While you may have seen a car with a giant camera perched atop the roof cruising around your neighborhood, mapping your streets, have you ever stopped to think about what data is actually being collected and how all of that visual data is being used to build better maps?
Whereas others just take pictures, the HERE vehicles collect 700,000 3D data points at a time and up to 140 gigabytes are collected in just one day to create an exact model of the street level environment. This technology automatically detects streets signs and captures a myriad of other details to help us build a map that even carmakers trust for built-in navigation.
With the acquisition of earthmine last November we further developed the way we collect and process data, strengthening particularly our 3D capabilities. Now we’re incorporating that enhanced reality capture technology into our new fleet of collection vehicles. We’re deploying these vehicles globally to create an exact digital representation of the real world.
These vehicles are part of the industry’s most advanced map collection tools, a set with the right balance of on-staff geographers, 80,000 external resources, plus a curated global community of mapmakers that all are there to ensure you get the best mobile location experience with HERE!
The cameras we use to map streets have doubled in resolution – each can now capture 16.8 megapixels – bringing the total image size to 68 megapixels. In addition, our LiDAR technology has an accuracy range of less than 2 centimeters, meaning our images will now be even more detailed and accurate. We’ve also tripled the amount of 3D street-level data we currently have on file and will continue to add even more as we hit the streets in 27 countries this year.
Last week, we invited a number of journalists to see the rollout of our new fleet and the reviews are in. Chris Davies of SlashGear explained:
What makes Nokia’s system particularly clever – and differentiates it from Google’s – is how the data can be manipulated and better educate the map. The 3D photography is the most obvious use, along with graphics of buildings, but since the LiDAR is also recording street signs, business names, and other written information, Earthmine can pull out those details too using text-recognition.
We’re excited about this fleet and these new technologies: they are allowing us to build maps that make sense of the real world.