Tuesday, 12 October 2021 / Published in Blog

Preventing the Next Shipping Container Cargo Crunch with 3D Imaging Tech

Visualization software can help smooth out kinks in supply chain management

If the shelves at your favourite stores are looking a little bare or you’re encountering sticker shock over your latest grocery bills then you’re not alone. A global supply chain crunch is making delivering imports tougher than usual and driving up costs of certain goods higher for anyone lucky enough to find what they need.

A perfect storm of COVID-19 outbreaks and labour shortages going back to the summer has resulted in shipping container delays and rising costs in major ports in the U.S. and China. Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, located south of Shanghai, shut down for two weeks in August 11 after a dock worker tested positive for COVID-19. It’s the world’s third-largest shipping container port with a volume of 27.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), according to Shipa Freight.

This is likely to be felt via rising prices and continuing shortages of certain goods, including in the Christmas trade.

In Southern California, a 73-boat backlog has popped up due to a lack of dock workers able to unload cargo containers. Cargo ships have been stuck outside the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for up to three weeks just to upload their goods, reports the Wall Street Journal. A lack of storage space has prompted shipping companies to jack up the prices, leaving shoppers footing the bill in the end.

“The terminal closures in China are leaving their mark and dampening the exchange of goods,” said Vincent Stamer, head of Kiel Trade Indicator, a German think tank. 

“There are no signs of a sustained easing of the situation, which clouds the outlook for international trade. This is likely to be felt via rising prices and continuing shortages of certain goods, including in the Christmas trade.”


Exposing The ‘Frailty’ of the system

While cargo ship jams and closed ports are recent examples of the supply chain crunch, the root causes can be traced back to the early days of the pandemic, according to M. Johnny Rungtusanatham, the Canada Research Chair in Supply Chain Management and a professor at the Schulich School of Business at York University.

“The pandemic stifled demand for certain goods and as we are coming out of the pandemic, we’re seeing demand peak… a lot of the manufacturing capacity that was already tight before has become tighter and there are new shocks in the system,” said Rungtusanatham. 

Rungtusanatham points to a myriad of factors behind the stress in the supply chain, such as an energy crisis in China, labour strikes at ports, a pivot to creating personal protective equipment and government financial assistance funding people’s spending habits.

“It’s a confluence of factors that have exposed the frailty of supply chains and supply chains are very long and are a small number of critically placed nodes. That’s the situation we’re in right now.”

How 3d Technology Can Help

We can increase our resiliency to such supply chain disruptions if we leverage technology better.

While there aren’t many quick fixes to getting the supply chain running back up to pre-COVID-19 levels, visualization technology, when paired with the right data, can help avoid future headaches, according to Raza Jafri, CEO and founder of 3D CityScapes.

“Whether it’s a seaport, airport, manufacturing facility, or the entire supply chain, visualizing can greatly and effectively help you make better decisions around the movement of goods and services,” said Jafri. 

“We can increase our resiliency to such supply chain disruptions if we leverage technology better. 3D CityScapes creates a front-end visualization to decipher this information in the most meaningful, efficient, effective, and clean way possible.”

Some of that information is readily available. When it comes to keeping seaport and terminals operational, workers collect data like the number of boats approaching and leaving the port, loading and unloading operations, customs and port call administration, along with surrounding road and railway traffic.

But even with all that information, seaport and shipping authorities are still operating with an incomplete picture, according to some marine data specialists.


A screenshot from 3D CityScapes’ partnership with Sinay on making a digital twin of a smartport. (Photo credit: 3D CityScapes)

“Ports are often relying their activities on geographical based software (GIS). However, these technologies only provide 2D visualization with limited possibility to see three-dimensional data such as bathymetry (seabed depth),” said Marie Besson-Leaud and Jacques Everwyn with Sinay Maritime Data Solutions. (Disclaimer: Sinay is one of 3D CityScapes clients.) 

“It is common for port authorities to have [an incomplete] awareness on their environment in relation with their activities.”


What Needs To Come Next

Besson-Leaud and Everwyn say companies looking to avoid future cargo shipping jams like the one in California should focus on vessel visibility by paying closer attention to collecting and tracking automatic identification system (AIS) and the prediction of estimate time of arrivals and departures. 

