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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

StreetCam van films quake red zone

StreetCam van films quake red zone

Last updated 05:00 11/04/2011
Buildings in Christchurch's red zone have been filmed in high-definition by technology company Terralink, using a van equipped with six cameras that the company says sports superior technology to the vehicles used to create Google Streetview.

General manager Greg Huddleston said Terralink carried out the work on Thursday for councils and civil defence authorities.

That was after finishing a three-year project, StreetCam, to capture the streetscape from most New Zealand roads, spanning 50,000 kilometres, in high-definition.

Terralink might reshoot StreetCam in 3-D in future, he said.

Unlike Google, Terralink is not putting any of its own footage up for free public viewing on the web. The former state-owned enterprise, now privately owned, invested $1.2 million in StreetCam and instead aims to sell its data to the likes of councils and utilities, for example to help them record and manage their assets. One application could be to assist with the construction of the ultrafast broadband network.

In addition to containing more detailed imagery, StreetCam captured information not recorded in Google Streetview, such as the slope and gradient of roads.

Mr Huddleston said it was not yet clear how the footage from the red zone would be used, or whether it would be made available to the public.

But it could assist with demolition and future reconstruction.

The footage it had captured on its first drive-by meant there was now an "amazingly detailed historical record of Christchurch as it was before February 22", he said.

Terralink employs 80 staff and is a finalist in next month's Hi-Tech awards for its real-estate intelligence application Property Guru.

Mr Huddleston said it won a four-year contract in December helping emergency services and other government agencies verify address data and the location of entrances to properties.

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