3D Model of Paris


Hey everyone,

My thesis is in Paris, and I was wondering if anyone knew of/had access to a 3DM of Paris that I could use for modeling/rendering?

The threads on here are outdated and I've had little luck finding a downloadable model online that I can use. Thanks in advance.

Jan 9, 14 2:52 pm

3D model of Paris for your thesis?!!?? why would you do that to yourself =O!!!??? good luck =/

Jan 10, 14 2:46 am  · 
Non Sequitur

Students sure are lazy these days.

Jan 10, 14 8:20 am  · 
I'd like a 3-d plaster of Paris model of Paris.
Jan 10, 14 11:44 am  · 
Saint in the City

^ ...add some emotion if you think of it.

Jan 10, 14 12:19 pm  · 

You only have one opportunity to present your case at trial.

Jan 15, 14 12:18 pm  · 

I'll repeat this just for Non.


"Yeah. Lazy. You all should be taking time out of your day (and night) that could be used to design your project to scour the internet for a cad file (or better yet build one from scratch to learn your place, you future worthless intern peons) instead of asking on a website. You might save a day or two if it pans out, you lazy bastards."

Jan 15, 14 12:48 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

I have to issue a few site instructions to help clarify the roofing membrane and insulation due to a mix-up with the curtain-wall, block mason, and dry-wall trades. Anyone have one I could use? It would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

I remember building a 3D model of Montreal several years back (Rhino 2 perhaps... not sure). It took me a few 6 hour train rides but through pdfs, google earth shots and other resources, I hatched together a damn decent CAD file and 3D massing.

Jan 15, 14 1:00 pm  · 

There's a big difference between a cad file of a city with which to use as a beginning for a site analysis or a Nolli Map and a fleshed out project specific detail. Even so, there's a reason product manufacturers hand out standard detail and many firms have "standard detail" catalogs. Reinventing the wheel is silly, and it doesn't hurt to ask.

Jan 15, 14 1:04 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

Site conditions don't often generate standard details. Besides, most schools have libraries and GIS stations where you can order-in CAD files of almost anywhere. Although not 3D, but still... or just take a pdf map into illustrator and extract the layers you need into CAD.

Again, lazy students.

Jan 15, 14 1:10 pm  · 

"Lazy" people can get things done more efficiently than industrious people provided their laziness doesn't come from a lack of care.

If I ask the internet for a cad file and get it in a day while you go to the library, learn ArcGIS, and generate the same thing in a week, does that make me lazy?

Jan 15, 14 1:13 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

I would say yes. Not that I think the asking process is dumb, I disagree with shortcuts in academia as building the context for a site helps in the design process. Plus, as I've seen in studio crits before, it is much easier to overlook mistakes if you take the files as-is or with little fixing. I've been part of too many presentations where someone asks what something is and the only answer is: "I don't know, it was there when I started".

Jan 15, 14 1:18 pm  · 

Ah, that's the crux of it. I agree that taking information at face value and running with it is foolish. Cribbing details, taking cad plans given to you on the internet by a stranger, etc. and trusting that they are a panacea should rightly land anyone in hot water.


We don't know, however, if the folks asking for these 3d files are doing that. They may take them, crop them down, verify they are current, and then use them to build upon. In that case they have saved much time and the project benefits from being that much further along come crit time.

Jan 15, 14 1:24 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

Pete, that's the idea.

A demand for a "3D model of Paris" is rather vague. Now I could be wrong and the last time I was in Paris was 3 years ago, but last I checked, it's a rather large place. 8-)

Now we've just gone and ruined any google search for CAD PARIS 3D. Expect this thread to rise from the dead every few months.

Jan 15, 14 1:34 pm  · 

Well, I wasn't expecting the heated debate... but for entertainment's sake I will clarify.

When I asked this question I was en route to Paris to explore/measure/document the site. I simply asked if anyone had a 3D model before I set to building one, as I know some students out there may have already modeled the city.

Secondly, yes, it is a large place. My site is a railway that circles the medieval city center. Basically, central Paris. So, more or less, I meant anyone who had any context of Paris at all may be helpful in scaling whatever I could export from Google Earth correctly, or even perhaps help put together the final model. I will be building the entirety of my specific site both physically and digitally, since I doubt anyone would find it in any current 3D model. This is why I went to Paris and measured the actual site for myself. Context, however, would be very helpful.

Lastly, I'd like to think that this forum is meant as a way to open a discussion, and I would hate to think that anyone asking for support from colleagues would be considered "lazy". 

Thanks to Pete for the support. And Non, I have already gotten all the historical maps, data, etc. on the site from my school's resources and the Atelier Parisien d'Urbanisme. Thanks for the suggestion, but I'm not as lazy as you might conclude. Also, I think a demand is quite harsh assignation to the nature of my original post. I do believe I asked rather nicely if anyone had access to anything.

I really hope you are on some crits soon that make you less jaded about some of the students out there that really do put in the work.

Jan 15, 14 10:50 pm  · 

huhu , well said :) 

I'm a young designer , and I believe in sharing  knowledge. Most of my models are shared on the net. 

Internet must not be the only way to solve a problem, but I do think that most of the creators , wherever they come from, even if the question of a 3D model of paris looks stupid for you, are not lazy by asking a question. A simple question like a "last hope". 

I have a comic book project with my brother, I modeled more that 300 characters, same for interiors, exteriors etc. All I miss , is just a 3D model of paris to modifiy its structure and rationalised lights and some other things. 

I tried to train myself on Cityengine , but it's to approximative. I tried to rip Google map , but it's just catastrophic. 

So I came here to hope having a helping hand , not to take a "lazy" after weeks of research. 

I have no lessons to learn. Especially from someone like you. 

Oct 3, 14 6:50 am  · 
Non Sequitur

I think I have magical powers of foresight. See above for my Jan 15th 2014 comment. I'm the modern day Nostradamus although, at least I was correct about one thing. Perhaps I'm the 3rd coming of christ too, who knows?

Oct 3, 14 8:28 am  · 

Hi Malone,

You can find a comprehensive cad map here:

And I will email you the 3D model of paris that I compiled from several other models.

Oct 3, 14 12:35 pm  · 

Hi Erin, thank you so much for starting this thread.

I am also doing my thesis in Paris and would be great to have the context around my site confirmed. I got a 3d Cad but I am not sure it is all correct.

Could you kindly share your 3D model with me?

And I do believe that people that disturb a discussion on a serious matter is not only lazy but also lacks of important matters to attend to.

What was your thesis about?

Best regards,


Jun 15, 18 6:37 am  · 

In 1939 I was in Paris as a 9-year old, and one of my professorial father's Anglophone acquaintances had built a room-sized scale model of Paris.  As  recall, no museum was interested because it was anachronistic, and not historically accurate for any given period, but rather preserved the most interesting buildings from many periods.   I was wondering if the web preserved any memory of it when I came across your request.  I have no idea of the name of the constructor or whether the model survived the war.  In any case, it had great appeal to a 9-year-old!   

Sep 12, 20 8:21 pm  · 

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