We live in 3-dimensions and it is often not enough to model our world in 2-dimensions. At Ordnance Survey, we have been researching 3D digital mapping data for over a decade and our work has many facets. Of fundamental importance is a high quality digital terrain model and we have built methods by which a comprehensive terrain model can be built automatically, requiring only a minimal manual effort to ensure its quality.
Our 3D work links with the Integrated Photogrammetric Flowline in which we are working on a fully integrated work flow that starts with aerial photography and re-uses extracted data to produce high accuracy products that fit flawlessly together. We have developed methods for automatically extracting single building heights from our image data as well as building detailed 3D building models using photogrammetry. We have also used laserscanning and field catpure methodologies to generate terrain and building models.
Bournemouth skyline in 3D
It is essential that all these data are held in a data model that ensures that the 3D data not only contain all the required information but can be maintained and improved on a daily basis and accessed easily by our customers. We have been investigating the nature of this model and are piloting the process from data capture to modelling to dissemination. Ultimately, the outcomes of our research will become standard practise in data production as Ordnance Survey moves to producing 3D data.