Cities captured in 2021 are located in the United States, Europe and Japan. They include Munich, Cologne, Vienna, Milan, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Tokyo, Dallas, New York, Stuttgart, and Frankfurt. More cities will be added in early 2022. This particular product within the HxGN Content Program is dubbed Metro HD. It will expand the standard data stack, orthophotos and digital surface models, to include high-definition true orthophotos, obliques, digital terrain models, LiDAR point clouds, 3D building models (LOD2), 3D meshes, and land use maps.
3D digital twin of the world
“By creating a 3D digital twin of the world, the HxGN Content Program is supporting the global need for geospatial data that enables insightful, data-driven decisions,” says John Welter, President Geospatial Content Solutions at Hexagon in a press release dated September 21, 2021. “We continue to deliver innovative products and form strategic partnerships that provide the highest quality data to position our customers for success.” 3D digital twins enable city administrations and infrastructure providers to manage and monitor critical assets, assess, and model risks, and support the visualisation of new infrastructure projects for public communication with the goal to create smarter, more sustainable cities. Through its data consistency and flexible use terms, the HxGN Content Program wants it to be ‘the ideal data source for artificial intelligence, machine learning, automatic feature extraction and large volume analytics’ according to the same press release.
The program uses a hybrid urban mapping sensor, the Leica CityMapper-2. It concurrently collects LiDAR and aerial imagery. The Leica CityMapper-2 is specifically designed for airborne urban mapping, while it captures two nadir (RGB/NIR) and four oblique 150 MP images every 0.9 seconds providing the highest resolution to visualise every corner of the city. The newly developed Leica MFC150 optical system featured in the CityMapper is equipped with mechanical forward-motion-compensation (FMC). This allows to capture high quality imagery even in difficult lighting conditions with no reduction in efficiency. That’s unlike traditional camera systems which have to decrease shutter and aircraft speeds to control image blur. The derived products, based on the strength of each subsystem, result in such accuracy and temporal consistency across all three data dimensions that it satisfies demanding applications like digital twinning.
Download and stream
The data will be hosted and made available for download and streaming via the HxGN Content Program partner network. It then can be used for integration into GIS and analytics platforms and on Hexagon Digital Reality (HxDR), Hexagon’s cloud-based visualisation and collaboration platform. Visitors of the Metro HD website are able to enquire about current and future cities or to add their city to the list.