I believe everyone has imagined such a scene when lying in bed as a child:
When you close your eyes, you feel peaceful, and the physical world slowly fades away. Your body becomes ethereal, and all that remains is the sound of breathing and heartbeat. A breeze blows by and you slowly open your eyes, finding that you have freed yourself from gravity and are now in the sky. With just a thought, you can instantly teleport to any location on Earth.
Early this morning, a developer named Nils Bakker made this dream come true. He used Unreal Engine 5.1 + ChatGPT + Google Maps 3D Tiles API to create a virtual space teleportation system!
By entering a location in the interface, the system will automatically teleport you to any corner of the world. You can overlook the beauty of countries from the air and experience the architectural styles and terrain changes in different geographical locations on Earth.
The overall effect is quite sci-fi and shocking. Here’s a video for you to experience it:
Technical implementation: https://nilsbakker.nl/portfolio/3d-tiles/
The three main AI tools used here are Unreal Engine 5, ChatGPT, and Google Maps 3D Tiles. Unreal Engine 5 and ChatGPT should be familiar to everyone.
Google Maps 3D Tiles is a new product recently released by Google at the I/O 2023 conference. Developers can directly obtain visualized geographic images similar to Google Earth through the API. Currently, it supports 45 countries and 2,500 cities.
When combining Google 3D Tiles and ChatGPT’s APIs with the capabilities of Unreal Engine, users can experience space teleportation as if they were there.
The author’s creativity and hands-on ability are really strong.
ChatGPT provides geographic location navigation suggestions and coordinates, and then Unreal Engine 5 presents realistic graphics and Google 3D Tiles ultimately generates real geographic images. The entire process is seamless and no step is redundant.
Let’s open our minds and take a look at the specific implementation of the entire process with the author.
Firstly, each time the ChatGPT Prompt in the input box is triggered, an answer is automatically generated. This answer includes: XY geographic coordinates, city name, country, and location scenic introduction.
By breaking down this answer data, it is possible to:
Retrieve location data with XY coordinates using the Google Maps API and then obtain the corresponding 3D geometry through the location.
Once the location and 3D geometry data are obtained, the player can teleport from the current location to another location.
To hide the loading process during location teleportation, the author used a clever method. Unreal Engine 5’s Niagara Particles function is used to animate particle effects.Integrating particle effects, creating a space shuttle channel like this:
As the geographical heights vary across different locations on Earth, to ensure that players do not suddenly appear underground or in the sky, it is necessary to check the current viewing angle distance from the ground and allow players to appear at an appropriate location.
At the same time, after a successful shuttle, players cannot arrive directly at the destination, but have to slide a distance first and slowly approach the destination, giving them a chance to enjoy the scenery along the way.
By using interfaces provided by various mainstream AI tools and the author’s own development skills, the author completed the entire project in just one week.
Originally, the author planned to add weather data changes, but due to the one-week development time limit, this feature could not be added this time.
After the code is organized, the author will open source this project on GitHub, so stay tuned.
As various AI technologies become more mature, the threshold for developers to use tools is gradually decreasing. In the future, based on existing tools and APIs, we can quickly create many applications and products with infinite creativity.
What we need to do is to integrate various APIs and technologies, and then polish a whole set of solutions, and extend them to various industries.
I have mentioned before that the abilities of ChatGPT and various large language models are still being continuously explored, and what we can explore right now is only the tip of the iceberg.
Integrating the capabilities of ChatGPT’s intelligent assistant into many product lines is when it truly shines!