C3’s Amazing 3D Cities

By  |  Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 3:14 pm

I’m at O’Reilly Media’s Where 2.0 conference in San Jose. It’s a crowded and exciting confab on one of the hottest topics in tech: location-aware applications and services. There are a bunch of interesting demos going on, but the one that’s really knocked my socks off so far is one I’m watching right now, by a Swedish company called C3 Technologies. Mapping applications such as Google Earth include some painstakingly handcrafted 3D models of buildings, but C3 uses photos taken from aircraft to capture entire cities–buildings, trees, everything–and recreate them as photorealistic 3D models. We’re swooping through London, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and other locales, and it’s just stunning.

This video isn’t new, but it gives you a taste of what C3 does:

C3 says that its technologies requires no human intervention and can recreate an entire city in weeks. The company has recreated fifty cities to date. I can’t wait until stuff like this shows up in mapping programs, on GPS handhelds…everywhere there’s geography. Amazing stuff.


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2 Comments For This Post

  1. Jonas Says:

    I quite agree, it’s been in use on Swedish maps and directory assistance site http://www.hitta.se/ since maybe a year ago.

    Here’s my hometown Link√∂ping, with less than 100.000 inhabitants, mapped up in 3D since the launch of the service — just click “3D” at the top:


  2. Stilgar Says:

    SimCity 5? Please?

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    […] March of 2010, I went to a tech conference and saw a Swedish company called C3 Technologies demo its system for turning aerial photographs of citie…, with very little human intervention required. The video I linked to in the original post has […]