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Let the Games Begin

Dale Lutz
September 24, 20133 min
We’ve written before about the increasing intrusion of gaming technology into the geospatial realm, but in the past couple days I’ve become aware of 3 different developments that make me wonder if the days before technology born in the entertainment realm is playing a significant daily role in the lives of geospatial professionals are few indeed.
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The latest 3D visualization techniques are pretty impressive, too.

We’ve written before  about the increasing intrusion of gaming technology into the geospatial realm, but in the past couple days I’ve become aware of 3 different developments that make me wonder if the days before technology born in the entertainment realm is playing a significant daily role in the lives of geospatial professionals are few indeed.

Gene Roe of LiDAR News alerted me to “Conform” by GameSim. A gaming company with a booth at GeoINT should be enough to raise eyebrows, but with a DTED importer too! What is the world coming to!  But the key technology they are claiming to have is super-fast rendering of point clouds.

And just this weekend I learned of “GeoVerse” by Euclidean (and the ensuing fiery discussions on Reddit) and the now-removed-comments on YouTube.  Extremely impressive demo, but I wasn’t sure how to calibrate it until I bumped into a customer of ours at GeoAlberta who turned out to have worked in Australia recently and has become a distributor of the product. He’s a believer, he’s seen it, and he thinks it is game changing for his work and for his clients. I have no reason to doubt him.

Lastly, it seems that Minecraft is also making the geospatial news on a more frequent basis all the time.  We had our friends in Norway,  a while back @ulfme hung-out with James Fee and showed some amazing things, and then yesterday this news from the Ordnance Survey of Great Britain broke: Minecraft game adds Ordnance Survey GB terrain data.  So now we have Norway and Britain in Minecraft. Can Canada be far behind?

So what do these all have in common?  Technology developed for producing simulations for the demanding gaming crowd is being force-fed a diet of data from the “real” world.  The result – something extremely useful for both geospatial folks wondering how to cope with the volumes of data coming at them from modern sensors, as well as decision makers in general wanting easy ways of understanding their world better.

Is it only a matter of time before we see some of this technology finding its way into mainstream, traditional GIS products?

 

Bill Murray Reacts to the News of Gaming Companies Building DTED Importers:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3ZOKDmorj0&feature=youtu.be&t=17s

 

 

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