Pix4D, a spin off from Swiss technology institute EPFL, is a new software solution, creating 3D models from 2D snapshots taken by remote control drones. The idea: send a UAV out to capture aerial photos, then upload these images to the cloud. Within 30 minutes Pix4D spits out a rendered 3D model or Google maps-like aerial imagery.
The developers emphasize the benefits of this technology for identifying landscape changes – hence the 4D in the name Instead of waiting for aerial updates from Google or Bing, customers can send out an aerial vehicle to take aerial surveys as often as they like.
This video explains the process, including an impressive 3D model of the city of Lausanne constructed from 50,000 photos.