Here Technologies, formerly owned by Nokia, has worked in the past few years to refine and expand the use of its location platform after years of working to attract users to Google Maps, Apple Maps and TomTom. Today, Here announced that it is offering corporate developers high-resolution 3D models of 75 major cities – data that businesses can use to create the next wave of mapping, smart city and entertainment apps using mixed reality and 5G technologies.
Premier 3D Cities models cover urban centers such as London, Paris and San Francisco and include both buildings and street networks, each with extensive data layers such as location names and addresses. Every structure is volumetric and spatially accurate to the nearest sub-meter, says here, including size and height, even including its real exterior color. To support both streaming and rendering of data, every square kilometer of data is rendered here in smaller tiles in cesium 3D format.
The new offering is important to technical decision-makers, as the digitization of companies and cities depends on digital twins – virtual replicas of buildings that owners, employees and visitors can access, from remote facility management to personal navigation. At its core, the Premier 3D Cities platform gives companies access to realistic 3D models that can be used for virtual on-site visits, last mile deliveries, or emergency planning. These models eliminate or dramatically reduce the need for businesses to rebuild their own facilities in 3D while placing them in their actual urban environment.
It is important to note that the following data can be used as a starting point and infrastructure for enterprise-scale map and location services, not just an endpoint. Developers can build on Here’s 3D models by adding their own metadata and rendering buildings, streets, and entire cities using even more sophisticated techniques such as more detailed textures, lighting, and environmental effects. Here it is expected that the entertainment industry can use their 3D cities as backgrounds, while telecommunications companies can plan 5G network structures with volumetrically accurate location details. Since the models are three-dimensional, they can be displayed on augmented and virtual reality headsets just as easily as on vehicle, smartphone and computer screens.
It is clear that the originally published list of 75 cities is just the beginning of this offering, as Here already introduces “over 80 cities” on its website and states that 196 countries have been mapped using a combination of lidar, optical and satellite imagery . Developers interested in sampling Here Premier 3D Cities data can access free maps of Berlin, London and Munich via AWS Data Exchange – approximately 40 to 50 square kilometers per city, each available for a non-commercial 90-day trial.
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