Mink Machine

3D cities in your browser

Over a decade ago I was making my thesis project about dynamic modeling of 3D buildings in urban environments. Me and a friend were taking photographs of buildings in central Gothenburg to use them as textures in a custom engine written in C++. The available data consisted only of ground-level coordinates, not heights or textures.

Some years later this area has seen some progress, to put it mildly. Google Street View and similar techniques are mainstream by now, and recently the Swedish site hitta.se was blessed with a 3D view. By running a simple Java applet in your browser, you can zoom, pan and rotate the city while exploring street turns and roof constellations only known by birds until now.

The 3D models are created by C3 Technologies in Linköping, with technology previously used for military terrain analysis in missile guidance. Cars with eight cameras have been rolling through the streets, shooting in all directions. Groovy algorithms then extracted heights by analyzing the photos and created the 3D environment. Sweet.

3D view of Gothenburg 3D view of my former workplace building in central Gothenburg.

Comments

No comments yet.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured stories

Roaming through Banff

"Even though the main town is surrounded by mountains with names such as Sulphur Mountain, it is as far away from Mordor as one could imagine."

Memories of Skye

"The countryside is charming and some places even have coffee."

Bunker safari

"The area contains 54 excavated bunkers along with gun emplacements, scattered around the town’s most visible landmark."

Chilling in Chile

"My weary feet has reached Valparaiso. After almost a month of traveling across the South American continent I realize that this is as far south as I will come, due to weather conditions."

Roaming the cobblestones of Istanbul

"Inside the church there are still traces of rune inscriptions made during the Viking age by Varangians, an elite guard made up of Scandinavian immigrant warriors."

New Years Eve in Sydney

"Opera House is seen in front of the massive fireworks in the harbor area, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Harbour Bridge."