Aerial mapping company Bluesky is working with SkylineGlobe UK on a project to provide high accuracy, photorealistic 3D City Models that will be available as off the shelf datasets and via an internet streaming service.

The new, dynamic 3D models will provide a visualization and analytical platform for smart city projects, transport and infrastructure planning, risk assessment and mitigation, development planning and environmental work, the companies said.

To create these unique 3D “digital twins,” Bluesky and Skyline will integrate leading-edge technologies. To capture the city imagery, Bluesky has deployed its hybrid oblique imaging and LiDAR airborne sensor. Skyline is then processing and publishing the data into 3D digital twins using its 3D earth visualization software and services.

The new 3D city models are created from high-resolution aerial photography and LiDAR data captured using Bluesky’s Leica CityMapper sensor. The CityMapper is the first sensor that can simultaneously capture vertical and oblique aerial photography as well as LiDAR and color Infrared and is specifically designed for highly detailed building and city modelling projects, the companies said.

“We know the CityMapper, with its ability to simultaneously capture survey grade imagery and high-accuracy height data, has the potential to revolutionize the production of 3D City models,” commented Rachel Tidmarsh, managing director of Bluesky. “By working with Skyline on this project we can create and deliver cost-effective, viable 3D models for a range of applications.”

The Bluesky CityMapper imagery will be processed using Skyline’s PhotoMesh software to produce 3D city models that contain attribution and can be queried and analyzed like any other geospatial dataset. The geometrically precise, photo textured 3D models will be available in a variety of formats for use in desktop modeling, mapping, CAD, web and visualization software as well as virtual reality and artificial intelligence applications.