Similar to Seeking examples of beautiful maps? is there any similar collection for 3D maps?

  • Does Google Earth count? or do you want static? – Mapperz Feb 5 '13 at 14:33
  • @Mapperz I need Static – Sunil Feb 6 '13 at 5:16

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Minecraft or at an wider vision: Voxel drawings. Have a great potential for real 3D maps.

Different from raster data that are 2D matrix, a collection of voxels are a 3D matrix and can represent volume.

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    I know one of the founders of FyreUK and they have used MineCraft to model real-world locations for public participation in planning. Follow the link for a news article about it: bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20492908 – MappaGnosis Feb 5 '13 at 14:28
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    Good one. My sons are playing Minecraft all the time and I have been wondering about it and GIS. In fact I have been doing some research on flyovers - looking for examples and a few excellent Minecraft examples have popped up. Still my employer is not ready for voxel gridding i think. – Jakub Sisak GeoGraphics Feb 6 '13 at 15:31

I do a lot of work in 3D, especially landscape visualisation for planning proposals. The screenshot below shows an example. I have blurred out the on-screen coordinates and mini-map out of courtesy to the client (although this model has been used in public exhibitions so it is not confidential anymore). The mini map scrolls with the user and there are hot-keys to toggle elements of the model on and off, jump to pre-programmed locations and a few other tricks like split-screen views showing the model and real-world panoramic photos. The buildings are very simple in this view as simple extrusions are usually enough, but occasionally something a bit fancier is called for.

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At the risk of being accused of advertising (and I respectfully hope that this reference will be seen as relevant in the context of this thread), I also produce hard-copy 3D maps (no computer required). The maps aren't physically 3D but use a special foil and printing technique to give the optical illusion of 3D without squinting. It's a bit difficult to show an example on the computer sadly as you loose all the 3D effect. You can see an image of an early prototype and get an idea of how it works here. Please be aware that what you see is a prototype and my main consultancy work has prevented me updating these for ages, until very recently and I was working on new (and visually improved) series just yesterday.

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    this looks very nice! what technology do you use? What about performance? I do alot of 3D web maps (mostly pure JS + webGL) but I always have problems with 3D small object (tree for ex.) can you tell something more about this solution? – Krystian Feb 5 '13 at 15:20
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    Thanks! I use games engines for the real-time rendering which tend to be efficient with instancing of huge numbers of small objects. I also use the standard optimisations from computer games development. I use Python as 'glue' between FOSS4G and the 3D modelling environment effectively turning it into a 3D GIS viewer environment. I long since gave up on ArcScene and went through a phase of using X3D but games engines are the best solution for my use-case where clients want a stand-alone application. But however you do it, there will always be a trad-off between quality and qunatity. – MappaGnosis Feb 5 '13 at 17:08

recce.at has a stylized 3D map that looks nice:

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  • Cool..I want similar collections of 3-D maps..because there are lot of examples of 2-D maps but for 3-D very few... thanks : ) – Sunil Feb 5 '13 at 12:17
  • Sure, I think that question is very interesting! – Pablo Feb 5 '13 at 12:19
  • Haha! I worked on the predecessor of Recce (formerly known as 'MyWorld') before the company (Real Time Worlds) went bust. The IP, tech and a skeleton staff were bought by eeGeo. I lead the GIS team creating a massive automated GIS processing pipeline to feed artists and graphics programmers with "3D-game-sanitized" derived data. It was fun while it lasted :) I don't think the current version is procedural anymore sadly - which was the goal (hence my role). – MappaGnosis Feb 5 '13 at 13:24
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    I think this is 2.5D not full 3D - you can not change perspective (camera point view -180* from current view) – Krystian Feb 5 '13 at 15:25
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    I've long since lost touch with the development of this tech, but it looks like it used to be more versatile because it was aimed primarily at computer games and the mapping was a secondary bonus. There's a lot of solutions the original team had worked on that I don't see in it, but then, although it grew out of MyWorld, it is effectively a different product aimed at a different market now. – MappaGnosis Feb 5 '13 at 17:13

I think that OpenwebGlobe is very nice and promissing project. I do few maps using this library and it looks great and works quite fast IMO.

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  • This technically is not a map, just a 3D rendering.. – SoilSciGuy Feb 5 '13 at 22:08
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    @SoilSciGuy why you think it isn't a map? It is cartometric, and has got a projection. So what doesn't make it map? – Krystian Feb 6 '13 at 9:11
  • @Krystian, at the minimum, maps need to contain scale bars, north arrows, legend and basic info on location, data source, etc. – SoilSciGuy Mar 5 '13 at 17:31
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    @SoilSciGuy so in this case neither of examples in other answers are maps.. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Map – Krystian Mar 5 '13 at 23:09

Edushi town maps.

See for example Beijing and Hong Kong:

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  • Beautiful map : ) – Sunil Feb 6 '13 at 11:16

3D geology also but with GRASS GIS

Severals faults interpolated from boreholes datas (Midi fault in Belgium) Severals faults interpolated from boreholes datas (Midi fault in Belgium

Geological map with fault surfaces interpolated from surface data and drilling data

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Surfaces from boreholes data

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    Is there a website with more information on these projects? – Jake Feb 27 '13 at 16:25
  • this is the result of a personal project. Some parts were published, in French, on portailsig.org – gene Feb 28 '13 at 7:49

I just want to answer here because I think our project fits somehow here.

We are mainly focused on 3D geology. Thus our maps might look different from what you expect. Behind the map is much more: a database for 3D objects (much like PostGIS, but still different).

This special model shows the geology beyond Dresden, Saxony, Germany: 3D model of Saxony, Germany in GST Web

There is also a model of Switzerland. You can explore it yourself at viewer.geomol.ch:Geology of Switzerland in 3D

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