I’ve been doing a lot of work on my mapping script. I’m calling it MapMax for now. Last time I could download openstreetmap data and style it into 3D objects for rendering. Now I’ve added support for multiple map projections and added raster maps. Check out the video.
Map projections are very similar to unwrapping a sphere in 3dsMax. There are many ways to do it and any unwrap/projection has some kind of distortion. The projection we’re all very used to seeing is the mercator projection. It’s the projection used in every online map such as google or bing. However it distorts heavily. When you want to make a render of a building you’ve modeled on a map, you need the map to fit with you building. That’s why I’ve added the transverse mercator projection. This one distorts hardly in smaller areas, such as cities. I’m planning to add more projections, also for global maps.
Wouldn’t it be great to put your 3D model on a map image? Of course! I’ve added support for raster image download. At the moment you can pick from Bing and openstreetmap raster tiles but more are to follow. Integrating your models in an environment couldn’t get any easier. Besides that, the map images are also reprojected to fit with any type of projection you pick.
I’d like to add some more features before releasing the script. I’m thinking about shapefile support. Especially the shapefiles from natural earth. I also want to add some more map projections and raster tile providers. Also I’d like to be able to filter the openstreetmap data before I download it. This should avoid lengthy downloads of full datasets when I only want the buildings or another aspect of an area.