Automatic Site Models from Google Maps

Mesh Model

Photogrammetry can be used to make accurate and realistically photo textured models of buildings and landscapes. The possibilities with photogrammetry is lately getting more and more impressive. It's fantastic how quickly and effortless you can move data from photos to 3D models. Companies like SpotScale and Matterport have taken photogrammetry to a whole new level with very inspiring stuff.

At the office we very often use Google Maps to explore sites when we start up a project. And we allways ask the questions "how do our proposal fit in the context?" "How does it relate to the existing buildings?". For us to answer these questions we need to create a 3D replica of the site. This is mostly done manually with the help of 2D documents and it's a very time consuming task!.

While this work is done over and over again by most offices working with building projects, one company has already done this for every single corner of the whole world! Google Maps 3D environment offers amazing possibilities to view an entire city in great detail. And wouldn't it be wonderful if it was possible to extract all the data of the 3D environment? Googles API currently doesn't have 3D data open, but by using photogrammetry technique, one can recreate a complete replica of the 3D map.




Grasshopper, API