The level of detail provided by the standard City GML even imagine the level of detail taking into account the interior (Level Of Details-LOD4) architecture, street furniture, and even the vegetation with its growth and seasonal aspects . Applications in architecture and urban planning are obvious, but beyond …
These models increasingly geographically and geometrically accurate (absolute GPS positioning errors of the edges and vertices of the order of 5 to 10cm required on certain specifications) cost a fortune and it is questionable how useful such accuracy.
Meanwhile, we see more and more websites offering real-time tracking of moving airliners or offshore boats and hear more and more about the famous Google Car guided both by GPS and embedded sensors allowing real-time analysis of the immediate environment of the vehicle (obstacles, other vehicles).
In short, real time vehicles tracking technologies are now a reality, and the challenge of accurate modeling and 3D virtual environment is one of the main keys to the future development of robots that populate (and populate already) our daily lives: drones, cleaning robots, automated guided vehicles, guides for visually impaired, etc..
In the end, we are developing a mapping that is so accurate that it will soon be more useful for our robots than for us!