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Virtual London
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The Virtual London  project is sunk by   copyright  disagreement between google earth and  the Ordnance Survey .
The effectively puts a stop to six years of research to openly inform the public about changes to London's built form via a publicly accessible model.

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Photosynth technology
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NASA and Microsoft have  come together to produced 3D (Photosynth technology) computer views of the shuttle Endeavour as the ship is prepared to lift off this week.

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New software
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New software which works out much more realistically how ancient buildings would have looked in their glory by generating accurate plays of light sources has been developed by scientists in England.
The project, developed at Warwick University in the West Midlands, brings ancient architectural features to life through a revolutionary sophisticated modelling of light.

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Cultural mapping
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Mapping with the Maasai Project at University of Leicester
How the Maasai are combining their knowledge with the latest mapping technologies to protect endangered environments
Traditional Maasai songs, dance, sketch maps and mental maps are to be incorporated with digital video recordings, photography and satellite imagery in a pioneering new project at the University of Leicester.
The aim is to develop a new cultural mapping to help the Maasai represent their deep understanding of their land through virtual eyes.
The innovative research aims to draw on the environmental knowledge and pastoralist practices of the Maasai and combine it with the latest geographical information technology in order to inform community conservation and development initiatives and ecosystem management policies.
The study in the Department of Geography is relevant to indigenous peoples around the world who are being empowered with GPS and Geographical Information Systems to record their knowledge of wildlife and natural resources so that their lands, lifestyles and cultural values are respected whilst endangered environments are protected.
The research aims to incorporate alternative forms of spatial knowledge and representation into GIS in order that it can form the basis for a postcolonial GIS.

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Second Earth
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The World Wide Web will soon be absorbed into the World Wide Sim: an immersive, 3-D visual environment that combines elements of social virtual worlds such as Second Life and mapping applications such as Google Earth. What happens when the virtual and real worlds collide?

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Virtual London
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Imagine flying at rooftop height up the Thames. You dive under Tower Bridge, then twist between the Gherkin and Tower 42 skyscrapers. As the London Eye looms, you bank right and dive into a translucent globe which transports you into the middle of St Paul’s cathedral.
This is an inadequate verbal description of the experience of using Virtual London (though you can click here for a clip). It is a dramatic 3D computer model showing every single building inside the M25 as at least a shaded box; some are in almost photographic detail. The model is being developed, with government money, to help Londoners visualise what is happening to their city.
What Londoners cannot do, however, is experience Virtual London on the web. …
Virtual London is based partly on a database created by Ordnance Survey, a state-owned body which has to generate commercial returns. Although Virtual London was funded by another state body, the computer model cannot be posted on the web without infringing Ordnance Survey’s copyright.

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Virtual solar system
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Discover the wonders of our solar system in a spectacular 3-D environment. Take a flyby tour of the sun and each planet in its orbit, observe planets and extraterrestrial weather patterns up close, and more.

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Vplanet Explorer
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Skimming virtually around 3D scenery is no longer the preserve of experts. New software developed in Europe lets users browse and interact in three dimensions with any part of our planet.
Everyone from tourists to land planners stand to benefit.

Terabytes of data daily flow downwards from remote-sensing satellites. Other useful data come from aerial photos and base maps. This information is commonly used for everything from town and country planning to tourism development.

Six partners from France, Italy and Germany spent over three years studying ways of exploiting all this data, for the benefit of society. They came up with a unique program, which uses innovative Virtual Reality techniques to browse very high resolution 3D geographic information.

"Using Vplanet Explorer, anyone can set off on a journey to discover new regions in 3D, rather than staring at a flat map and trying to picture its scenery. With the click of a mouse, they can fluently fly through terrain in real time, on a standard PC" - Eric Martin, coordinator of the IST project Vplanet.

The project's software merges data from different sources into a single 3D database, using techniques such as filtering, correlation and specially developed 3D algorithms. The partners concentrated their work on surface areas and sub-metric resolution, taking advantage of improvements in pixel resolution in today's satellite data.

"The challenge is handling large volumes of geographic data on a standard computer" - Eric Martin.

By working on a PC with a standard graphics cards, it is possible to significantly reduce the cost of working with complex Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
"Our project offers users a transition from GIS to 3D, especially as our software's open architecture enables interfacing with other software"

European aircraft-maker Airbus tested the program by linking it to some of its flight simulators. Users were then able fly through simulated real countryside rather than the traditional artificial landscape. Authorities in France recently used Vplanet Explorer to assess flooding risks in the Orleans area by visualising vulnerable land in 3D.

The software was also recently showcased on the inauguration day of France's Pont Millau. The public presentation of the world's tallest road bridge combined a digital model of the terrain with data from the Spot 5 satellite and modelling of the bridge itself.

"Local people had resisted the bridge's construction, claming it would ruin the scenery. Had they seen our presentation earlier, showing the bridge is not a visual disaster, they might have accepted the new edifice without hesitation."
He agrees that 3D is not vital for such presentations, but believes it adds value. And if the price is right, it will aid groups as varied as land developers and civil protection authorities. He adds that the project's software is ideal for making 3D models, but it does not actually construct 3D views.

Partners are finalising the project package, which includes separate modules for software installation, training and so on. The complete package will retail for around 10,000 euro and goes on sale this summer.

"France's national cartographer IGN will soon be making digital map data available to the public. To make the most of this data, people will need 3D visualisation software such as Vplanet"

source

http://vr.c-s.fr/vplanet/

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