With global shipping traffic expected to grow anywhere between 240 per cent and 1209 per cent by 2050, depending on the country, digitization will be become increasingly crucial. 

Once that information is collected, it can then connect to a digital twin of a seaport that allows owners to monitor the situation but more importantly, predict and simulate operations in a worst-case scenario. 

In the meantime, the worst-case scenario shoppers can expect is having to pay more at the stores this holiday season, according to Professor Rungtusanatham. 

“Things are going to get a little more expensive because the cost of bringing goods to the shelves is going up.”

What items have you noticed gone up in prices lately? Have your deliveries been delayed more frequently? Let us know in the comments below. 

Monday, 11 October 2021 / Published in Press

3D CityScapes Teams Up with Sinay to Breathe New Life into Seaports

A new age of digitalization for ports is here

3D CityScapes, a global leader in creating immersive, interactive digital experiences, is pleased to announce its first European strategic partnership with French start-up Sinay

By combining Sinay’s Artificial intelligence algorithms, expertise in data and sensor information, and maritime industry knowledge with 3D CityScape’s visualization prowess, seaports are about to be brought into a new era of digitalization.

For years, Sinay has helped the maritime industry make smarter decisions by collecting and analyzing data to help clients find efficiencies and minimize environmental impacts. 3D CityScapes specializes in turning data into visuals using cutting-edge technology used in game development.   

“We are excited about this partnership with 3DCityScapes which will allow us to combine our expertise in maritime data management with an extraordinary 3D visualization tool, thus providing seaports and maritime actors with a competitive operational solution.” –David Lelouvier, Managing Director at Sinay

By integrating with Sinay’s data, 3D CityScapes will now build Digital Twins – interactive and immersive virtual representations – of seaports, smart cities, smart buildings, and more, which mirrors their real-world counterparts at any given time. 

“Creating a real-time digital twin means you have accurate forecasting. Seeing data in real time  seeing where ships are coming in, where people are going around, where containers are at  opens up a bunch of possibilities that can help you manage the port better.” – Founder and COO James Borst 

The result means seaports will have their own visual platform to monitor their facilities and surrounding environments in real-time, providing them with a powerful tool to save time, reduce costs and better respond to environmental changes.     

“This partnership will create living, breathing digital ports.” – Director of Digital Experience Salman Hussain

For more on this exciting new partnership, check out the video here.

More about 3D CityScapes  

More about Sinay 

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Thursday, 30 September 2021 / Published in Blog

What Tech Companies Can Bring to the Table for Reconciliation Efforts

A protester marches among 10,000 demanding justice for the 215 children found in unmarked graves at the form Kamloops Residential School in B.C. in June, 2021. (Photo credit: michael_swan/ Flickr)

If you’re wondering why your social media feeds are looking more orange, that’s because Sept. 30 marks National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. This year is the first instance of the statutory holiday that asks residents to reflect on the mistreatment of Indigenous people by harmful government policies, like the residential school system, and the intergenerational trauma felt today within communities.

Canadian residents can show their support by wearing orange clothing to mourn residential school children and support survivors, participate in local, grassroot commemorative events, and by reading up on the recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commision report and its calls to action.

For technology companies supporting Indigenous communities often means providing technical solutions that make the reconciliation process more efficient and effective.


Canadians recoiled in horror earlier this summer as Indigenous communities found hundreds of unmarked graves on the property of former residential schools. The grim discoveries across British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba confirmed what survivors have long known, but it also thrust the ground-penetrating radar (GPR) technology into the news cycle.

“It is important to note that remote sensing, such as GPR, is not necessary to know that children went missing in the Indian residential school context,” said Sarah Beaulieu, an archaeologist with the University of Fraser Valley, at a July press conference.

“This fact has been recognized by Indigenous communities for generations… Remote sensing such as GPR merely provides some spatial specificity to this truth.”

GPR works by sending energy waves into the ground via a transmitter. When these waves hit a buried object, they reflect, refract and bounce back, sending back information to a receiver. GPR system software then translates that info into an image.

Ending boil-water advisories in Indigenous communities: 

Safe and clean drinking water remains unreachable for 32 communities in Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, as of September 2021. There are 45 long-term drinking water advisories spread among the three provinces, meaning affected residents have been without a functioning water system for over a year.

