Video: Living In The Future: Saab Rapid 3d Mapping

Today, a video from Saab highlighting the powerful uses of highly accurate 3d mapping technology. Pretty soon, I’m hoping we see mapping technology like this combined with photo and street level toplology databases like Google Street View to create an interactive real world 3d environment. Pair that up with the sophisticated rendering engine from the latest video game – such as the CryEngine2, and suddenly you could have the entire world free to virtually roam around- the possibilities are endless, and are getting us closer and closer to the vision of “The 13th Floor” or “The Matrix”.

From Saab:

With Saab’s Rapid 3D Mapping, a 3D map of the overflown terrain is automatically generated by the system within hours of the flight. It is possible to generate 3D maps over large areas as the process is rapid and fully automated.

Data registration is achieved either by utilizing dedicated registration equipment or existing sensors carried by an aeroplane, helicopter and/or a UAV, such as Skeldar or Skylark. The accuracy of the result depends on the sensors available. For an aeroplane, the typical coverage is 100 km² per hour with a resolution of 0.1 m at ground level.

The processing time for the 3D map is five times the flying time, using a fully automated process. Depending on the requested resolution, as well as the size of the covered area, the 3D map will be ready from just a few minutes to a few hours. The 3D model can be generated on the battlefield if required.

The 3D map is a geo-referenced and measurable image-based map with an accuracy of 0.3 m. This data provides superior situational awareness to support the mission. For example, it is possible to zoom in on important areas to support and plan a reconnaissance mission in the actual terrain.