The way we view the world is changing. Today, we see our world through a window. Maybe your window is a PC monitor or a mobile device. Maybe it is a VR headset. The world you see is delivered to you in a browser like Chrome or Mozilla. It has always been a flat picture. Since the days of television, we have been looking at a flat image on our screens. But technology marches on. Now our web browsers can load a 3D scene instead of a flat array of text and pictures. These 3D pages contain large amounts of data, so they can take a moment or two longer than a typical webpage to load.
Using imagery acquired by a drone, we can generate a 3D models of large areas of land. Then using Blend4Web, the model can be converted in to a website-ready HTML file. The big change here is that people no longer need special software to view a 3D file. This can generate a single, self contained HTML document that can be shared, posted online and viewed by anybody.
By adding a simple plane to represent the potentiol water level, we can animate it to simulate the wetland coverage area. Calculating the exact terrain level over large distances can be a challenge. Before this method, we had to wait until the rains came and filled up our newly restored wetland area to see how successful we were with the topography.
3D scanning is essentially the same thing as drone mapping. A sequence of overlapping images are processed to reconstruct a 3D image. OpendDroneMap was used to process the images from this 3D scanning project. See the video link above to see how it was done using just a cell phone with a standard camera app. Once I had a textured image file, I imported it into Blender then did some trimming and optimizing to reduce the file size. Blend4Web made it possible to do a one-click export to HTML.
There are huge implications for industrial visualization using 3D web technology. This industrial dairy plant demo takes advantage of many of the scripting capabilities that come with the Blend4web SDK. This demo shows a full-featured interactive web application.
Education is one of the many fields that will be changed by a 3D internet. The NASA Curiosity Rover project can be loaded in a web page right in the classroom. This project is very interactive, allowing you to manipulate various moving parts of the rover as well as sending it to different locations on Mars.