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Distribution Begins for the World’s Most Precise Digital 3D Map of the Entire World “3D maps that you look at” change to “3D maps that you can use” with the world’s first Digital Elevation Model with 5-meter resolution.

2014-02-24

The Remote Sensing Technology Center of Japan (RESTEC) and NTT Data Corporation have jointly begun a “Distribution Service for a Digital 3D Map of the Entire World” that utilizes satellite images. This service uses approximately 3 million satellite images captured by the Advanced Land Observing Satellite “DAICHI” (ALOS)1 of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and distributes the world’s most precise digital 3D map2, covering the land of the entire world. The merit of this digital 3D map that has begun distribution is that since it expresses the undulations of the land over the entire world using a Digital Elevation Model (DEM)3 with 5-meter resolution in a world first, it can be utilized for a wide variety of purposes, such as the development of maps for emerging nations, the prediction of damage from natural disasters, surveys for water resources, and more. Starting in March of 2014, this will be distributed sequentially starting in areas that have been developed, and by March of 2016, the map of the entire world is scheduled to be completed. Through this project, both companies will work toward the increased usage of geospatial information, the creation of markets, and the promotion of related industries.

Background

The demand for geospatial information is rising around the world for purposes such as the rapidly progressing development of infrastructure in emerging nations in areas such as Asia and Africa, as well as countermeasures for frequently occurring natural disasters. 3D maps are the contents that serve as the foundation for geospatial information development, but until now, surveys using aircrafts and manpower have been necessary for the development of 3D maps, and constraints on cost and time have limited the areas in which they were developed.

NTT DATA has been contracted by JAXA for a project in which they will conduct the development of a 3D map of the entire world that utilizes satellite images from the Advanced Land Observing Satellite “DAICHI” (ALOS) and does not use resources such as aircrafts or manpower. They have been conducting development of the 3D map since 2014. Regarding the 3D map that NTT DATA has been contracted to develop, as NTT DATA will receive a sales license from JAXA, it has been decided that it will conduct a “Distribution Service for a Digital 3D Map of the Entire World.”

NTT DATA will leverage its rich track record of processing large quantities of satellite images and conducting geospatial information services and be in charge of creating the 3D map and providing the service. RESTEC will leverage the advanced satellite image analysis technology and usage spreading experience that it possesses, and will be in charge of 3D map creation support, as well as promoting the spread of usage.

Merits

The World’s Most Precise 3D Map

In a world first, this map can express the undulations of land around the world with 5-meter resolution and a height accuracy of 5 meters. It can be applied for solutions in a broad range of fields, including the development of infrastructure in emerging nations, countermeasures for natural disasters that frequently occur in the world (such as floods), surveys of resource areas, and responses to issues such as water resource problems.

The Provision of a 3D Map of the Entire World

Through this project, a 3D map of the entire world will be developed by utilizing Japan’s satellite images, and the service will be provided extensively both inside and outside of Japan.

Regarding the Provision of Services

NTT DATA and RESTEC, through both companies as well as partnering domestic and overseas organizations, will conduct sales of the 3D map across the world to organizations that utilize maps, organizations that provide geospatial information services, and other organizations.
Product Type of Provision for the Map
Covering the land of the entire world, 1) Digital Elevation Models (DEM), which indicate height, and 2) orthorectified (geometrically corrected) images, which indicate horizontal location, will be provided. 3) 3D map subjected to color processing will also be able to be provided in response to requests.(Colored 3D map is the combination of orthorectified image subjected to color processing and DEM.)

Units of Provision for the Map
Aside from provision in units of each country, the 3D map will be provided in optional ranges. Appropriate to usage as a foundational map for all of the countries of the world or for a usage purpose such as the analysis of the geospatial information of a specific area, it will be possible to select a unit of provision that is easy to use.
Price
From 200 yen per square kilometer (km2)

Detailed Information
Introduction of distribution service for a digital 3D map of the entire world (external link http://alos-world3d.jp/en/

Usage Purposes

The broad range of usage purposes below are envisaged for the high-precision 3D map.
□ Development of Infrastructure
– The purpose of developing base map in areas such as emerging nations
– Construction planning for infrastructure facilities
– Plan development for agricultural irrigation
□ Disaster Prevention
– The identifying areas at risk of disasters such as flooding, landslides, tsunamis, lava flows and pyroclastic flows
– The evaluation of risks regarding such events as rises in sea levels and ice glacier retreats due to changes in climate
□ Resource Surveys
– The identification of promising areas for natural resource investigations
– Water resource and underground water surveys
□ Traffic
– Simulations for aircraft operations
– Route selection for navigation
□ Radio Communication
– Plan development for such purposes as the grasping of areas that present an impediment to radio communication
– Location correction through remote sensing data
□ Other Purposes
– Computer graphics and video production
– The production of educational teaching materials for subjects such as science, geography, and disaster prevention

Regarding the Future

NTT DATA and RESTEC will work toward the increased usage of geospatial information, the creation of markets, and the promotion of related industries. Through coordination including other geospatial information content and systems, they will aim for the creation of new markets and new services through the provision of the 3D map as a service with even more added value.
In addition, through the provision of the 3D map, both companies will aim for accumulated sales of 1.5 billion yen by 2015.

1) Advanced Land Observing Satellite “DAICHI” (ALOS): A Japanese earth observation satellite that was operated from January of 2006 to May of 2011. It conducted high-detail observation of the entire world and contributed to such fields as cartography and the updating of maps, the identification of situations regarding disasters, and the observation of local environments. Of the approximately 6.5 million images that were captured during the period of operation, approximately 3 million, which the Panchromatic Remote-sensing Instrument for Stereo Mapping (PRISM) captured with low cloud cover, are utilized.

2) Digital 3D map: Data in which the 3-dimensional coordinate values (horizontal location and height) of the surface of the earth have been recorded. It is composed of 2 types of data: Digital Elevation Models (DEM), which indicate height, and Orthorectified (geometrically corrected) images, which indicate horizontal location. The orthorectified images remove distortions that accompany terrain images photographed from the sky, and are images that allow for accurate location information.

3) Digital Elevation Model (DEM): A digital expression of the terrain of the ground surface that has digitized height values in intervals of certain lattice points. The resolution is a measure of the level of detail of the data. 5-meter resolution means that the height values have been recorded in lattice point intervals of 5 meters.

With regard to similar maps that have been developed to this point using scales of the entire world, there is a 90-meter resolution Digital Elevation Model (first edition released in 2003), developed through data that the United States observed in 2000 using space shuttles; there is also a 30-meter resolution Digital Elevation Model (first edition released in 2009) developed through satellite images that the United States and Japan jointly observed starting in 2000.

Reference video

Reference information

About JAXA ALOS project (external link http://www.eorc.jaxa.jp/ALOS/en/aw3d/index_e.htm

For more information, please contact
Remote Sensing Technology Center,
Solution Services Dept,
Customer Services Section
Address: TOKYU REIT Toranomon Bldg., 3F, 3-17-1, Toranomon, Minato-ku,
TOKYO 105-0001, Japan
TEL +81-3-6435-6789
E-mail data@restec.or.jp