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Portsmouth Begins $50,000 Digital 3-D Downtown Modeling Project

Emily Corwin

  Conflict between commercial growth and historic preservation is a constant in Portsmouth, where city meetings over building heights often run late into the night. Now, city leaders hope a new 3-D model of downtown Portsmouth will bring context to the conversation.

Portsmouth is paying the Kittery archetectural rendering firm Tangram 3DS $50,000 to create this interactive map, which Portsmouth principal planner Nick Cracknell says will be used by land use and zoning boards.

One of the biggest challenges they have is understanding whether the proposed building fits the scale of the surrounding context.

Tangrams’ Jared Foley will take about 5000 still shots of 430 buildings in Portsmouth’s historic district. Then, he’ll put them together into a Google Earth like 3-D map of the city.  

The first round of 3-D modeling will be finished in July. It includes 430 detailed facades out of a total of 1000 properties – and will be available to the public through a web portal.

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