Geopipe CEO and cofounder Christopher Mitchell originally wrote this blog post for the Cesium blog.
Geopipe's New York City loaded in Unity with its SDK (left) and Geopipe ContextSnap, powered by Cesium with 3D Tiles (right)
Geopipe has built a tool called ContextSnap that can stream entire cities into your browser with Cesium and 3D Tiles. With ContextSnap, you can navigate a 3D copy of a city within your browser, and click on buildings and other objects to see semantic information: height, number of floors, materials, address, and more. If you need to take 3D models out into your own workflow, you can select your desired area, and immediately download a 3D mesh model in your favorite file format.
Why are we building these models? From gaming to training autonomous vehicles, architecture to defense, perfect virtual copies of the real world are increasingly vital. Unfortunately, the real world is complex, dense, and nuanced, and with today's hand-built 3D models of cities, it can take a team of professionals months to reproduce even a single neighborhood in realistic detail.