Infrastructure plays a major role in fixing this problem so it shouldn’t be a surprise that Ottawa shifted its focus to operations and maintenance in May as part of its long-term plan to prevent drinking-water advisories. As of March of 2021, the federal government has doled out $2.05 billion of targeted funds to support water and wastewater-related infrastructure projects, representing a ripe opportunity for 3D visualization companies to help plan, execute and contribute to ending a long-standing issue.

“Our commitment to improving access to clean water on reserves does not come with a deadline, nor is it limited to our work to lift all long-term drinking water advisories. First Nations communities have now received the first installment of increased operations and maintenance funding,” said Marc Miller, minister of Indigenous services in a release. “These improvements will provide First Nations a predictable funding stream, which will assist them in making strategic plans for their communities.”

Keeping languages alive: 

Among the harmful practices of the residential school system was punishing for students speaking their native language, leading to the loss of generational knowledge to be passed down. Statistics Canada shows a decline in the Indigenous population able to speak a native language. Just over 22 per cent of the demographic could speak an Aboriginal language in 2006. A decade later, that figure had dropped to 16 per cent. That said, the overall number of people able to speak an Aboriginal language, either as a second language or their mother tongue, went up from 1996 to 2016 by about 8 per cent.

Partnerships with Indigenous communities and app developers are working to perverse and revitalize languages. KOBE Learn, for example, is an app developed in conjunction with the Keewaytinook Okimakanak Board of Education in Northern Ontario along with language teachers, elders and community members. The app features 500 words and phrases in Oji-Cree, Cree, and Ojibwe, broken down by various categories such as food and beverages, animals, clothing, and survival phrases. The app pairs the words with pictures, along with audio and syllabic breakdowns.


“We’re losing our language at a fast pace. Even myself, since I moved away from the communities in 2008, I’ve noticed a decline in how much I speak,” said Robert Kakegamic, education coordinator for Keewaytinook Okimaknak Secondary School Service in January. “If I’m losing it at that pace, then our kids coming out of the communities for high school for four to five years, they’re going to lose it as well.”

What initiatives to support indigenous communities come to mind, within your industry? How do you think technology can play a bigger part in the reconciliation process? Let us know in the comments.

If you are an Indian Residential School survivor, or have been affected by the residential school system and need help, you can contact the 24-hour Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419

Friday, 16 July 2021 / Published in Blog

Webinar: Transfomring Your Industry With Interactive 3d Environments

In case you missed it, here’s a full recording of our webinar!

Thank you to all those who attended. So many great questions were asked, and we enjoyed answering all of them.

If you’re looking for a short and sweet introduction to everything about interactive 3D environments, digital twins, data, use cases in real estate sales & marketing, urban planning, property development, economic development, tourism, training & education, asset management, smart buildings & cities, and some of the technology used by the 3D CityScapes team, this is the webinar for you!

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us or simply leave a like and comment below.

00:13 – Introduction by Leili Sinaei
00:35 – webinar agenda
01:00 – about 3D CityScapes Inc.
01:57 – Interactive 3D environments w/ Nader Qawasmi
03:15 – intro to digital twins
05:12 – how we build our environments
06:22 – use cases
06:45 – real estate sales & marketing
09:05 – development & urban planning
11:25 – economic development & tourism
13:40 – training & education
15:00 – asset management
16:30 – smart buildings & cities
19:35 – 3D CityScapes value proposition
22:35 – Q&A

Wednesday, 03 March 2021 / Published in Blog

Xplor Prototype Preview

XPLOR is 3D CityScapes‘ (3DCS) first integrated platform that allows its users to access a variety of interactive applications currently in development at 3DCS.

Clients will be able to load and stream their designated licensed applications using unique login credentials–from anywhere in the world with internet connection.

XPLOR is a versatile tool for data  visualization, VR exploration, and digital marketing–designed for land developers, architects, urban planners, and sales teams–reducing sale cycles, approval times, project costs, and environmental footprint.

Contact us to claim your presence in the digital realm.

Tuesday, 16 February 2021 / Published in Blog

App Footage: Toronto Downtown

Take a sneak peek into the incredible 3D interactive environment in our visualization application.

