower, begin by using the railing data as a guide and use the “buffer” command to produce an object whose boundary is located within the railings. Use the “buffer” command again to
produce guidelines for the interior wall. With both interior and exterior guidelines set, use the “create new
feature” “rectangle tool” to create blocks to represent the different sections. Repeat the process to create three
different shapes along each side, a total of 12 items will be created. After all 12 items have been created,
select all but the center blocks and create a new feature that contains just the corners. They will be used to
create the screened sections of the tower in the next step.

There are eight columns that make-up the upper level of the tower. In order to start this process, use the center pole of
the stairs and “buffer” a feature out to use as a guide. With the guide set, make one column (using the “Circle Tool”)
and place it along the guideline just created. To produce the remaining columns, copy, paste, and move the remaining
items into place, ensuring that the spacing looks proportional.


Image file

Tracing the Image

Centered on every other level of the top structure lays a screened portion. It allows light to enter the center
area while preventing wildlife from entering. To create this feature, select the center portions from the “Top
Structure” layer and save the data to create separate features. Once created separately, open the layers
properties menu by “right clicking” on the new feature name and selecting the “properties” option. This will
allow for the “transparency” of the feature to be set by looking at the “Display” tab.

3D Crest

After adding the crest, the corner planters can be added. The tower has four planters for flowers, one located at each of the
four corners. Each planter is made up of two separate components: a cap and the base. The cap is a thin decorative stone
structure that can be made by tracing the outline that looks similar to the actual structure. With the cap drawn, the wall can be
made by using the buffer command located in the Editor menu. The cap overhangs the wall so be sure to buffer the cap with a
negative number. This will place the base inside the cap outline. With both items constructed, open the attribute table and
insert a height for each object.

At the top of the structure is a public address system that consists of three speakers. To construct this feature, make a
copy the center pole used in the construction of the stairs. This will represent the object the speakers will attach to.
Draw one rectangle above the center pole to represent a speaker. Since it isn’t possible to physically get close enough,
refer to photographs to aid in proportions. Make two copies of that rectangle and rotate each around the center post to
complete the drawing steps. ArcScene will allow for these features to be given height and elevation.

With the lower section created, the flat portion that the upper level will rest on can now be created. It is made up of three separate polygon shapes stacked one on top of the other to give it height and a bit of architectural detail. The smallest of the three is
the first to be created and should be created by using the “rectangle tool”. With the “snapping” application activated and
assigned, create a “new feature” and snap to the outside of the corner posts to aid in precision. After the first layer of the top is
completed, the remaining two can be created by using the “buffer” command located in the editor toolbar menu. The height of
each unit can then be assigned in the attribute table related to the features created.


The top cap is the base for the column portion of the structure and is made up of one rectangular polygon. Use the bottom lid
as a guide and “buffer” inside to produce the top cap making sure to cover the limits of the top structure.

This feature is an architectural feature that can easily be made by using the “Circle Tool” or by using the “Buffer” option. When using the “buffer” option,
use the center pole again as a guide. Produce an object that is slightly larger than the one used in placing the columns. Be sure to construct the object
large enough to extend outside all perimeters of the columns.

To bring height to the Tower, four stone columns located in the corners of the project must be constructed. This can also be
accomplished using two different methods. One is to use the “create a new feature” in the editor toolbar or the other is the “cut”
and “paste” technique. Either way will provide the desired outcome but the latter option saves time because the column is only
drawn once and copied several times and it is the most accurate of the two methods. Using the advanced editing toolbar,
construct a square shape with the help of the “Rectangle Tool” option. Repeat the steps to create the other 3 columns or just
copy, paste, and move the items to the desired location..

After the base is set, the next step is the safety railing. In order to build this item, use the buffer command within the ArcMap
editor. Using the bottom lid as a guide, offset lines negatively to place the item inside the lid’s boundary. With one side of the
railing created, duplicate the buffering step to produce the other side of the railing. Once both lines are created, the “Clip”
command will allow for the space inside the two objects to be removed only leaving the hand railing itself. With one portion of
the railing completed, the second part can be copied and pasted in ArcScene to create the upper and lower railings. Looking
back at how the “Mesh Filler” was created, create a polygon shape that will represent the vertical members of the railing. Copy
and paste the posts along all four sides insuring that spacing is correct. They can be moved by using the move command
located in ArcMaps editor pull-down menu or by simply using the “drag-and-drop” option.

Looking at the photographs aided in the construction of the upper railings. Construct a shape that looks like the one represented in the figure. “Buffer” an object inside its boundary and repeat the “Clip” application used in the construction of the lower
railing. Applying the vertical members is also accomplished by using the same methods.

The roof structure is made up of several three-dimensional circular polygons stacked on top of one another to
produce a cone shape. To accomplish this task, use the “buffer” command with the Roof Base as the reference
and construct a feature that is outside the boundary of the reference feature. This will act as the base for the
cone. Continue buffering inward from the first item until the center is reached. Open the attribute table and
assign height to each newly created feature making sure that each of the items is equally spaced vertically.

The last items add are trees and bushes. This can be accomplished by
adding simple “point” features to the project in ArcMap. Apply the data to
ArcScene project and change the elements symbology. This can be done
by selecting the point feature symbol located in the Table of Contents. Selecting the point symbol will display a pop-up menu that will allow for the
user to assign a different symbol to the point feature. In this case, apply the
3D Trees option and scroll through the options until the vegetation of choice
is located.

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