While it might seem as though all we do is fly around taking pretty scenic photographs to share with the world, there's actually a serious side to our business. Most of what we do here at AEROmetrex involves capturing huge amounts of aerial imagery and producing extremely comprehensive and precise geospatial data in various forms. One of those forms is highly detailed 3D models that capture the reality of the world around us. These models are then used for all sorts of planning and visualisation activities, and in media and entertainment.
We've worked on projects all over Australia: from capital cities to outback towns; from rugged coastlines to the Red Centre. We've modelled suburbs, mines, railway lines, waste dumps, major events, ports, breakwaters and so much more. We've even modelled the city of Philadelphia as part of the planning for the Pope's visit in September 2015.
Most people have seen the impressive 3D models in Google Earth, covering many of the world's major cities. They're incredibly impressive in contrast to the familiar 2D maps and images that we've grown accustomed to seeing, offering a far more immersive way to explore the world.
While being similar in concept, our models go significantly further in terms of fidelity and realism. We use extremely high resolution images from which to generate these models, with each image pixel representing about 2-3cm on the ground. Think about that: entire city areas captured and modelled with sufficient resolution for you to read text on street signs.
Further, these models are not just highly detailed but also highly accurate. Each of the many millions of points in the model is accurate to within 50 millimetres of its real location in the world -- that's less than half the length of your phone!
Modelling an entire CBD
Late last year we embarked on a program to model the major CBDs throughout Australia, with Adelaide being one of the first. Never before has Adelaide been modelled to this degree of fidelity, accuracy and realism. Being our home city, we're understandably proud to show it off in all its glory!
Much more than just intriguing eye candy, this kind of data is incredibly valuable as a tool for understanding the city in its current form and planning future development, from both a functional and an aesthetic perspective.
With the CBD, plus Adelaide Oval and portions of North Adelaide, covering more than 6 square kilometres, capturing and modelling the entirety of that area to a resolution of 2cm per pixel is understandably a sizeable task!
Five days, 24,000 images
Have you ever had a day where you felt like you took a lot of photos? Or perhaps a holiday from which you returned with hundreds of images to sort through? Imagine, then, taking over 24,000 photos during only five days of photography.
That's exactly what we did at the end of last year, capturing thousands of aerial images over the Adelaide CBD. Adding to the complexity was the requirement to take all those photos under consistent lighting conditions, and to do all of this while dealing with air traffic flying in and out of Adelaide Airport. If there was a day before Christmas last year when you found yourself wondering why a helicopter was spending so many hours flying around over the city, now you know why!
Hundreds of production and quality control hours later, we produced the Adelaide CBD 3D model. The best news is that you can see it for yourself...right now. Simply click on the image below to load it right in your browser, and then use your mouse to explore.
Read more about this project on the AEROmetrex website, where you can also view other examples of our work. Look out for new cities coming soon, too!
Want to know more? Get in touch with us!