The Speedy Way to Capture a City

City Mapping

Of course the best use of this technology would be to make CounterStrike game map

-Greg

The concept is similar to building a virtual reality model, but the process is very different. To produce a VR model, a programmer manually combines distance measurements and 2D pictures to make a 3D model. The new technique, dubbed “virtualised reality” by creator Avideh Zakhor, is automated and much faster. “Right now, a detailed urban model can take many months to create,” says Bruce Deal, vice-president of the Virginia engineering firm SET Associates, which is helping to adapt the technology for the US military. “With the new model, we’re talking about an hour or so.” Virtualised reality scans the urban landscape using lasers and digital cameras mounted on a truck or plane. A laser measures distances to objects such as lamp posts and building facades, while the digital camera takes 2D photos. Another laser calculates the movement of the truck and checks its position against data collected from the aerial laser aboard the plane.
These measurements and pictures are fed into a computer that combines them to create a photo-realistic virtual 3D model of the area. Zakhor and her team recently created a working model of downtown Berkeley (see graphic) in just 4? hours – 26 minutes of driving plus 4 hours of data processing.

The speedy way to capture a city
3D, maps, virtual