AR - Bringing Maps To Life With Geospatial Data

Augmented Reality (AR) a synonym for life-like 3D animation has grown from two diverse industries. 'Gamers' whose guru's had created interactive games, such as Grand Theft Auto (streetname 'GTA {+ version number}') have fueled the growth in the seemingly exponential development of the 'realness' of their digital characters.

Military applications have further enhanced the capabilities of the technology, tech that is rapidly becoming available commercially. Battlefield imagery in 3D, looking beyond the horizon, at every detail in the 'lie of the land'. Combined with realtime drone flown multispectral or radar imagery, the movements of hostile combatants can be tracked and projected, almost literally into the eye of the soldier.

In a social context, the name, purpose and features of a building can be presented to the user of a GIS (geographical information system). Using instrumentation inside today's smartphones - accelerometers, GPS receivers, cameras and in some cases temperate sensors, the exact position and direction in which the handset is pointing can be displayed over the camera's view of a street scene.

In the image below a user is scanning the crowd at a 'ball game', with an AR smartphone app. As registered friends of a group, each can find the other in a large crowd.

Asset Management

The specification, manufacturer, service intervals, and spare parts situation can be Information stored on geospatial data servers. A technician walking the rounds of an industrial plant can view the status of machinery 'on the fly'.