The practicality of 3D content is often overstated; I’ve not yet found an example in the geo world where 3D genuinely compliments, rather than hinders, usability. The high-resolution city models produced by C3 attracted significant attention at this year’s Where 2.0, and may in time prove to be the exception to the rule.
The C3 team dropped jaws with a few sneak previews of their product at last year’s Where 2.0, and their CEO Mattias Åström spoke yesterday; I followed up today with C3 PM Ludvig Emgård who provided me with a few shots of their local Bay Area work that I can share here:
You’ll see that these are not projected images with the occasional visual 3D model spiking out of the plain, but complex and immersive topographic textured wireframes. C3 do their own flying with a five-camera rig (flying between the fog multiple times over San Francisco) and resultant data are crunched automatically over “a couple of days” per city. C3 are rolling out at a modest pace with 5 cities now available in the US and 50 in Europe. Little forthcoming product, partner or launch details are available for 2010 but we’ll see, quite literally, much more C3 in the coming year.