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Archive for December, 2007

3D Urban and City Modeling

Monday, December 17th, 2007

The increased availability of high-resolution satellite images and aerial photography in support of 3D modeling with detailed terrain surface elevation models assists urban planners and municipal managers to create a model and visualize the urban space in three dimensions.

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3D Urban and City Modeling
Image Credits: University of Texas at Dallas

To view a 3D fly through video, click here.

3D visualization models have a variety of applications in geography and urban studies. Accurate cartographic feature extraction, map updating, digital city models and 3D city models in urban areas are essential for many applications, such as military operations, disaster management, mapping of buildings and their heights, simulation of new buildings, updating and keeping cadastral databases current, change detection and virtual reality. While they are generally used to simply visualize the built environment, there are early signs of them being used as 3D interfaces to more sophisticated simulation models.
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15cm LiDAR Digital Elevation Model (DEM) – Harris County, Texas USA

Just a few years ago, the main input data for the production of digital city models and 3D city models were aerial images, terrestrial images, map data, and data derived from classical surveying. The process of geospatial information extraction from these sources was performed manually, but today with the availability of high-resolution Satellite sensors, satellite images can support the generation of a three-dimensional dense, geo-referenced terrain surface.

3D models can be used as a user-friendly interface for querying the urban environment as a Geographic Information Systems (GIS), for hyper-linking Web-based information, for visualizing model results, and for accessing functional simulation models.

3D terrain modeling and visualization application requires good detail pertaining to the terrain features and terrain slopes for critical project decisions, an accurate digital terrain model (DTM) and a digital surface model (DSM) must be available.

Satellite Imaging Corporation(SIC) can provide customers with 5m digital surface models (DSMs), 2m digital elevation models (DEMs), and a detailed, orthorectified satellite image mosaic at 0.8m resolution. Our company can produce clear, captivating simulated views of almost any location from high resolution satellite sensors and aircraft imaging data.

For additional information about 3D terrain modeling and visualization or DSMs, DTMs, and DEMs, please complete our contact us.