Tele Atlas a leading global provider of digital maps and dynamic content for navigation and location-based solutions, today announced it will make available nearly 50 detailed 3D (three dimensional) city maps for use in navigation devices and location-based applications.
The first Tele Atlas 3D city maps will be released in July 2007, including maps for major European cities such as Berlin, London and Rome; additional European, U.S. and Asian cities are scheduled to be released during the next year.
Tele Atlas 3D city maps are designed to help drivers and pedestrians more easily orient themselves based on the appearance of an approaching or nearby destination. With 3D capabilities, screen images in in-car and portable navigation systems and local search applications on mobile devices more closely match what users actually see in their surroundings. The detailed, navigable Tele Atlas 3D city maps available in July will cover nearly 2,000 km², or approximately 40 km² per city.
In addition, they will feature complete, textured city centers modelled in 3D and Tele Atlas’ unique 3D landmarks of notable structures, including Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, the Tower of London and the Colosseum in Rome.
Based on a recent Tele Atlas Advanced Display Research Study, conducted to determine consumer interest in 3D and enhanced image offerings by current and potential navigation system users, a compelling 81 percent of consumers expressed a preference for 3D display over 2D display offerings. The study also indicated a strong willingness to pay for additional 3D city map content.
“Three dimensional digital maps deliver a navigation experience that is even more tangible and realistic, with features that can ultimately help improve map usability,” said Basak Ozer, vice president, global product marketing, Tele Atlas. “As we have found from our experience in Asia, navigation systems equipped with 3D images are fuelling global demand for richer, more realistic map content. We’re committed to being the first to deliver these capabilities to our partners.”
By leveraging Tele Atlas 3D city maps, developers can add recognizable building representations with excellent optical quality while maintaining a low volume of data. This ability to present the highly detailed, true-to-life 3D models at exceptionally low data volumes was achieved through a new parametric texture technology developed by GTA Geoinformatik GmbH, a German company with extensive experience in 3D geo-referenced visualization and modelling. With this technology, application developers are provided a range of options, from coloured block models to coloured facades and roofs with detailed texture.
To facilitate the arrival of 3D city maps on navigation devices and applications, Tele Atlas also is collaborating with leading 3D-modelling software companies, including Germany-based PIXEL and Great Britain-based AGS and 3DLABS, as well as leading hardware companies.
The 3D city maps product complements Tele Atlas’ existing 3D offerings, available since early 2006. Tele Atlas currently markets more than 1,000 landmarks in 30 European cities. Pioneer’s recently launched AVIC-HD3BT is the first commercial navigation system to include Tele Atlas 3D landmarks; the automotive entertainment system’s navigation offering includes 518 European landmarks in 21 cities. Tele Atlas plans to launch more than 1,000 3D landmarks for the U.S. in more than 30 major cities in 2007.