Imagine you are sitting at your computer, flying online over the roofs of Berlin. You are nearing the Brandenburg Gate, following the famous avenue Unter den Linden, when you discover free office space in a side-street nearby. It is marked by a little white house, the symbol for an offer in this commercial real estate portal.
You click on the link and you can see a fact sheet with the crucial information about the building, a phone number and an email address for further enquiries.
So is this a dream? Not all all – it is a reality on the internet – a digital, three-dimensional (3D) city model of Berlin.
Berlin Partner, the official business development organisation of the German capital – together with private partner companies – has developed a virtual 3D city model. This model is believed to be the largest and most advanced model of its kind in the world. It is setting standards in visual data mining and marketing for business locations.
Google Earth browser
Easily accessible via the Google Earth browser, the model is an indispensable tool for all those who deal with site selection or real estate development. This virtual 3D city model is not only breathtakingly spectacular. It also provides useful information because it is linked with databases on the economic sectors and the commercial real estate available in Berlin. All of this is made visible on the cityscape.
The German capital is the first city worldwide to be recreated as a realistic large-scale 3D model that internet users can explore with the aid of Google Earth. The model depicts 500,000 buildings in the city and enables users to take virtual flights over Berlin from any computer. Five buildings can even be ‘visited’ – that is, viewed from inside.
The 3D model of Berlin on the web opens up a new dimension to market the city and to approach investors innovatively. It enables any interested party to obtain impressions of the capital from the comfort of their office.
In order to give a realistic impression of the cityscape, every building facade was photographed and the models were textured using these photos. The resulting virtual image conveys an amazingly detailed and realistic impression of the streets, and even entire quarters of the city.
The new technology not only shows Berlin in an unprecedented way. As it was developed locally, it also acts as a major showcase of the IT clusters in the region.
The model was produced using the LandXplorer technology of a spin-off company from the renowned Hasso Plattner Institute for Software Systems Technology at Potsdam University. This software turns two-dimensional aerial photographs, cadastral maps and photogrammetric data into fascinating worlds to explore or fly over in the virtual world.
Special features of the technology include automatic processing of large-volume city models and data security.
The 3D virtual city model of Berlin can be used as a powerful tool for real marketing, as well as to play ‘planning games’ on the Palace of the Republic or on the blueprint for the Berlin City Palace – therefore mimicking the everyday design and planning work of the city’s urban developers.
Some 20 years after the Berlin Wall came down, its former path can be traced through the city centre – with all of the new buildings that were erected in the interim. Therefore, the virtual 3D city model links the past, present and future, and shows the development of one of the most dynamic capitals in Europe.
The virtual 3D city model of Berlin will be presented at the Berlin stand at MIPIM in Cannes, Palais des Festivals, Level 4, Booth H4.28 from March 9 to 13.
For more information, contact Christoph Lang, head of corporate communications, Berlin Partner GmbH.