If you tuned in to BBC’s Countryfile on Sunday, you’ll have seen Roger Nock from our Flying Unit talking to Adam Henson at his Cotswold farm. We were talking about how the aerial imagery we fly in our planes has been used to map hedgerows for the Rural Payments Agency, and help work out subsidies for farmers. We showed an example of how 3D data can be captured and displayed over Adam’s farm.
After the programme, we received a tweet asking where the LiDAR camera was in our plane. The answer is simply that we don’t fly LiDAR (3D laser scanning of the ground) and our planes are surveying aerial imagery (taking a photo with a high-resolution camera on-board the plane). We are treating this imagery in a similar way to how others would work with LiDAR data though.
3D mesh of Adam’s farm, with attributes attached to the data
So, what were you seeing on Countryfile?
At last, serving huge quantities of 3D geospatial data into interactive user applications is getting easier and more accessible. Support for ‘3D streaming’ is gaining a foothold within popular geospatial applications, paving the way for data providers to present their own 3D data assets in ways that users will find natural and accessible. For us at OS, this is a development that we’re very excited about, as we believe it will be a powerful tool in helping to unlock the potential of geospatial 3D data.
For many people, Google Earth (launched in 2005) was their first experience of navigating a ‘digital globe’ – a tool that is typically supported by ‘streaming’ technology. Overwhelming volumes of geospatial information were clearly available, yet how had it got there? Although Google Earth was then only available as a downloadable app, it was clear that the data was being sourced quite independently. For many of us, this served as our introduction to ‘3D streaming’ – the ability to selectively deliver content, based upon real-time navigation, within a 3D scene.
Trying to find more about the new Aerial 3D maps you’ve heard about? You need this page instead: https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/getoutside/3d/
If you were watching BBC Breakfast yesterday morning, you may have seen a feature about OS mapping Britain from the skies and interpreting that data into 3D maps to create a digital twin of our real-life landscape.
Snowdonia as a 3D map
We spotted this tweet recently and enjoyed the fantastic 3D balloon ride over 1850s Manchester. Neil Millington created it, based on old OS maps, and tells us more about how he created it on the blog today.
— Archives+ (@archivesplus) August 27, 2015
Have you seen the fantastic 3D model map of London at The Building Centre yet? We popped in to see it in early May, but that was ahead of the full interactive display being live over the map. It’s all up and running now and our colleague Danny Hyam, who was also involved in putting the map and data together, took some great photos.
We blogged about the fab 3D map of London on display at MIPIM back in March. Now, the New London Architecture (NLA) team’s huge model map has come back home to London and you can go and see it. The New London Model was built by Pipers, with data supplied by us at OS, using a combination of laser-cutting, 3-D printing and hand-crafting.
Guest blog by David Roberts, Ordnance Survey’s Land and Property Strategic Relationship Manager
The tens of thousands of pieces of geographical data and knowledge about London, which OS capture every year, have been brought to life in a unique way. The largest ever model of London, commissioned by New London Architecture and sponsored by OS, has been unveiled today on the London Stand at MIPIM, the annual get together of the most influential international property players in the world in the most elegant of French locations – Cannes.
Dr Gary Priestnall, at Nottingham University’s School of Geography, is aiming to recapture the sense of wonder which an extraordinary 15-foot by 14 foot, 3D, sculpted model of the Lake District inspired when it was unveiled in Keswick in the 1870’s. It has spawned a new exhibition opening at Keswick Museum and Art Gallery on Monday February 9 which runs until May. It’s part historical detective story, and part 21st Century, technological success story and Ordnance Survey has helped Gary every step of the way. Here is his story.
A unique 3-D model of the Lake District which would have offered Victorian tourists their first bird’s eye view of the Lake District has been known about since it caused such a stir in 1875. So when the one last surviving, beautifully hand-painted piece of the model, as well as 140 of the original plaster moulds used to create it, fell in to my hands the chance to celebrate the event in 2015 with an exhibition became my cause celebre.
Earlier this year we made the alpha release of our building height attributes available to our existing OS MasterMap Topography Layer customers. Almost 20 million building heights across Great Britain were released as an early step in our migration to enhanced 3D geometry and we’ve been gathering feedback ever since.
One of the most common themes being fed into our OS Insight programme has been around the shapes of roofs, as this can help our customers make planning decisions, create realistic views and model sunlight and telephone signals around buildings. Our Research team have started to look into this for the future development of our product.
Currently, our building heights define the bottom of the building, and the top and bottom of the roof. Isabel Sargent and David Holland in our Research team have been working on a small project to see whether it’s possible to automatically extract the shape class of each roof and whether buildings that don’t fit simple height data can be identified.