Thank you for reading today's post! Recently Esri, a provider of geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence, and mapping solutions, has announced the launch of its ArcGIS Maps SDK for Unity and Unreal Engine. For the first time, developers have access to real GIS data across both game engines.
According to Esri (as reported by Auganix) the technologies originally developed for building game experiences have evolved into robust, real-time 3D development tools that embrace a broad range of industries. Coming from personal experience with both game engines, D3D can attest that these tools not only build video games, but simulations and training tools straight out of science fiction movies. The company also stated that they began working on the SDK's in 2019 after feedback from its customers.
So what is like using the SDK in its entry-level state? Check out the video below if you are interested in seeing Esri's marketing video, however our experience was a little more nuanced than they make it seem. Setup was still relatively simple, as at the time of our testing the SDK's were only available through GitHub repository. Once installed into Unity, it took a little research into what GIS data actually is before we were able to actually view some real content. After only a few short hours however, we had a fully functioning version of New York City, complete with traffic flow data and even building floor data that can be used to code simulations or gameplay effects. Continue scrolling to see a couple images of what we produced during our first test with the new SDK (those of you from the Knoxville area may recognize the area).