Understanding the third-dimension

Milsat Technologies
3 min readSep 10, 2021


As the world progresses in all facets, so is the variation of available data experiencing an exponential increase. More activities are being executed to multiply the dimensionality of the globe. Thus, it has increasingly become crucial to understand the activities using standard data gathering methods. Data gathering is critical; however, organizing and displaying the data in the best way possible is vital. The need to view global data through channels that genuinely model the real-life scenario birthed the concept of three-dimensional visualization. With the rapid growth of urbanization and land-use changes across the globe, three-dimensional visualization is becoming more critical to understanding data metrics and giving users a personal feel of each datum.

In modelling the globe, 3D visualization techniques are at the core of understanding the third-dimensional features in cities. More so, in recent times, cities have been expanding in the vertical direction due to urbanization, a consequent effect of population increase. Hence, a normal 2D map cannot represent these important vertical pieces of information. But, on the other hand, a 3D model helps illustrate this complex vertical information across the globe realistically.

So, how do we efficiently map the third dimension?

Geographical Information Systems and Remote sensing are a technology duo developed to help understand the two-dimensional and three-dimensional profile of the earth. They are made up of several components that primarily work together to provide comprehensive earth data.

Remote sensing

Remote Sensing, GIS and the 3D globe

Remote sensing is the technology that allows a thorough information acquisition about a place, location or phenomena without having physical contact. Consequently, GIS describes a system that manages, queries, and analyzes spatial data, emphasizing where things are and what things are like in the location. These technologies combine to map the 3D perspective of the globe efficiently. Notably, remote sensing helps acquire information using airborne platforms like satellites or near earth equipment like drones and UAVs. This makes it possible to capture vertical features and their specific peculiarities. Through GIS, we can obtain several layers of information about the globe from the remotely sensed data.

Three-dimensional data is created by integrating GIS methods and technologies, photogrammetry, and remote sensing data. Essential components of GIS such as 3D vector data, digital terrain models(DTM) and more advanced systems like Building information models are essential parameters in building a three-dimensional earth data. The consistent combination of all essential components of the GIS and remote sensing technology, helps us map the world in accurate bits that culminates into three-dimensional data of the globe. It is important to note that creating high-precision geospatial data on a regional or global scale is a complex and expensive process, requiring expenses for collecting and processing source materials and the availability of modern software and hardware. However, it is a necessary process.

The Technologies for the future

With more industries becoming increasingly interested in location data and, more importantly, urban metrics, remote sensing technologies and GIS are the perfect channels to explore in creating a three-dimensional database. Also, with the advent of smart cities and BIM, geographical information systems are crucial to attaining maximum data integrity.



Milsat Technologies

We design and develop geospatial solutions that make data acquisition and access easy for businesses and groups in Africa