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Fugro and Skyline team up for 3D city modelling

Normally known for their global hydrographic surveying services, Netherlands company Fugro has just announced its intention to begin taking on the lucrative 3D city modelling market. A strategic partnership with United States 3D modelling software developer Skyline (also known as Skyline Globe) will deliver realistic, spatially accurate, high-resolution 3D modelling derived from oblique aerial imagery.

Fugro and Skyline are aiming to release a product that integrates both companies’ oblique viewing and 3D modelling software products and Fugro’s 360-degree oblique mapping capabilities. The partnership will build upon the components of Skyline’s automated 3D modelling technology, as well as its established 3D GIS platform, TerraExplorer, and Fugro’s visualisation and analysis tool, PX Mapper.

The resulting product will use 2D oblique imagery to create high-resolution building models that are both realistic and spatially accurate. It is expected to benefit emergency responders, infrastructure, development, utilities and property management.

The partnership adds another two names to the growing list of reality modelling specialist firms vying for the lucrative 3D city modelling market. In the Australian market, they join the likes of AEROmetrex, AAM, Spookfish, Nearmap and Photomapping, who are all in various stages of delivering high quality 3D city data derived from aerial imagery and other sources.

Skyline’s TerraExplorer product has the advantage of optimised analytics capabilities including terrain analysis for flooding, contours, slope and volume metrics, lines of sight and view shed queries and shadow analysis.

“By combining oblique imagery with our high-quality 3D modelling tool and integrating those models with the unlimited capabilities of TerraExplorer Pro, we’ve created the optimal environment for GIS infrastructure,” said Eatay Ben Shechter, director of production at Skyline. “This versatile product supports countless real-world applications, where time-critical decision making is required, from urban planning to real-estate management, and multiple different emergency response scenarios.”

Mike Wernau, Fugro’s oblique program manager said this the product will be something that until now has not been seen in the market.

“We are now able to take a 2D oblique product and deliver a realistic 3D environment with enhanced viewing, query, analysis and reporting options,” Wernau said. “The value that users are going to discover as a result of this software fusion is something the market has really never seen before.”

A flagship project employing this integrated 3D environment is already underway with completion expected in mid-2017.

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