Monday, January 07, 2019

How Big is the SkyDome?

Toronto's SkyDome stadium overlaid on Central Park

Mapto has developed a neat way to show the comparative size of a building by overlaying its 3D model on top of an interactive map. The map allows you to place the 3D model on any spot in the world, allowing the user to view the building in relation to a familiar location.

In the Mapto example, SkyDome Map, you can view a 3D model of Toronto's SkyDome stadium and move it to any location in the world. The map includes a number of quick links that show the stadium overlaid on four other well-known Toronto locations. You can also click on the 'Move SkyDome' button to move the model of the SkyDome to a location of your own choice.

Mapto's map was developed from Andrew Harvey's Add a 3D Model to a Mapbox GL Map. Both Mapto and Andrew use Mapbox GL, which allows you to tilt the map view and explore the 3D model from different angles. Something which you wouldn't be able to do with a traditional top-down interactive map view.

The 3D model in Andrew's map uses the glTF file format for 3D scenes and models. This is a well used format and there are plenty of freely available glTF files of 3D models on the internet. If you want to experiment with adding other 3D models to Mapbox GL then you are spoiled for choice of ready made 3D objects (for example try Sketchfab).

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