Ordnance Survey, UK national mapping agency, has been trialling the use of lasers to create a detailed three-dimensional map of Bournemouth town centre. The map was generated from 700 million individual points cloud as part of a trial spanning three years, with every square metre of Bournemouth captured using a combination of land-based and aerial survey with high-accuracy lasers.
Glen Hart, Head of Research at Ordnance Survey, comments: “Three-dimensional maps in themselves aren't new, but what we've achieved in Bournemouth is a level of accuracy and detail that's never been done before. This technology could change the way we map the country, but also have a massive impact on things like personal navigation.”
Ordnance Survey says that it will be continuing with trials to help perfect the technology, but expects detailed mapping in three dimensions to be a reality within the next five years. On a small scale, similar maps can be easily created by anyone with digital photography and some help from Photosynth and Phyton scripts.
After: Ordnance Survey News Release