Friday, May 02, 2014

3d Drone Mapping

Melown Maps make WebGL 3d maps from aerial photographs. If you can capture aerial imagery of a location with a drone Melown Maps can transform your imagery into a 3D textured map, including terrain, trees and buildings.

The Melown Maps website includes three great demos of 3d maps built from drone imagery: the High Tatra Mountain Range between Slovakia and Poland, Krasiczyn Castle in Poland (pictured) and the Pantheon in Paris. Right-click and drag on the maps to rotate and tilt the view.

Melown Maps is just the most recent example of an independent company releasing an awesome WebGL 3d mapping platform.

Czech online mapping portal Mapy also has an interesting new 3d option. The beta version of Mapy 3d allows you to explore some of the Czech Republic's gorgeous historic centers in glorious 3d.

The 3d map includes controls to adjust the altitude and direction of your view. It even includes a neat 'helicopter' option that rotates your view around the map center. The locations where the beta 3d view is available is a little patchy at the moment. If you zoom out on the accompanying map you can see where 3d view is available (shaded red on the map).

This Bing WebGL Demo is also very clever. The demo uses Bing Map tiles, elevation data and BabylonJS to create an animated 3d drive-through of any route.

Enter a starting point and a destination into the demo and you can view a drive-through of the calculated route in 3d. You can speed-up or slow-down the rate of the animation and you can drag the map around to change the direction of your view.

The demo includes a menu of a few pre-configured routes or you can enter your own locations to generate a route. If you want to view your own route then I suggest you enter somewhere with hilly terrain to get the full 3d effect of the elevation data.

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