Virtual London Project Dead in the Water

For over a year now, the folks at CASA (Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London) have been telling us (and tantalizing us with videos) of a huge 3.3 million building 3D virtual London model collection which they developed for Google Earth. But, they haven’t been able to release it to the general public. Now, CASA says – on their DigitalUrban blog – that the whole project is dead in the water due to the UK government’s Ordnance Survey department refusing to grant a license to allow Google to show the model collection because the collection uses OS licensed data.
The first phase of the project was to develop basic 3D building outlines, which has been complete for some time. CASA had already begun adding color photo-textures to the models for beautiful realism, but stopped after it became apparent the OS was reluctant to allow them to share the models. It’s a real shame that the OS is taking this stance. It would be great PR for the City of London, and the UK in general, to embrace the technology and popularity of Google Earth. Meanwhile, cities in Germany are competing for the most detailed and beautiful 3D model collections (Dresden, Berlin, andHamburg). Not only that, but soon Microsoft is sure to release their own 3D model of London using their semi-automated method of data collection based on aerial photos and photogrammetry. So, the OS data won’t even be needed for their application. Instead of a UK-based model collection, it will be an American-made model. How ironic. Here is a video example of just the basic outline models for virtual London in Google Earth:

About Frank Taylor



Comments

  1. Ouch. That’s a bummer.
    I admit that one of the greatest criticisms that I have over NASA and USGS at this point is in relation to tax-funded data collects becoming ‘privatized’ through government entities — when there is already legislation in place that outlines the fact that the data belongs to the tax-payers.
    I have no idea how that’s set-up in the UK, however.

  2. A GEB Reader says:

    Whenever there’s a big technological revolution in an organization, there are always some people who are against it (because they feel threatened). The more innovative the technology, the more violently they are against it! As far as the technology is concerned, Google Earth and KML have no limit. The sky (or bureaucracy, whichever comes first) is the limit for implementing this technology in an organization.

  3. Thanks for showing the video. It is amazing!
    I am going to recommend your blog to all my
    high school friends.
    Elizabeth G.
    http://BookTestOnline.com
    http://booktestonlinecom.blogspot.com

  4. For anyone in the UK who wants to object to this, there is a petition setup here: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Free-UK-Map-Data/

  5. Seattle managed it…
    Portland managed it…
    San Francisco managed it…
    Los Angeles managed it…
    San Diego managed it…
    Phoenix managed it…
    Las Vegas managed it…
    Denver managed it…
    Houston managed it…
    Dallas managed it…
    Kansas City managed it…
    Minneapolis managed it…
    Saint Paul managed it…
    Saint Louis managed it…
    Memphis managed it…
    New Orleans managed it…
    Chicago managed it…
    Detroit managed it…
    Cleveland managed it…
    Pittsburgh managed it…
    Boston managed it…
    Philadelphia managed it…
    Baltimore managed it…
    New York managed it…
    Washington DC managed it…
    Atlanta managed it…
    Tampa managed it…
    Miami managed it…
    Amsterdam managed it…
    Hamburg managed it…
    Dresden managed it…
    Berlin managed it…
    London has been refused permission.
    Surprise
    Surprise.

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