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3D Geolocation and Mapping: An Overview

  • Bhumika Dutta
  • Oct 10, 2021
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3D mapping is the process of profiling things in three dimensions in order to map them in the actual environment. There are numerous methods for 3D profiling a region or item, such as utilizing a stereo camera pair. 


Another technique is to calculate the depth of an object or feature from the point of focus. one may also generate a 3D effect by utilizing plenoptic technologies to detect the light field or active 3D imaging techniques. 


Also, 3D localization, also known as 3D position tracking, is the measurement of a 3D position and orientation of one or more moving objects or individuals in a specified space relative to a known location. 


Six degrees of freedom (6DOF) are measured when assessing an object's 3D location and orientation: three positional and three angular coordinates. Alternatively, simply the location of an item can be measured, which is known as 3 DOF localization.


Three-dimensional (3D) mapping is an intriguing new machine vision method that has the potential to impact a wide range of industries. Typically, 3D mapping necessitates the collaboration of many machine vision or computer vision technologies, making it a complicated application.


Depending on the business, 3D mapping can refer to a variety of things. Regardless of what 3D mapping means to one, there are a slew of new applications emerging that make use of cutting-edge vision technology.


( Must Read: How does Google Maps work? )


3D Map Creation


3D mapping is sometimes known as "Projection Mapping" or "Video Mapping." Many people refer to 3D mapping as “Spatial Augmented Reality.”


A method is utilized for projection mapping that can transform any surface into a dynamic visual show. Though there are several techniques to achieve the same effect, integrating 2D or 3D data with certain computer animations can highlight the necessary elements while minimizing non-essentials.


3D mapping offers detailed information such as fire locations and aids in disaster response. one may also use AutoCAD Map 3D software to generate maps that can be used for resource management and planning. one may increase the quality and productivity of their project by integrating GIS data with CAD tools and intelligent models.


Few of us are aware that we can also generate a 3D map in Microsoft Excel. Enter the data into a spreadsheet (with X and Y coordinates), then select it. This step should not be skipped since the column headings are important. Now, select Insert, then 3D Maps, and then open 3D Maps to learn more.


Applications of 3D Mapping Vision


Depending on the business, 3D mapping can refer to a variety of things. It can refer to the 3D profile of an item. It is suitable for large-scale 3D virtualization from 2D and 3D images. It can also relate to the localization and mapping of physical space.


Common 3D mapping applications include:


  • Inspection and measurement

  • Reconstruction of an object.

  • Virtualization and 3D projection

  • VR and physical mapping

  • Simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM)


3D mapping is a versatile method that may be applied both inside and outside of the plant. It blends cutting-edge visual technology with cutting-edge processing technologies.


(Also Read: What is 3D Printing Technology?)


Benefit of 3D mapping over 2D technology


One of the most significant advantages of 3D mapping is that it gives the most up-to-date technical approaches for data visualization and data collection. When a 3D map of the item or region under investigation is provided, knowledge visualization and science mapping become easier.


A 3D map gives a realistic representation of an area that local governments and planners may use. A 3D map is just as valuable as a blueprint in the building industry. It is quite simple to see floor layouts on a 3D map and detect potential building obstacles.


When we have a 3D map in front of us, we enter a realm of infinite creativity in which we may virtually experiment with numerous visual effects before the final product. From identifying aircraft positions to making our event unique with projection mapping, 3D mapping is acting as a magical eye.


(Also Read: What is 3D Bioprinting?)


Vision Technology for 3D Mapping


As previously said, 3D mapping may be used in a variety of ways. A number of approaches can also be employed to obtain 3D mapping capabilities. Passive 3D imaging techniques can be used to create simpler forms of 3D mapping. This might involve using a stereo camera pair to detect depth from focus, or using plenoptic techniques to detect light fields.


Active 3D imaging methods are another frequent form of 3D mapping. This might involve detecting sheets of light, structured or patterned light, depth detection based on shadows, interferometry or fringe projection methods, or time of flight sensing.


There are several approaches to achieving 3D mapping capabilities. Depending on the desired use, each offers benefits and limitations, but all can consistently produce 3D maps of the surrounding globe or specified portions and places.


Although 3D mapping is a relatively new machine vision technology, it has enormous promise in a variety of sectors. Its application will only increase as 3D mapping grows more advanced as new technology and approaches are introduced.


( Must Read: All about Metaverse Technology )


How can 3D location prove to be a Game-changer?


3D provides the user's exact position, and this information has crucial use cases that extend beyond mapping applications. It provides a user with the entire physical environment, as opposed to the first approximation, which is a game-changer in the public safety sector, for example. How can one rapidly find a user who dials 911 from a 30-story hotel in an urban area if they don't have 3D geolocation?


Maintaining vertical spacing between drones is critical in higher-density aircraft. It necessitates dependable altitude service to ensure that the drones remain at their allotted height. For urban air transportation, 3D geolocation delivers the entire operational picture required for safe air traffic control and navigation.


In the hotel industry, 3D location information can enhance the safety of room cleaners who work alone in quite big facilities. It may also provide a complete image of a worker's environment in multilevel industrial buildings, which is especially essential for professions that include safety concerns and need people to call for aid or be warned before wandering into a less hazardous place. They may add a vertical location feature to their productivity if they want to track employees effortlessly and at the lowest possible cost.


Vertical altitude enables comprehensive verification for delivery and pickup services, from food and retail to traditional package delivery, closing the loop on engagement with such services.


(Related blog: Li-Fi Technology)


3D Geolocation in Gaming


The use of 3D in location-based games has several advantages. It has the ability to affect both content and gameplay mechanics, creating an intriguing potential arena for new experiences. Altitude may now be taken into consideration in any location-based game or AR experience with gameplay or material adapted to a given geographic area.


For example, if we wander directly to a higher floor, we can earn more points, or if we display a pterodactyl instead of a tyrannosaurus outdoors on a certain floor, we can be captured. The technical effort to integrate is minimal for developers, but from the standpoint of gaming experience, it offers up a new dimension in creative options for geo and AR content.


Indeed, one-third of the apps in the Google Play store make use of location in some form. These apps, both entertainment and productivity, rely on 2D locations, and 3D will play an important part in their future.


(Suggested Reading: Applications of IoT in Gaming Industry)




3D mapping offers a wide range of uses, from research to entertainment and advertising. Why should the Earth be represented in two dimensions if it is not flat? 


From providing precise information such as fire locations and assisting disaster response to hotel management, logistics, or any other industry, 3D Geolocations must be used to extract precise information and deliver superior services.

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