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3D textured mesh imagery is now available for viewing in New MapBrowser

To view 3D you need specific Nearmap subscription offerings. Please contact your Nearmap Account manager to enable this option. 

This guide includes the following sections:

Watch the video: MapBrowser - 3D Viewer & 3D Export

Viewing 3D Imagery

You can view 3D imagery in the New MapBrowser by selecting 3D from the drop-down list above the compass:

Understanding 3D Capture Dates

Each 3D capture is made up of multiple surveys, flown at different dates. The capture name at the bottom of the screen consists of the region of the capture and the month and year of the first survey in the capture.

The entire scene could be made up of photos taken over one to three months.

Navigating the 3D Imagery

When using a standard two-button mouse with a scroll wheel:

  • Panning is achieved via the left mouse button
  • Tilting and rotating is achieved via the right mouse button
  • Zooming can be done by scrolling the scroll wheel

When using a laptop multi-touch touch-pad:

  • Panning can be achieved using any part of the touch-pad with one finger
  • Tilting and rotating is achieved while holding the ‘Alt’ key (Windows) or the 'control' key (Mac) and using one finger on any part of the touch-pad
  • Zooming can be achieved by sliding two fingers up and down the touch-pad


Please refer to Measuring in 3D to learn how to measure line length and relative height.

Please refer to Exporting 3D to learn how to export 3D imagery.

3D Coverage

Please refer to our Nearmap Coverage page to see the up-to-date 3D coverage in the US and in Australia.

3D Imagery Constraints

Because of the unique nature of capturing 3D imagery, we have a few constraints:

  • Photogrammetric 3D relies on surface reflectivity to resolve objects. Highly reflective surfaces and areas of dark shadow will result in holes and distortion. 
  • The viewable reconstructed 3D scene is actually a continuous surface. Individual objects are not extracted, so we see some blending or smooth interpolated surface between objects and where we would normally expect to see hard angles.
  • Urban canyons and narrow alleyways usually do not receive much sunlight and Nearmap's cameras find it very difficult to see detail at street level between tall buildings. As a result our 3D scene lacks detail at these locations.

3D Imagery Resolution

The geometry of the 3D scene is constructed using a 15cm ground sampling distance. Textures are applied to the geometry using our standard images with a resolution of less than 7.5cm. The ability to resolve objects is a function of size, shape and surface reflectivity. We expect to be able to resolve objects that are greater than 40cm in size, are not long and thin and are not highly reflective.

Viewing 3D FAQs

QuestionAnswer
Will my normal imagery allowance be used up when I view 3D?No, viewing 3D imagery does not count towards your standard imagery data allowance.
What is the capture date for the 3D that I am viewing?Many photos and surveys are required for recreating a 3D region. Multiple surveys must be processed together in order to get a good 3D reconstruction. The date shown for a scene represents the first month of that capture but the entire scene could be made up of photos taken over one to three months.
What browsers are recommended for viewing 3D in MapBrowser?

For best results use modern browsers that support WebGL (https://get.webgl.org/).

We recommend the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

Microsoft Edge is not recommended. IE 11 is not supported.

When you do new 3D captures, will I still have access to the old ones (to view in MapBrowser)?

Yes, over time we will add to our catalogue of 3D content and historical captured will be made via the date menu in the same way that 2D images are viewed.

Why do the dates for 2D and 3D imagery look different? 

While the 3D content date of capture will correspond with some 2D images, not every 2D capture is processed into 3D, so switching from 2D to 3D may result in viewing a scene older than the current 2D image being viewed. 3D scenes are processed over a large area and may also be made of images taken over one to three months.

What is the format of the 3D that you are displaying in MapBrowser?

Cesium 3D Tiles.

How do I print the 3D I am viewing?

Currently there are no tools to print the 3D mesh from the MapBrowser view. You can use the built-in tools of your browser or computer operating system to take a screen capture if required.

Why is the resolution of your 3D lower than the resolution of your 2D imagery?Processing of textures during the construction of the 3D scene may result in some loss of resolution, detail and colour compared to the original textures used as source images.

Can I remove the trees and just display the buildings?

No, the 3D mesh displayed is a continuous surface. No classification or feature extraction has been performed on this layer.

Can I use your 3D in MapBrowser to do BIM?

Maybe, it depends on what information you would like to obtain. 3D in the Map Browser is largely about visualisation, so if this helps you understand and manage your buildings then it may be helpful, but a lot of building information is managed as assets and for this you would need a third-party application.

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