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MetaVR builds virtual Somali city

Dec. 5, 2013 - 03:45AM   |  
By MICHAEL PECK   |   Comments
MetaVR created a virtual representation of Kismayo, Somalia, using ground-level photos and satellite data.
MetaVR created a virtual representation of Kismayo, Somalia, using ground-level photos and satellite data. (MetaVR)
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MetaVR has built a high-resolution geospecific 3-D representation of the Somali port city of Kismayo.

The virtual city includes hundreds of geographically specific models taken from ground-level photos of Kismayo.

“In addition to these geolocated and photo-specific models of buildings and other structures, several hundred other buildings were modeled by matching the structural footprints visible in the imagery as geotypical models with culturally and architecturally accurate details,” the company said in a news release. The models are combined with 50-centimeter-per-pixel Digital Globe satellite imagery, which spanned 1,017 square kilometers of Kismayo, and the output is blended into 15-meter natural view imagery.

MetaVR chose Kismayo for its new virtual 3-D environment because “the city contains varied terrain representative of important training environments, from a built-up port to dense urban streets to a sparsely populated outer region that includes a commercial airport,” the company said. This makes it useful for training UAV operators, joint terminal attack controllers, helicopter pilots and ground troops preparing for combat with urban insurgents.

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