France acquires automatic 3D geospatial information capability with AI4GEO



(©imgaircosmos DR)

Tuesday 10 December - The AI4GEO project to develop an automatic solution for producing 3D geospatial information, in which €30 million is to be invested over four years, is receiving €13.5 million in funding from the government’s PIA future investment programme led by the Secretariat General for Investment (SGPI) and operated by public investment bank Bpifrance. The signature of the contract marks France’s desire to acquire a 3D geospatial information capability at the cutting edge of innovation.

3D geospatial information is set to prove crucial to a number of expanding sectors such as autonomous vehicles, business intelligence and urban planning. The availability of huge volumes of satellite, airborne and in-situ data now makes this production feasible on a large scale. New artificial intelligence and big data technologies will ensure a high level of quality.

The AI4GEO project aims to develop an automatic solution for producing 3D geospatial information and offer new value-added services leveraging innovative methods adapted to 3D imagery. It will boost France’s independent capability in this domain, spawn leaders in new markets, make it easier for SMEs to gain access to these technologies and create new highly qualified jobs.

The four-year project revolves around:

  • Developing a set of technology building blocks to enable automatic production of qualified 3D maps and additional layers of information (3D objects and related semantics).
  • Adapting these technology building blocks to different services such as 3D semantic urban mapping, macroeconomic indicators, decision support for water resources planning, autonomous transport systems, consumer search engines and IT platforms.

About the AI4GEO consortium

  • CS Group, the project coordinator, is an expert in big data and cloud solutions and will be in charge of developing the platform.
  • CNES, the national mapping, survey and forestry agency IGN and the French aerospace research agency ONERA will be contributing their data, know-how and expertise in artificial intelligence and geospatial data processing to produce semantic 3D information. They will be the link to the SMEs working on the project.
  • The industry partners are Airbus Defence & Space, responsible for 3D urban mapping; CLS, in charge of the R&D platform for CS Group; GEOSAT for autonomous transport; QuantCube for business intelligence; and Qwant for the 3D search engine.
  • The project has received the backing of the Aerospace Valley, Cap Digital and Finance Innovation competitiveness clusters.