Earthmine has come up with the notion of "indexing reality." At DEMOfall 07, the company previewed its technology, which gathers, analyzes and communicates location-based information, the flow of data from the street to the Web.
Earthmine's vehicles collect data at street level with a calibrated camera array and then process the data for the Web for display in an immersive, Flash-based viewing environment. Others, such as Google, Microsoft and Ask, travel through locations with cameras but they are not collecting dense 3D imagery. Earthmine is applying its unique technology to visually connecting the base layer and metadata to physical space for new kinds of spatial applications.
For example, Earthmine can collect 3D panoramic images of a city for public and commercial use, and include geospatial data from other sources. The 3D data allows points of interest within an image to be located precisely and to be viewed from multiple angles. With Earthmine, a city could gather spatial data more easily and use it to manage parcel information and public works projects with a richer set of features than current technologies. Mapping San Francisco took three weeks with a single vehicle, according to co-founder Anthony Fassero.
The company is privately funded and at an early stage in terms of the product release cycle. A beta will be available by year end. The target market is GIS system integrators who support enterprises and government agencies with Web-based geo-spatial applications.