First Jointly Created Solution Is Photorealistic 3D Map of Mt. Everest, Helping Current Climbing Team Reach the Summit While Enabling Spectators to Experience It More Vividly Than Ever Before
LONGMONT, CO–(Marketwire – May 9, 2011) – DigitalGlobe, (NYSE: DGI), a leading global provider of high-resolution earth imagery solutions, today announced a cooperation with German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the German company 3D RealityMaps to provide a new range of high quality three dimensional (3D) data products.
3D RealityMaps will use the data, captured on an ongoing basis by DigitalGlobe’s fleet of earth imaging satellites and processed into 3D data by DLR, to create high-definition 3D maps of large-scale natural landmarks and other major tourist destinations worldwide. The maps are accessed and navigated using the company’s intuitive and easy-to-use 3D navigation software, available for free download at its website.
“This is a perfect example of the new and innovative ways our customers are using DigitalGlobe imaging and insight to solve real-world challenges, deliver value to their customers, and fuel growth,” said John Oechsle, executive vice president of strategy and product at DigitalGlobe. “Our relationship with DLR and 3D RealityMaps shows that no matter how big the goal, DigitalGlobe can help you reach it.”
As a first demonstration of their leading-edge combined capabilities, the joint group created one of the most detailed and accurate 3D maps of Mt. Everest and the surrounding Himalayan mountain region ever achieved. To experience it, visit the 3D Everest website at www.everest3D.de.
It is now being used by support personnel to track a 12-climber expedition, sponsored by climbing enthusiast and expedition management company Peak Freaks. The climbers set out to summit Mt. Everest in late March. The climbers are expected to reach the top of the world’s tallest mountain, standing at 8,848 meters or 29,000 feet above sea level, sometime in the next 10 to 15 days. For more on Peak Freaks, visit www.peakfreaks.com.
“Most current 3D models of Mount Everest are created at a lower resolution, which makes rock faces blurred and coloring unnatural,” explained 3D Reality Maps CEO Dr. Florian Siegert. “With a ground resolution of the 3D data of 150 cm, our application is about 400 times better than that available in most 3D views of the mountain. This is truly a breakthrough in satellite imagery-based 3D modeling and real time 3D rendering.”
To achieve this level of accuracy, DLR experts used a new methodology for 3D stereo (aerial) image processing, which was originally developed for international space program “Mars Express.” It was further refined at the DLR Center for Robotics and Mechatronics RMC in Oberpfaffenhofen and Berlin, and can now be applied to high resolution satellite images.
The extreme level of detail achieved in 3D Everest gives crews supporting the climb capabilities never before possible. Personnel, camped miles away, can now pinpoint the climbers’ location on the virtual version of the mountain and monitor their progress in real-time. For mountaineering enthusiasts, media partner Elevation Outdoors will be posting real-time content from the climbers’ journey on their landing page “Climbing Everest.” To learn more visit www.elevationoutdoors.com/everest-3d-climbing-everest.
3D RealityMaps’ customers include many of the largest ski areas and tourism destinations in Europe. Using the company’s software, guests can explore, book and monitor their outdoor activities at the resort using a detailed 3D map of the region.
“Our goal with 3D Everest was to give people around the world a new, more immersive way to experience the climb from the comfort of their home or office,” added Siegert. “In many ways it demonstrates how our services benefit our customers. We use this same technology to provide new, more exciting ways to show what our customers’ destination have to offer guests before the trip, and help them better manage their activities once they arrive.”
DigitalGlobe is a leading global provider of commercial high-resolution earth imagery products and services. Sourced from our own advanced satellite constellation, our imagery solutions support a wide variety of uses within defense and intelligence, civil agencies, mapping and analysis, environmental monitoring, oil and gas exploration, infrastructure management, Internet portals and navigation technology. With our collection sources and comprehensive ImageLibrary (containing more than one billion square kilometers of earth imagery and imagery products) we offer a range of on- and off-line products and services designed to enable customers to easily access and integrate our imagery into their business operations and applications. For more information, visit http://www.digitalglobe.com.
About German Aerospace Center (DLR)
DLR is Germany’s national research center for aeronautics and space. Its extensive research and development work in aeronautics, space, transportation and energy is integrated into national and international cooperative ventures. As Germany’s Space Agency, the German federal government has given DLR responsibility for the forward planning and implementation of the German space program, as well as international representation of Germany’s interests. Aeronautics and space make substantial contributions to the way we live today. Key industries, including materials technology, medicine and software engineering, all profit from innovations made by DLR in the fields of aeronautics and space. For more information, visit http://www.dlr.de/en/desktopdefault.aspx
About 3D Reality Maps
3D Reality Maps is a Germany-based firm that produces high resolution, interactive 3D landscape and city models for a wide range of applications such as tourism, urban planning, natural hazards and homeland security using high resolution digital aerial and satellite imagery. Its 3D maps for ski resorts and other tourism destinations power a more photorealistic experience, combining traditional point of interest information with high resolution terrain models in all seasons. 3D Reality Maps’ current customers include some of Europe’s largest ski resorts, such as Dolomiti Superski in Italy or the Stubai glacier in Austria.
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