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Our favourite 3D visualisation projects brought to life

Mar 2023

Explore some of our favourite examples of how 3D visualisation tools have changed the game for planning projects.

Mar 2023

A picture’s worth a thousand words — so employing the use of strong visual elements in your project planning process is a logical choice. One of the best ways to strengthen the impact of a project is to give people a way to see your chosen future — and that’s where 3D visualisation comes in. The art of 3D visualisation thrusts concepts into the realm of tangible possibility, showing us at a glance how plans will look when they come to fruition. From aesthetics to functionality and safety, 3D visualisation technology has advanced planning and design phases of projects into a place of exploration and mitigation. Put simply, you can bring ideas to life — and then figure out how to make them as perfect as possible before the physical building commences.

What is 3D visualisation?

The concept of 3D visualisation in planning and design has been an industry game-changer. Often, capturing data at just one resolution limits the scope of a project. By integrating X, Y and Z axis data, you can define 3D shapes to open up a whole new world of context in your planning and modelling processes. Using real-world imagery integrated with industry-leading applications, 3D visualisation provides a different view that unlocks more sophisticated planning capabilities than its predecessors. This 3D visualisation technology allows architects, developers, councils and government to make better risk management and design decisions.
So, how does Nearmap factor into the equation? We have created an on-demand database of the most up-to-date 3D location content from all over the world, which has been formatted to work seamlessly with a wide range of GIS and design platforms. As well as being a fantastic visual tool, Nearmap 3D serves important practical applications like accurately measuring height, elevation, and the distance between buildings. Whether you’re using it to visualise a building design or for modelling environmental risk, Nearmap 3D provides valuable insight to bring your projects off the screen and into reality.
At Nearmap, we are proud to have contributed our technology to a number of groundbreaking projects aided by 3D visualisation. Take a look at some of our favourites over the years.


The client: Stantec is an international engineering design and professional services firm based in North America. It has offices across six continents, lending a global perspective to its work.
The challenge: Previously, Stantec was using outdated aerial datasets and satellite imagery for its transportation business unit. This low-res, low-quality data caused inefficiencies in tracking site conditions and measuring progress. Stantec wanted a way to cut down site visits and make more accurate site measurements.
How Nearmap solved it: By utilising our true location intelligence, Stantec's preliminary design and planning work saw drastic improvement. Our 3D mapping technology allowed Stantec to create an immersive backdrop of surrounding environments, which in turn improved communication with shareholders and clients.

Sioux Falls

The client: The City of Sioux Falls in South Dakota boasts a population of more than 200,000 people. It is a proud community that strives to keep its citizens and stakeholders well served and informed.
The challenge: Previously, The City of Sioux Falls only accessed aerial imagery that provided a limited window of context. This made it difficult to keep up with construction progress across the city, as most projects were completed over different points of the year.
How Nearmap solved it: With cloud-based access to Nearmap’s most up-to-date captures, the city can instantly stream imagery across a range of devices. The city is also focused on continued government innovation aided by a number of future-focused tools — there are plans to use the Nearmap 3D textured mesh base layer to view a project within existing site conditions, as well as the basis for a citizen engagement tool. This will further strengthen the relationship between the city, its community and its stakeholders.

Southeast Michigan Council of Governments

The client: The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) is a regional planning partnership of governmental units that serves 4.8 million people over a seven-county region of Southeast Michigan. The unit supports planning across key infrastructure, as well as economic and workforce development.
The challenge: We all want to be able to see into the future, but SEMCOG’s planning for successful and harmonious infrastructure depends on it. SEMCOG needed access to the best data and insights to undertake long-range planning work, with capability to forecast changes to individual buildings projecting 30 years into the future.
How Nearmap solved it: Using Nearmap AI building footprints, SEMCOG captured 3,452 previously unknown buildings over a span of two years. By viewing new building construction data using Nearmap 3D reality models in ArcGIS Urban, SEMCOG could easily compare the size of new buildings to those built in the past. This helped them identify trends that would help define the region’s future land-use policy.

The City of Eastvale

The client: Created as an entity in October 2010, the City of Eastvale, California began developing ex-dairy farming land to design a new, livable city for more than 73,000 residents.
The challenge: When it comes to forecasting and planning in development projects, not having access to the most current data is a serious hindrance. To create a smart city that would drive economic growth, the Eastvale Community Development Department needed up-to-date imagery and intelligent technology for forecasting and planning.
How Nearmap solved it: When the City of Eastvale began utilising tools like aerial imagery and 3D models from Nearmap, the group was able to attract more valuable developments and tenants. The technological solutions provided by Nearmap also allowed a small staff to be able to seamlessly handle planning of a comparatively large project.

Using Nearmap to engage and create

As you can see, 3D visualisation is more than just a cosmetic addition that makes your plans look more impressive. Utilising 3D imaging and modeling technology together can unlock a whole new world of context and possibilities in your vital project planning phases. Nearmap 3D takes advantage of a frequently updated, comprehensive catalogue of 3D location content to provide users with the most relevant and realistic information. Because we are committed to remaining ahead of the curve in the geospatial imaging industry, we are able to pass on valuable insight and context directly to our customers.
Want to level up your planning and design projects? Get in touch with the team at Nearmap today to see how we can bring a new degree of life to your processes.
To LOOK CLOSER at how Nearmap 3D is driving outcomes in real-life scenarios, watch Nearmap NAVIG8 where Owner of Green Top Planning, Development and Research, Nikki Hart-Brinkley, will reveal how Nearmap 3D and AI were used help guide strategic rebuilding and planting after devastating fires swept through Jackson County, Oregon.
Back by popular demand, technical workshops are now live following Nearmap NAVIG8 2022 - including a session on how to extract Nearmap 3D and AI data from MapBrowser.
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