Bluesky launches MetroVista 3D city models online

January 27, 2020  - By
San Francisco. (Image: Bluesky)

San Francisco. (Image: Bluesky)

Highly accurate, UK city-wide 3D models are now available to view and download from Bluesky’s online Mapshop.

The geographically accurate, photo-realistic MetroVista mesh models are available in a variety of formats ready for use in 3D GIS, CAD and other modelling software as well as visualisation, gaming and Virtual Reality workflows.

Captured using Leica’s large-format imagery and lidar hybrid airborne sensor and generated in Skyline’s PhotoMesh software, the Bluesky MetroVista datasets of major UK cities are available online offering a compelling alternative to traditional photogrammetrically produced models.

Now in America. In December, Bluesky launched its 3D data capture programme in the United States. The MetroVista product suite allows high-resolution imagery, both vertical and oblique, to be captured simultaneously with high-accuracy, wide-scale 3D data using an advanced Leica camera, the  CityMapper. Specifically designed for 3D city modeling and urban mapping, the system includes a traditional vertical camera as well as survey-grade oblique cameras.

The CityMapper also includes high-performance lidar technology to accurately collect elevation data — even in shadows that are common in urban environments and can make photo-based collection difficult.

“Since launching in the UK the MetroVista product range has received enormous offline interest from sectors such as infrastructure and building development, risk assessment, telecommunications and environmental mapping,” said Rachel Tidmarsh, managing director of Bluesky. “By making the data easy to access and consume via our online Mapshop, we hope to increase the take up from traditional users of 3D models and encourage applications such as smart city management, autonomous vehicle testing, virtual reality experiences and gaming.”

Two seasons in the UK

Bluesky has been capturing MetroVista data in the UK for two flying seasons. Visitors to Bluesky’s Mapshop will initially be able to select an area and download MetroVista mesh models of London, Birmingham and Cambridge with other UK and U.S. cities coming online in the future.

Data can be supplied in a variety of proprietary and open source formats including OBJ, FBX, I3s and 3DML for use in Skyline’s TerraExplorer product suite.

The Bluesky Mapshop also offers complete nationwide coverage of aerial photography from multiple epochs, 3D models, lidar data, thermal mapping and Bluesky’s National Tree Map. is easy to use and purchasing of data is simple, straightforward and secure. Account options are also available and data can be purchased with a range of easy to understand licence options, including the option of a Sub Contractor Licence.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.