Newsletter Volume 2, Issue 3

Earlier this year, we created one of our largest City Planner 3D data sets: Mexico City. In this edition of our newsletter we take a step-by-step look at the creation of that data set. Of course, we’ve also been busy working on other new projects throughout the quarter and those data sets are listed below. We hope you enjoy this edition of the newsletter. As always, we welcome your feedback.

Mexico City - click to enlarge

Mexico City –
A City Planner Case Study


ComputaMaps' rapidly expanding catalogue of City Planner products is largely driven by customer demand. During 2010, a customer deploying a secure radio system in Mexico City approached ComputaMaps regarding the production of a City Planner database. The area of interest (AOI) covered an impressive 1600 square kilometers, with more than half consisting of dense urban settlement. While Mexico City isn’t the largest City Planner data set we’ve produced, the world's eighth largest city certainly ranks in our top ten. For this reason, we believe it makes an interesting case study to showcase our 3D capabilities.

Mexico City - click to enlarge

The work flow for producing our City Planner product generally consists of the following steps: selection and procurement of suitable high-resolution satellite imagery (in this case 50cm) for the AOI; image processing and stereo-model setup; building geometry and terrain model compilation; product quality assessments and control; and finally, delivery of a product that meets the customer requirements and expectations.

Covering the AOI required 14 separate and overlapping stereo pairs. Additional GPS ground control was used to increase the absolute xyz accuracy of the extracted data. The Mexico City database contains a staggering 2.9 million building polygons. Each building was extracted using photogrammetric principles (see Stereo Photogrammetry – How we create 3D models) to calculate the height values from a stereo-image pair. From each perspective image view, the geometry from the intersection of two rays (for the same building point) is used to compute accurate height values. In some instances, multiple polygons would be captured to define a single building. This process was completed for each and every building within the project area. The resultant building geometry (x,y,z), provides an accurate 3D digital model of the city.

Mexico City - click to enlarge

Mexico City - click to enlarge

Once the production phases were completed, the data layers were run through a series of quality assurance and control checks. The assessment analyzed the various product deliverable layers and identified any potential inconsistencies between geometry of adjacent polygons, building heights, missing or incorrectly placed buildings and the intersection of transportation vectors with building polygons. As with all projects, this phase is critical as the product must be successfully loaded into an RF Planning tool and provide a complete and accurate city model on which to perform radio propagation studies. We have since received positive feedback regarding the product quality and accuracy, which included extensive post-delivery acceptance testing.

The entire project was completed in approximately 50 business days from order to delivery, and was produced in parallel with many other projects.

News & Events

A Busy Quarter in Colombia


ComputaMaps has experienced tremendous demand, in particular for improved data resolution countrywide, from wireless operators and network equipment vendors in Colombia this past quarter. Part of the reason is a new production technique to include villages within the clutter for the 20/30m Region Planner product line. Historically, the rural population centers have not been a focus for our products, with the result of lower traffic estimates and reduced coverage plans outside of the main cities and towns. The new Region Planner data sets address this issue and will enable operators to successfully increase and/or improve coverage in the rural areas and accurately reflect subscriber growth. This innovative product can be combined with the global LandScan population database and can be used to improve traffic volumes and planning over the rural areas.

See the Recent Projects section of this newsletter for further information of the recently updated City Planner projects for Colombia.

New Distributor In India

ComputaMaps has signed a distribution agreement with Tirumala Seven Hills, a company with over 20 years experience in the Indian telecoms market. With headquarters in Kolkata, the company has offices in Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai to serve the needs of this country.

4G World 2011

Albéric Maumy and Steven True will be attending 4G World 2011. To arrange for a meeting at the show, please contact Albéric.

Mexico City – by the numbers


Total area: 1600 km2
Stereo image pairs used: 14
Building polygon count: 2.9 million
From order to delivery (in days): 50

Mexico City

This image shows the full extent of our Mexico City data set

Recent Projects

3D projects


Buenos Aires





Bogotá, Colombia




Guatemala City








Beverly Hills
Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA, USA

2D projects

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