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The AW3DTM Global Digital 3D Map Distribution Service Wins the Prime Minister’s Award in the 2nd Space Development and Application Award

2016-03-31

The AW3DTM Global Digital 3D Map Distribution Service (hereinafter AW3D)(Note 1) provided by NTT DATA Corporation (hereinafter NTT DATA) and the Remote Sensing Technology Center of Japan (hereinafter RESTEC) has won the Prime Minister’s Award in the 2nd Space Development and Application Award hosted by the Cabinet Office, which was announced on March 18, 2016. The Prime Minister’s Award is awarded to cases recognized as being extremely distinguished achievements that have made significant contributions to furthering space development and utilization.
The Space Development and Application Award is an award system for honoring the achievements of cases that have made significant contributions to furthering space development and utilization, such as pioneering initiatives that have enjoyed major success in advancing space development and utilization.
In the latest award, AW3D was acclaimed for its high technological strength and for making a significant contribution to raising public awareness of Japan’s space development and utilization by supporting greater infrastructure sophistication and efficiency, including in industry and public administration in countries worldwide, through the provision of a broad array of services across 60 countries globally. AW3D won the Prime Minister’s Award, which is awarded to the most outstanding case.
From here forward, NTT DATA and RESTEC will also engage in expanding the utilization of geospatial information as well as its market development and the promotion of related industries on a worldwide scale, via the AW3D service.

[About the Space Development and Application Award]
An award system whose goal is to contribute to further advances in Japan’s space development and utilization, as well as fostering citizens’ awareness and understanding of it, by honoring the achievements of cases that have made significant contributions to furthering space development and utilization, such as pioneering initiatives that have enjoyed major success in advancing space development and utilization. The Space Development and Application Award was established in fiscal 2015. This is the second time it has been held.

[About AW3D]
The AW3D Global Digital 3D Map Distribution Service began being offered in cooperation with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in February 2014. The service provides 3D maps that render the undulations of terrain around the world using 5-meter resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEM)(Note 2) – a world first – by utilizing approximately 3 million satellite images taken using JAXA’s advanced land observing satellite “DAICHI” (ALOS)(Note 3). Additionally, in May 2015 AW3D began offering high-detail, 2-meter resolution 3D maps capable of rendering detailed undulations at the “man-made structure” level, centering on urban areas, in order to broaden the service’s utilization to fields such as urban planning.
The AW3D service makes it possible to obtain detailed 3D map data for around one-quarter of the cost of methods that utilize conventional aerial photographs, and with prompt delivery times of as little as one week. Due to the significant improvement in accuracy that the maps offer compared to existing world 3D maps, which had a resolution between 30 and 90 meters, they are increasingly being utilized in a wide range of fields, including map preparation, disaster-prevention measures, energy generation planning in the electricity sector, mining area exploration in the field of natural resources, measures to prevent the spread of epidemics in the health sector, urban planning and facility planning, particularly in emerging countries in Asia and Africa. Alongside the service’s successful expansion into new markets, with usage reaching 60 countries worldwide, it has been contributing to greater sophistication and efficiency in fields such as disaster prevention, resources, urban planning, power generation and telecommunications services inside and outside Japan thanks to boasting the world’s most accurate 3D mapping technology, a full product lineup and a domestic and overseas support structure.
(Reference): The AW3D website: http://aw3d.jp/

[About the future]
From here forward, NTT Data and RESTEC will also engage in expanding the utilization of geospatial information as well as its market development and the promotion of related industries, through the provision of 3D mapping and related services.

*Note 1 Digital 3D Maps: Data containing records of 3D coordinate values (horizontal location and elevation) of the Earth’s surface. They are composed of two types of data: DEM (Digital Elevation Models), which indicate elevation, and orthographic projection (orthorectified) images, which indicate horizontal location. The orthorectified images are images that have had the distortions that accompany aerial photographs of terrain removed and have had correct locational information added to them.
*Note 2 Digital Elevation Model (DEM): A digital expression of the terrain of the ground surface that has digitized height values in intervals of specific lattice points. The resolution is a measure of the level of detail of the data. A 5-meter resolution means that the height values have been recorded in lattice point intervals of 5 meters.
*Note 3 Advanced land observing satellite “DAICHI” (ALOS): A Japanese earth observation satellite that was operated from January 2006 to May 2011. It conducted high-detail observation of the entire world and contributed to fields such as cartography and map updates, disaster status confirmation and the observation of local environments. Of the approximately 6.5 million images that were captured during the satellite’s period of operation, this service utilizes approximately 3 million images that the Panchromatic Remote-sensing Instrument for Stereo Mapping (PRISM) captured with low cloud cover.
Incidentally, similar global-scale maps that have been provided to date comprise the 90-meter and 30-meter resolution Digital Elevation Models (first edition released in 2003), which were developed through data observed via U.S. space shuttles in 2000, and the 30-meter resolution Digital Elevation Model (first edition released in 2009), which was jointly developed by the U.S. and Japan through satellite images observed from 2000.

* AW3D is the registered trademark of NTT DATA and RESTEC.