C3 Technologies creates photo-realistic 3D city visualizations

If you ever go to CES, make certain to get an invitation to the Lunch at Piero’s on the first and second day of the convention. I swear, I find the coolest of the coolest gadgets there.
Two years ago, I encountered augmented reality for the first time. Now it is everywhere. This year, C3 Technologies showed me what’s what with their flagship product Realistic 3D City Models.
Realistic 3D City Models is exactly what it sounds like, a way of recreating overhead maps of cities on a 2D screen with 3D technology. At the aforementioned CES demonstration, C3 had a very big screen that it used for this, and I was able to see a photo-realistic San Francisco from overhead.
The scene is recreated from aerial shots and satellite imagery, and the result is pretty spectacular. The 3D map had to be manipulated with a mouse for 3D graphics, and I was pleased that the spokesperson for the company let me try it out. I had never used a 3D mouse before, and I ended up going underneath the city of San Francisco. Just to let you know, I didn’t see any sewers on the City Model map.
However, as this technology gets better, I would imagine that we will have 3D views of the entire Earth, perhaps in real-time. I’m told the company has 22 maps including Asian and South American cities for its Q2 release, and I can’t wait to see what else it is up to!