A new open standard for 3D — and the Nearmap community
Nearmap introduced offline 3D datasets to enable photo-realistic visualisations of wide-scale urban landscapes — 3D cities — that power a variety of real-world scenarios, from emergency response planning to construction BIM modelling to 5G network rollouts.
Nearmap 3D was designed to be as flexible as possible. It allows you to seamlessly plug in a 3D aerial view to leading GIS and CAD software platforms, including Esri, Autodesk, and Bentley.
Nearmap 3D is also offered in Cesium 3D Tiles, to enable integration of 3D aerial maps into custom applications. In a gesture of broad acceptance from the GIS industry, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has now accepted 3D Tiles as a community standard, “empowering app developers to make massive and complex 3D information more accessible, interoperable, and useful across all kinds of tools and applications,” according to Gabby Getz, Cesium software developer, writing in the Cesium blog.
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is an international consortium of more than 525 companies, government agencies, research organisations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OGC standards support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT.
Tim Rivenbark, director of business development at Cesium, sees a lot of upside with the new standard. “I believe this designation motivates application developers to adopt the 3D Tiles format, not just for the format’s superior streaming performance, but so they are compatible with open standards,” he explained. “I believe this benefits end users because they can process their data into an open standard format and then use the data in various apps without the need to reprocess or convert to other formats. In addition, end users would not be locked into a proprietary format and thus proprietary tools associated with a proprietary format.”
Why is this new standard important for Nearmap 3D users?
Cesium 3D Tiles are well-suited to working with the wide-scale datasets being produced by Nearmap. When dealing with datasets that are measured in the thousands of square kilometres, it’s necessary to manage computing resources efficiently. The Cesium framework
does this by only loading an appropriate level of detail when needed, and it can do this fast, which leads to a great user experience.
Below are more than 3,000 square kilometres of Sydney 3D content loaded into a browser application: