Have you ever tried to show friends or family how great our city is on a map? Without the magnificent views or any sense of the bush in the capital, a street map does not do Canberra justice. The layout of the city, its mountains, rivers and lakes are lost in a 2D layout scored by roads.
So how can you show people Canberra’s superb geographic landmarks, parks and bike paths – or even your favourite local shops and restaurants – without driving around the entire city?
Build a virtual city, of course.
Global technology company 51WORLD has brought Canberra to life by building an immersive and interactive 3D model of the city.
500 staff worked side by side for a month, gathering data and images from multiple sources to create a fly around version of the national capital, with a zoom-in focus on the key neighbourhoods of Kingston, Canberra City, Woden Valley, Tuggeranong, Belconnen and Gungahlin.
Commissioned by construction company Geocon to complement its display suites and help purchasers get a walk-though experience, as well as viewing their new developments, users can zoom in on points such as parks, transport links and even places to find good coffee.
51WORLD Asia Pacific sales director Michael Tang says the interactive virtual world gives a true-life bird’s eye view of Canberra, allowing users to zoom through and around developments and surrounding locations.
“While Geocon continues to build Canberra physically, 51WORLD has built the city digitally and virtually,” he says. “Our interactive model allows agents to showcase off-the-plan developments, layouts and neighbourhoods, all in one beautiful interface.”
51WORLD has included a level of detail that would make users of The Sims video game weep. You can zoom into an apartment, walk down a hallway to each room, look out the window to the city skyline and even turn on the TV.
“These digital models offer potential buyers views from the developments at various times of day to get a real feel for what it would be like to be in the kitchen in the morning, or on the balcony in the afternoon, as well as providing a great visual in terms of amenities,” says Michael.
“It allows people to explore their neighbourhood and bring a project to life. It’s more tangible for the client and engages buyers at a level like no other.”
Geocon project marketing director Moonmoon Sahu says building the virtual city was a significant investment for the company, but it has proved popular with clients.
“The digital map really helps buyers to see what each project will look like, what is in the neighbourhood and get a sense of their future lifestyle, giving buyers added confidence,” he says.
“With a 360-degree view, they can truly immerse themselves, walk around and see the spaces of their future home or investment.”