Here produces 3D software models of 75 cities

  • January 25, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Dutch location data company Here Technologies has unveiled high-fidelity 3D models of 75 city centres around the world to give software developers the geospatial data needed to build real-world visualisations.

With Premier 3D Cities, last-kilometre delivery drivers can navigate dense cities with maps that highlight precise building dimensions and entry points along their delivery routes. The entertainment industry gets the building blocks for virtual site visits and seamless computer-generated imagery integration. Telecommunications companies can optimise their build outs of 5G networks in 3D and urban planners and emergency responders can build digital twins for better land use analysis and disaster readiness simulations.

The technology contains rich data layers and attributes that are aligned to physical geometry and terrain. Each structure is indexed, addressable and accurate in terms of physical location, volume size, elevation and façade colour.

Currently, the Audi A8 luxury sedan’s MIB2+ modular infotainment platform integrates Here 3D city models, providing drivers with the latest navigation user interface and lane-level guidance experiences.

“With the enterprise developer in mind, Here has captured, indexed and mapped the world’s major road networks and urban centres in 3D,” said Jørgen Behrens, senior vice president at Here Technologies. “We’re excited to see how these unique 3D city models open up a world of possibilities and value for businesses. They are the building blocks to create accurate, sub-metre augmented reality applications that are transforming supply chains, transportation and mobility networks, and overall consumer experiences.”

The indexed and addressable structures allow developers to search and highlight individual buildings, attach additional metadata to the structures, and apply rendering techniques including CGI applications.

The product is available in Cesium/OGC 3D Tiles to support seamless integration. Each kilometre of data is stored in small-sized tiles for efficient streaming and rendering. Sample datasets of London, Berlin and Munich are available on AWS Data Exchange.

Here has mapped 196 countries and collects more than 28 terabytes of terrestrial lidar data every day. Premier 3D Cities are created with multiple sources – including lidar, optical and satellite imagery – and decades of cartographic expertise, AI and machine-learning applications the company has developed to deliver location-based services to enterprises globally.