Maps and Sketchfab

Where is it?

Just the other day the discussion here at Deep3D was all about answering the question Where am I?

Now we can share where is it?

Sketchfab is the place where most of my work ends up being shared and viewed. You can upload directly from within Agisoft Photoscan and there are some very neat tools to present and show off 3D work of all sorts, not just photogrammetry.

Until now sharing where the model was in the world was restricted to the descriptive text or the name. Given that the vast majority of my work now includes GPS reference data actually writing in the name of where the object was seemed a bit…old fashioned?

Map References

Recently Sketchfab has added a map function into its offering. Whilst its clearly embryonic and from the experimental lab it does give us a simple tool to answer where am I? for any 3D model. This example is an old favourite: The P47-D crash site as found by Grahame Knott of Deeper Dorset:

P47-D crash site shown on the map (right) with the model and description (left).

Current Limitations

Right now its all manual. You need to find and mark the point on the map and then embed a code with your model. There does not seem to be a way to create the embedded code manually – you have to double click on the map. Now for those who work above the waves this is not really an issue, just find your feature and click away. But when confronted with nothing but plain blue sea the underwater position is a bit of a guess…even if you know the precise coordinates.

Once you have tagged the model the Sketchfab servers do their thing and update the map overview and your model appears. Here’s another example – the SS Thistlegorm. Finding the position of this wreck was quite easy as there are always a cluster of dive boats over the wreck and these appear in the satellite image:

The SS Thistlegorm on the map view of Sketchfab

Here I am

Its quite new and has a lot of room for improvement, but we like it. You can check it out for yourselves here:

Screenshot of the Sketchfab maps page

I’m off to write up my wish list…perhaps Sketchfab Santa will visit this year?

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