Japan: To strategize against the natural disasters, a national surveying institute has released a free online 3D mapping service on Monday. The map is created by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI), and shows accurate renditions and contours of landforms. The map is based on the contour lines of the land and mountains, and patches of aerial photos are layered on the virtual diorama.
“Users can perceive the topography intuitively and can have fun learning it,” said a GSI staff member in charge of the project. “We hope people will make use of it in geographic education, as well as in disaster prevention.”
Viewers can access the map online and can zoom-in or zoom-out, or rotate it to a full 360 degrees. In other features, the map provides a bird’s-eye view to users. Just by a “fly over” users can see the Japanese archipelago.
The GSI offered a similar service in which selected sections of a 3-D map could be viewed individually. The new GSI Globe system displays data seamlessly as one continuous map. The GSI plans to improve and modify the system after getting feedback from users during a trial run.