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Mapping New Infrastructure with 3D Aerial Data


Mar 2023

Nearmap 3D aerial data and content makes visualising and measuring infrastructure simple, efficient and accurate.

Mar 2023

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Mapping new infrastructure is easy when you can pan, zoom, rotate and tilt 3D models, and take height, pitch and length measurements. With the ability to simply export 3D content for the area you’re working on you can start exploring and planning without limits.
In 2007, Nearmap developed its first proprietary camera system, HyperCamera, that was highly efficient at capturing and making imagery available, easy to access and consume via platform or to ingest into existing systems. In 2018, we launched the next iteration of this camera technology, HyperCamera2, enabling 3D content, with wide-scale coverage across urban areas.
AUG 2021 | PERTH, WA AU
“As technology evolved, we knew we could democratise imagery and 3D content, allowing anyone to access current content. It was no longer only available for highly specialised teams and projects and we have since developed derivative products that harness the power of this content to give simple answers” says Stephen Neale, 3D Content Manager at Nearmap.
At the time of writing, in May 2022, test flights are underway for the latest Nearmap camera system, HyperCamera3.

What is 3D Mapping Software?

With 3D mapping it’s possible to not only measure horizontally but also measure elevation, height and slope, and deliver a true, measurable 3D world far beyond the capabilities of a top-down view.
When we look at vertical images, we see a flat view of the world and our minds interpret height and depth, but it can’t be measured. With 3D content, you can rotate, tilt and change perspective in a natural way of viewing. It’s possible to ask how high a building is and quickly get an accurate answer.
Watch the clip below to see Nearmap 3D perspectives:

The Nearmap 3D Content Suite

Panorama and Oblique imagery formats both show a 45-degree view. With Panorama you can continuously pan around an area of interest and zoom in for more detail. Oblique imagery shows individual photos of an area, rather than continuous blended images, which makes accurate measurements possible.
Textured Mesh is a 3D triangulated wireframe model with high-resolution, photorealistic textures, available in multiple formats, a ‘gamified’ 3D world a user can interact with.
Point Cloud is a vector file made up of points containing x,y and z data and colour values in the LAS (LASer) file format. Point Cloud is simply a point sampling of the textured mesh. This is particularly useful for engineering applications such as the Autodesk suite.

See Nearmap 3D Content in Action

This video shows a powerful illustration of a scenario in which a real house, in Wilberforce, Western Sydney, faces flooding and the trapped residents need helicopter evacuation. This example shows how Nearmap content can be used to understand what’s happening on the ground and support informed decision-making. Watch the video here.

What is a Digital Twin?

The term ‘digital twin’ refers to a replica of an area that’s a true representation of the real world, made possible by multiple layers of data, including 3D models. Digital twins replicate the real world virtually, allowing users to monitor, simulate and plan.
It’s now possible to create a digital twin of a whole city, so local governments or state authorities can manage a city as efficiently as possible by observing data and modelling potential scenarios.
For example, with a 3D digital twin of a city, city planners can introduce elements like air sensor and traffic flow information, to advise the community, and efficiently plan infrastructure such as roads and public transport development.
An effective digital twin is a powerful tool for urban planning and associated disciplines, helping architects and engineers plan and build new projects.

Reliable, Frequently-updated 3D Content

For every infrastructure project, an engineer needs a set of data. The ability to isolate an area, selecting it by simply drawing a circle around it and exporting in the required formats helps streamline engineering workflows.
With Nearmap 3D content updated at least annually to help you work with up-to-date reality models.
“Nearmap is making this kind of specialised niche information available to people who would never have otherwise had the chance to use it. It’s quite remarkable the difference it can make for government planners, engineers and architects, but it’s also fantastic when you deal with a small company like a landscaper, for example, and see them saving so much time by measuring what they need and making a plan remotely, rather than having to go on site,” says Stephen Neale.
Explore the 3D content offered by Nearmap – from the 3D Viewer, which can be used by anyone to view 3D textured mesh, with tools to measure and extract information; and 3D Export tool, which allows 3D subscribers to export any Nearmap 3D content types for use in specialised applications.
To learn more about mapping new & existing infrastructure with 3D data, get in touch with us today.
Watch Nearmap NAVIG8 workshops on the evolution of Nearmap content from 2D to 3D to AI and from Bentley Systems, on Mapping New Infrastructure with 3D Data.
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