March 19, 2024

Around the Industry in 3D Technology: Underground Utilities, Metaverse, Digital Twins

A look at stories covering some uses of 3D technology that once seemed futuristic.

The idea of 3D technology is such an interesting one, combining something that seems so futuristic and “sci-fi,” for lack of a better word, with something that’s so inherent to our lives. In a vacuum, it’s so obvious that just about everything in our lives that involves visualization in any capacity should be in three dimensions, but that’s of course easier said than done. At least, it had been for a long time. Technology in this space is rapidly advancing, and it’s making what once seemed like the pinnacle of futurism into almost routine.

Today, we have three stories from friends around the industry that exemplify the ways that future-seeming 3D technology is transforming industries and the world around us more broadly. We start with the world of underground utilities, an area that is severely undermapped, but something companies are looking to fix. Then, we shift to the idea of a “metaverse,” the definition and scope of which have changed but remains a goal moving forward. Finally, we have a look at how digital twins are being put into practice to help with sustainable manufacturing.

Image via xyHt

Mapping What Lies Beneath

Gavin Schrock, xyHt

Underground utilities are so important to day-to-day life all around the world, but most of us don’t really know what exactly is happening beneath our feet. The problem is that many utility owners also don’t have a clear picture due to poor record keeping in the past. Reveal is one company looking to fix that, and in this article Schrock explores their platform for using 3D mapping to gain a clearer picture of the underground. The article looks at features of the software and includes insights from the company’s founder and CEO, Sam Wiffen.


Image via WGIC

Geospatial Key to Realize Full Potential of the Metaverse


For this article, we look back at one of the most interesting sessions of Geo Week 2024 with a panel put together by the WGIC looking at the geospatial industry’s role in the metaverse. The session, entitled Geospatial: Where the Metaverse Gets Real, included five speakers from companies like Oracle, RIEGL, TomTom, and Esri, as well as representing the World Geospatial Council. The article highlights some topics of conversations throughout the session, including the role of AI, the importance of interoperability, and more.


Image via Energyworld

The Rise of Digital Twins for Sustainable Manufacturing

Rahul Khare, Energyworld

While the “metaverse” is the aspect of 3D technology that most people typically hear about, it’s really digital twins that promise to bring this virtual connected world together, at least from a business and practicality standpoint. It’s also the piece that’s already being utilized, as this piece outlines. There are a few industries that are already taking advantage of digital twin technology, including the world of manufacturing. Here, Khare explains some of the ways digital twins are being successfully utilized, specifically around the idea of sustainability.

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