Extracting 3d map data for everyone to use!

Inspired by the 3D Flyover maps in iOS maps.app, I recently got interested in using real world 3d map data in 3d animations. Getting real 3d map data has a lot of neat applications that could be useful for a lot of Blender artists, such as putting a city in the background of an animation, or for modeling Godzilla thrashing your local city.

Doing some research I found that apparently Nokia HERE maps have a webGL version where you can extract 3d data.

You can read about it here:



There’s a script for downloading and converting individual Nokia 3d map tiles to .obj available here: https://github.com/migurski/NokiaWebGL

I got as far as downloading the script and getting it to work, so that I can download a 3d map tile of a specific longitude and latitude at a specified zoom level. However, you’ll need to specify the maximum zoom level (19) to get even remotely useable detail, so each map tile only covers a very small area. That means you have to manually download and import each little map tile individually and manually import them one by one in Blender, and then place them correctly.

I got as far as downloading a bit of Copenhagen using this manual technique:

What would be really cool though, is if someone with better scripting skills than I could help modify the script to automatically loop through an area on the map and automatically download the correct 3d map tiles and textures (and perhaps even combine them?).

That way you could specify a longitude / latitude range and then get a whole city or neighbourhood in 3d! I think that’d be a really neat and useful resource for Blender artists. Anyone interested in helping giving it a go?

Below is some inspiration, made from the few tiles I downloaded:

This is soo cool! I really need this right now; can you explain the process?

Thank’s :slight_smile:

i do a lot with full planet topo data
There are many sources for The Earth
the data is in the “ESRI ArcGrid format”

the terminal tool “gdal_translate”

can convert it is other formats

there is also hi resolution data for "The Moon " and Mars ( mars it hit an miss on coverage)

Julperado: you download the script I linked to and follow the instructions included. However, it only lets you download one map tile at a time. Downloading a whole city is a lot of manual work with the script.

JohnVV: that’s cool, but it doesn’t seem like this data includes textures and building data?

There’s a likely reason for this: You’re violating the terms of service by using automated tools to download this data, and you’ll likely be blocked if they detect that you are.

Also, downloading this data to your personal computer is one thing. Republishing this data in your work is a clear copyright violation. I would suggest you take down that youtube video of yours and give a fair warning to everyone reading this thread that it’s not safe to use this data in their work.


Stamen have been using this data for a few years, explained here:

They are republishing the data here:


The script has also been available online since 2013. I would have thought that Nokia would have taken it down if it were an issue.

“Here, a Nokia business, has spent decades building a deep library of map data, and we’ve been given a broad remit to investigate how designers and developers can use that data to innovate and explore an ecosystem built around the idea of ‘living maps.’”

I’m going to assume this means Nokia has given their OK, but don’t assume from that that you can just use the data as you like, without asking for permission. The terms of service clearly disallow automated acquisition of the data.

The script has also been available online since 2013. I would have thought that Nokia would have taken it down if it were an issue.

Nokia has no right whatsoever to take down that script, even if they wanted to. All it does is request data from a server, it contains no ones intellectual property.

Providing a service like here.stamen.com that has a browser request the data from the Nokia Servers and display it in a different context is a legal grey area. It’s not the same as scraping that data and re-using in your work. The actual data is licensed to Nokia from Digital Globe. If you want to legally re-use it, you must ask them for permission.

Little moderation note folks… the Jobs forums are not for discussing the ins and outs of specific efforts. Please continue your discussion in a separate thread or in PM.