NCC in the Cloud

We are very proud to have signed a strategic agreement with NCC, Sweden’s third largest construction company. NCC have had drone operations within the company for the last 4 years, starting out with building their own UAV platform from scratch. Today they have 20 certified pilots within the organization that serve the projects with easy access to volumetric studies, traditional ortho photos, point clouds and 3D maps. The latest addition in their services is high resolution 3D models of buildings from Spotscale and the Spotplanner application for real estate projects.

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After a few hours of flying and processing on the Spotscale cloud, NCC’s UAV pilots can serve real estate developers with the data they need and an easy, visual tool for project meetings.

Architects and designers can use the 3D model on their format of choice. Spotplanner can then be used again to make the new 3D-design combined with the original 3D-model easy accessed for all stake holders over the web.

At Spotscale we strive to make the best 3D reconstruction service possible. With the Spotscale Cloud we’ll make our processing available to UAV operations around the world. We will keep refining the service with functionality of relevance to professionals in real estate development, real estate construction and real estate maintenance. And we want to be the go-to-choice for photogrammetry services and web tools when it comes to buildings in 3D.

Tech for Good

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Our friend and adventurer Sam Cossman put an expedition together with GE to make the worlds first connected volcano. A team of volcanologists, filmmakers, drone operators and other experts spent several weeks this summer connecting IoT sensors to the Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua. The Masaya Volcano is an active volcano with a boiling lava lake threatening the nearby town of Masaya. The goal with mounting IoT-sensors and monitoring the volcano in real time is to predict eruptions as well as to spread information and experiences of a live volcano. At Spotscale we were happy to help out with 3D reconstruction of the volcano from the safety of our office in Linköping, quite excited when we got footage like this sent to us:-) The 3D-model will be part of interactive experiences of the volcano. Stay tuned!

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Images: Radley Angelo

BIG

Cooking on the Spotscale cloud right now is a large 3D model of central Norrköping, our neighboring town. With 150 000 images processed we’ll get an extremely detailed model that can be viewed from alla angles, from street to rooftops. An 285 000 m2 urban scene that can be experiences in VR, on surface table or in a computer game. Walk on the streets or fly through.

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The model will be available for companies within the Visual Sweden project for various simulations and visualizations.

Get ideas? Get in touch!

 

The road ahead

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For the last three years we have been capturing buildings and turned them into 3D models. We’ve captured old buildings, glossy buildings, ruined buildings, ancient factories, power dams and more. 

During this time we  have played around with different cameras and other sensors as well as drones and long sticks to carry them. We have gained a lot of knowledge about capturing techniques and hardware as well as what end users would like to do with with high resolution 3D models and how they would like them delivered.

We have worked on smart algorithms to turn imagery of buildings into beautiful 3D models and end user applications to turn the 3D model into instant use in the hands of architects and real estate developers. Our current work on the 3D models is about decoding them so that we know what are roofs, window, walls etc and can deliver intelligent models to our end users.

When we started out there were really not that many drone operators around. And definitely not many that flew up close on buildings and in cities. We found our pilots in the 3D Aerobatics community and started our journey.

Today we see new drone operators popping up every week and construction companies and surveyors have their own fleets. For us this means the timing is right to start offering our algorithms and tools to drone professionals out there so that they can deliver the same values to their customers that we have been doing.

Our 3D cloud service is now released in beta and is currently being tested by drone pilts in 4 countries.  We’re looking forward to adjust to their needs and release to everyone. Stay tuned!

Make it flat

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This is a 3D model. Looks pretty neat! For most people that’s perfectly fine, but underneath that good-looking texture hides an oddity that Spotscale just weren’t comfortable ignoring. Have a look what happens when we add some lighting to the model.

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Doesn’t look so sleek as you’d want it? That was the general sentiment at Spotscale when Mikael came in as a master thesis worker last autumn. He took on the task, starting by thoroughly surveying recent research related to improving 3D models.

About six months later, he had designed a processing pipeline that were able to detect planar regions in a model and improve the visual quality of them. The size in bytes can also be heavily reduced. Have a look at the result afterwards.

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How was this done? Mikael could give you a long explanation involving all the math and graph optimization if you’d ask, but we’ll settle with saying that there’s some inventive logics going on in the background.

How much is it?

We get this question once in a while and since we don’t have a price list up on our web site just yet, we’ll try to give you an idea here.

We are working on getting our processing software out there, on the cloud, for all of you to use. In the meantime we are happy to deliver the best 3D buildings you can get!

Residential house € 2 000 – 4 000

Large building/castle € 3 000 – 6 000

City block/square € 6 000 –  10 000

This is the price range for capturing images with a drone + camera + ground equipment, processing the images into 3D and have them delivered in the format you choose and access to our tools,  Spotplanner (web) and HD viewer (PC).

Send us the address and we’ll give you a fixed quote for your spot!

If you are a drone operator with recurring projects where you deliver buildings in 3D and want to use our processing service and tools, contact us directly. We are working with a selected number of drone operators as we develop our software as a service.

Mipim

Last week we spent three days in south of France getting to know the European real estate market and spreading the word about high resolution, digital, 3D models using reality capture and drones. As if meeting with hundreds of real estate developers, architects and city planners wasn’t enough the place was full of city models and miniature buildings. Can’t get much better 🙂

 

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