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Cork Independent


Leeside goes digital

Wednesday, 17th January, 2018 5:13pm

Cork has been digitally recreated for the very first time, giving Corkonians a chance to virtually view their city.

The detailed recreation featuring some of Cork’s most iconic streets and monuments has been created by IT worker Antonio Bernal using a heavily modified version of the PC game ‘Cities: Skylines’. In the game, players create their own cities from the ground up from a blank map.

“The project itself has been going for about one year now,” Antonio told the Cork Independent. “It was a bit of a personal project. I’d been playing the game for a couple of years, but at some point I had the idea to take up the challenge of recreating Cork city.”

Having begun the project as a hobby, Antonio was happy with his progress and decided to put it out in the public realm.

“It was just fun. But now that it is looking good, it is nice to do the photos and videos so that people can see my work, and perhaps help me build a base,” he says.

Antonio referenced Google Maps to hand-create the roads, hills and streets of the city as closely as possible, using buildings pre-made in the game. For more unique structures such as Cork Opera House and Shandon Bells, Antonio says the procedure was a bit trickier:

“The level of detail I want is an ongoing challenge,” he admits. "There are features specific to Cork that are hard to get right. For example, getting the shape of the river and the quays. Getting the right elevation of the hills around the city is also quite tricky.

“For Shandon Bells, it was actually there pretty much as a perfect recreation. Someone from the game’s online community who makes 3D buildings did Shandon for me.”

With his digital Cork far from completed, Antonio will next work on area around the Kinsale Road roundabout, Forge Hill, the Lough, all the way to UCC. He will also work on expanding the northside and Blackpool, and hopes to include features further afield such as Fota and Blarney Castle.

He says he believe his project may even have some practical uses: “Some people from surveying companies have been in touch, and I don’t know if City or County Councils have seen it but perhaps it might have some practical application for things like development projects, traffic orientation. The simulation might lend itself to, for example, changing traffic direction to see the traffic response.

“So I think it has potential for the city or perhaps tourism boards. But that wasn’t the main goal, and if nothing happens then I am enjoying it for myself and to show others what I’m doing.”

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