This is the latest version of our Downtown Toronto 3D environment. We’ve taken the liberty of adding Oxford Properties Group’ The HUB and Ivanhoé Cambridge’s CIBC Square phase 2 tower to the skyline.

The best part? You can fully interact with the environment and showcase data for uses that include sales, leasing, urban planning, economic development, tourism, and construction.

Tuesday, 26 January 2021 / Published in Press

Seeing Is Believing

New cloud-based platform will allow buyers to virtually view homes before they are built


A person uses the 3D CityScapes app on a tablet.

Nowadays, it seems, all new homes and condos are bought pre-construction —based on information taken from brochures, floor plans and price lists.

If you are lucky, you may get to tour a model home or suite, but that is not always an option, and that’s the problem.

“To really understand the build environment, you have to visualize it,” says Raza Jafri, founder and CEO of 3D CityScapes, which is developing what it calls the “very first cloud based streaming platform” in the world to help builders and developers showcase their pre-construction homes in the most “photo-realistic and impactful way possible.”

Visualization takes it even further in that designers now are not only able to offer floor plans and model renderings, but show an entire house virtually and to factor in all the subtle parts of the home buying decision.

For example, it can show how a layout effects sunlight throughout the day, and what the views will look like from a 20th floor condo balcony night or day.

Visualization can also allow buyers to experience a variety of options or upgrades — to change out the materials of the property they are viewing (flooring, cabinets, counter top finishes, appliances, furniture) and to preview those changes in real-time.

This not only helps tremendously from a sales aspect, it leads to a more informed buying decision, says Jafri.

It also goes without saying that the pandemic has changed everything — it’s accelerated the development of visualization software lessening the need for buyers to visit a sales office in the first place.

Instead, this platform will allow “for hundreds and even thousands of viewers to interact with the applications they create,” it will be available 24/7 and allow property developers a chance to showcase their future property developer around the clock.

Already, the software is getting endorsements from several builders and developers who during a pandemic and subsequent shut downs have closed sales centres and made in-person visits more difficult.

“We found 3D CityScapes to have the highest-quality digital interactive environment applications available in the world, and are very excited to partner with them,” says Michael De Gasperis, president and CEO, Arista Homes and vice-president of the TACC Group of Companies. “Take it from somebody with decades of experience. This is the direction the industry is going.”

“It’s been a fantastic experience working with the team at 3D Cityscapes. From the moment I sat down with them I knew instantly that they had something incredibly unique and inventive that my team couldn’t pass up…a snapshot into the future of what’s to come in the world of real estate” says Pamela Ventresca, COO Pace Developments Inc .

Aside from being an unlimited sales and marketing tool, it plays a key role in the early stages of planning and design, says Ventresca. “Having access to our own projects on this level and in this magnitude allows us to plan, change, improve and basically clearly see what it is we’re building. It gives us the opportunity to make it better before it even exists, what’s better than that.”

Future versions of the software will build on its “cloud-based streaming” features — Jafri wants to make it easily accessible to anybody with a computer and a good Internet connection.

Among the firm’s more ambitious goals is to complete a 1-to-1 scale virtual 4K environment of Toronto, which would assist urban planners with design and help governments speed up the approval process.

“We are building a digital twin of the entire world,” says Jafri. “The implication is that we will provide an entirely new way of exploring and visualizing data.”

For more information, visit

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Monday, 30 November 2020 / Published in Podcast

How Oculus Devices Collect Spatial Data To Create Slam Maps Localization and Mapping (SLAM) is the computational problem of constructing or updating a map of an unknown environment while simultaneously keeping track of an agent’s location within it.The Robert Scoble Podcast – w/Arthur Rasmusson – CTO, 3D CityScapesFull Episode:

Monday, 23 November 2020 / Published in Blog

3D CityScapes application preview

Take a sneak peek at some of the interactive elements within our application.

Tuesday, 27 October 2020 / Published in Podcast

How Facebook uses localized transcripts to serve you ads Zuckerberg might say to the senate committee that Facebook is not listening in on your conversations, but there are other ways to collect your data for advertising. The Robert Scoble Podcast – w/Arthur Rasmusson – CTO, 3D CityScapesFull Episode: