UK 3D Models

Since 2003, Zmapping has been the largest producer of context 3D city models in the UK. Our models are some of the most detailed and most accurate available and has been used by hundreds of architectural practices and developers on over 10,000 projects across the UK.


We have off-the-shelf models available for most major UK cities and hundreds of sites across the UK. Typically, these can be delivered within 1 – 3 days. However, if we do not have your site available off the shelf, we can simply produce it for you. It usually takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. You can either use the quote tool or email us or ring us to find out more about our model coverage and prices. We have over 250 km2 of London 3D model (growing every month) available to buy off the shelf. See the London 3D model page for more details.

Models are created for the widest compatibility and can be imported into almost any CAD package such as AutoCAD (Mesh and Solids), Revit, Sketchup, Microstation, Vectorworks, Archicad, 3DS Max and Rhino to name a few. Email or ring us for a sample file in the format you require. All models are created with separate layers for walls, roofs, streets, ground, water, green space, rail, car parks, trees etc. making them extremely easy to work with. Blocks of buildings can be deleted or hidden and replaced by your own. The entire terrain is also fully editable. You can freely edit the ground at your site. Cut a hole and add new ground mesh to match the new proposed site levels.


Highly detailed
Highly detailed model showing individual chimneys, parapets, fences, dormer windows etc.
Fully contoured terrain
Fully contoured terrain allows you to measure the levels at any part of the terrain or building to get instant access to height data.
Full X,Y,Z coordinate data
Full X,Y,Z coordinate data of any part of the model can be retrieved to OS coordinates (or your country specific coordinate system) down to centimetres. Rendered using V-ray for Sketchup.
Buildings, roads, land, water, grass, trees, rails, fences, car parks etc. are all separated out into their own layers. The terrain mesh as well as buildings are fully editable.

Some of our clients include

Client logos

Levels of Detail

Levels of detail
High Detail, Medium Detail and Low Detail. Click image for larger version.

Most of the London 3D model is built in High Detail (HD) format. This is ideal for most projects. But if you need larger than usual extents, you have the option to go for a Medium Detail (MD) model or even a Low Detail (LD) model. You can also choose to have part of your site in HD and the outer surroundings in MD or LD.

HD – all smaller objects modelled including chimneys, parapets, fences, trees, small paths.

MD – Pitch roof modelled but no smaller details such as parapets, chimneys etc. No trees, no small paths. Generally lesser amount of detail.

LD – Pitch roof drawn as flat roof at the highest point of roof, no trees, small paths etc. Lesser sub layers of terrain features.

On all levels of details, terrain follows actual contours. Comparisons between the three versions can be seen in the image above. Click on the image to see a larger version.

The models are derived using photogrammetry, the art and science of generating accurate geographic data from aerial photographs, along with an array of other survey techniques. Zmapping models are map accurate in horizontal and vertical co-ordinates. Geographic co-ordinates in X, Y and Z can be read off the models, and they will match Ordnance Survey (OS) Mastermap coordinates without any noticeable differences. For example, parts of our London model has been verified by surveys to be as accurate as 5cm in building heights relative to the surrounding ground as well as the Ordnance Survey datum. Read "How accurate are your models" in the FAQ section for more details.

Zmapping's 3D city models are never drawn with a flat terrain but follows the terrain contours continuously and accurately. Height variations of even 10cm on the ground can be measured and modelled. A Zmapping model is a 3D digital replica of your site, ready for you to drop in proposed buildings and landscape.

Dover castle and harbour: Terrain mesh with buildings hidden. Image reveals the intricate work that has gone into capturing every little bump on the terrain. Change in ground level between individual properties can be noticed.

We can also optimise the model for 3D printing - the process of printing out a physical model from a digital CAD file using a 3D printer.
See the 3D printed models page for more details. Our models are also an ideal visual interface for 3D GIS used by some local government agencies.

The models can easily be imported into game engines for real-time visualisation and virtual reality VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift. The rapid entry of game engines such as Unreal engine into the architectural visualisation market could see a shift from static rendered images and animations into stunning fully rendered models one can walk or fly around in real-time. See our ####CityViewer#### page for more details, videos and images of the Zmapping CityViewer in action.

Find out more about the numerous ways you can use out models on the Applications page.

The best place to find out more technical details about our models is the Frequently Asked Questions section. You can also email or give us a ring to receive more specific information and we will be happy to send you some sample models in various formats for you to test.

Don’t forget to check out the Gallery for images and animations of our 3D city models.



Zmapping 3D models are created for the widest compatibility and can be imported into almost any CAD packages such as AutoCAD (Mesh and Solids), Revit, Sketchup, Microstation, Vectorworks, Archicad, 3DS Max and Rhino to name a few. Email us or ring us for a sample file. Shown below are screenshots demonstrating the model in some common formats.

Sketchup is one of the most commonly used formats. Unlike previous versions, Sketchup can now handle very large models with relative ease. Shown here is a 4 km2 model of Bristol.
Even the basic style used by Sketchup to display a model on the screen is good enough to be used in most presentations. But for those who require higher quality rendered images, with advanced materials and lighting applied, render plug-ins such as the ever popular V-ray is available for around £500. Some stunning renders can be created with just a few clicks. We will be happy to help with a some simple tips.
With BIM gaining popularity, software such as Revit is being used even more than before. We can supply Revit format models as shown here. Speak to us to learn more or to get a sample.
Another screenshot of the same model shows how a section taken across the model is displayed.