SBIR Phase I: Novel Algorithms for Automated 3D Building Models and 3D Street Maps

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1113653
Agency Tracking Number: 1113653
Amount: $148,929.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: IC
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
9531 Primrose Lane, Marshall, VA, 20115-3067
DUNS: 828493093
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Kevin Williams
 (540) 364-2016
Business Contact
 Kevin Williams
Phone: (540) 364-2016
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project proposes to automate the creation of digital 3D building models and 3D street maps used in the personal navigation, architecture, engineering, defense and homeland security markets. It currently requires hundreds of hours to create a 3D model of an average city building or streetscape using a tripod-mounted or vehicle-mounted laser scanner and available CAD software. This research will potentially reduce that time significantly. Automated 3D modeling has been a primary goal of the CAD industry for a generation. The problem can be divided into two separate challenges: 1) identifying and extracting observed surfaces, and 2) subsequently extending those surfaces automatically to form a solid 3D model. The proposed research involves developing algorithms to extrapolate observed building surfaces and extend them to correctly intersect other surfaces, completing the solid 3D model entirely automatically. The potential to create highly accurate 3D building models and 3D street maps in minutes will enable cost-effective modeling of entire cities. Accurate 3D city models made widely available to the public has the potential to have a profound impact on the mapping and personal navigation markets as well as commercial architecture, engineering projects, virtual tourism and first responder effectiveness. In the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) market alone, firms spend nearly $800 million per year on manually creating 3D building models. The proposed effort will not replace the existing CAD programs; rather, it will work with CAD programs to remove the tedious and expensive manual steps of model creation from vehicle-mounted and tripod-mounted laser scanners. If successfully developed, the commercial potential of automated high-definition 3D building models and 3D street maps is significant.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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