3-D Spatial Analysis from Eastern Germany

August 2021

A private company, a respected university and the police in the eastern regional state of Saxony-Anhalt have come up with a digital 3D analysis system to help emergency responders better deal with crisis situations such as terrorist attacks, fires and natural catastrophes.

The system is the result of a collaboration between the METOP company, Otto-von-Guericke University in Magdeburg and the Saxony-Anhalt Office of Criminal Investigations. It employs camera sensors on responders’ helmets and shoulders to take images that are combined instantaneously into a 3D model of a given space or area.

“Our goal was to develop a robust, practical system that doesn’t impinge on the work of emergency responders yet also provides them with useful additional information in real time,” Magdeburg University Professor of Software Engineering Frank Ortmeier told the regional economic promotion agency Invest in Saxony-Anhalt.

In 2020, the project won a Hugo Junkers Prize in the category “Most Innovative Projects in the Field of Applied Interactive Technologies.” Developers say the system has a wide variety of potential other uses, from mining to home decorating to real estate sales to cave exploration.