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Move over Google Earth: Swiss tech startup uses enhanced aerial photography to create better 3D models of cities for urban planners | News


Image courtesy École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

Image courtesy École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

A new approach uses aerial imaging to generate 3D models of cities and regions with advanced precision, enabling urban planners to incorporate full-scale designs of all types of architectural and urban structures.
Tech Xplore

Tech start-up, Uzufly, operates out of the Le Garage space located inside the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)’s expanding Innovation Park. “The company’s 3D models incorporate a wide range of urban-planning data and can accommodate any type of architectural design at full scale,” reports Tech Xplore‘s Sandy Evangelista.

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“We basically use the same technology as Google Earth—that is, aerial photography,” Uzufly co-founder Théo Benazzi explains. “But while Google uses airplanes to take huge numbers of pictures at high altitudes, we use drones that have smaller cameras and capture images much closer to the ground. That’s why we can generate 3D models at the level of a neighborhood or an entire city.”

The team is currently working with the EPFL’s Arts of Sciences Laboratory (LAPIS) and the Swiss National Science Foundation to produce a digital twin of an unnamed Egyptian temple by the fall of next year. 

“Google Earth on steroids” boosts urban development. Video courtesy of École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).

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