Calling all AR and VR developers! Our samples of real-world accurate 3D city models are now part of Poly, an online library where people can browse, share, and remix 3D assets. Different from other (awesome as they are!) assets in this collection, our samples are accurate and large enough for you to work on urban AR and VR applications. As far as we know, nobody yet cracked the issue of real-time object masking using 3D models and there is unlimited potential for games, advertising, marketing, tourism, navigation and yes, even in planning and architecture.

Development in 3D made simple

Made for developers to be able to remix 3D assets, Poly is more than just an online library. An asset – in our case samples of our 3D city models – is a 3D model or scene created using Tilt BrushBlocks, or any 3D program that produces a file that can be uploaded to Poly. As is true for many assets in this online library, our 3D city models here are licensed under the CC BY license, which means developers can use them in their apps, free of charge, as long as the creator is given credit.

Poly provides many APIs and tools for developers. Most noticeable (and most welcome) are Poly Toolkits for Unity and Unreal developers, the Toolkit for Unity and Toolkit for Unreal provide simplified, platform-specific wrappers for the Poly API. The Toolkit for Unity also includes a UI for downloading and importing Poly assets into your project. Also note that our 3D London sample is also available as an Unreal Scene if you prefer that route.

3D city data for accurate urban AR

Imagine: AR balloon that bounces off walls as it raises through a narrow street. A virtual ball thrown from the Shard bounces on roofs until it falls into Thames and drifts away.. Ability to look at a building site and see proposed building with correct masking by buildings in the front. App for delivery drivers to have every building augmented with 9 foot door number written on the building. Or AR Jack the Riper tour where he believably lurks in the shadows…

To do any of those, our good old reliable engineering city models can be used to accurately position and mask virtual objects within real world. For particle dispersion. Text orientation. Luminescence objects on transparency backgrounds to highlight real-world objects. For re-texturing planes. Many of these issues of urban AR could be overcome by using accurate 3D city models and now YOU can give it a go where you live.

We will be rolling out all of our Free sample 3D city models onto Google Poly in the next few days, starting with our 3D Dublin sample. We are looking forward to see what you can do with it!