Hamish Fletcher

Business reporter for the NZ Herald

Local 3D software firm wins cash injection

Gavin Lennox. Photo / Kenny Rodger
Gavin Lennox. Photo / Kenny Rodger

A local 3D software firm creating interactive images of cities has received a capital injection from the ICE Angels investment group.

Auckland-based Nextspace has been developing software since 2007 but the latest focus of the 12-man operation has been on Visual City, which allows users to make virtual models of city spaces.

Nextspace chief executive Gavin Lennox said the product helped local authorities and utility providers cut costs and communicate with stakeholders more efficiently.

Visual City pulls together data such as maps, plans, resource consents, building models, transport routes and photographs and presents them over an interactive 3D map.

The technology is used by the Auckland City Council to communicate proposals in its spatial plan.

Melbourne's South East Water is also using the platform to reduce the cost of building a new sewer system.

"We helped them visualise underground and overground assets like buildings or people's homes and what's underneath like rocks and substrates so they can make sure they put their assets in the right place," Lennox said.

The application also helps communicate plans and the 3D images can be brought up on an iPad to explain to property owners or other stakeholders how they will be affected by an infrastructure project, he said.

The platform is also being used by geologists studying volcanoes and earthquakes.

Visual City uses technology developed by another New Zealand-born firm, Right Hemisphere, which was snapped up last month by German software giant SAP.

Business incubator The IceHouse's director of startups Ken Erskine said Visual City had great potential and had already generated international interest.

The amount of investment was not disclosed.

- NZ Herald

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