I got curious about whether it might be possible to use the 1878 Panoramic of Charlottetown to create a 3D model of the city. So I set out to create a proof-of-concept using Google Sketchup. Aided by two very helpful videos, Getting Set up for Photo Matching and Modeling by Photo Matching I took a snippet of the panoramic, the area around Province House, and used Sketchup’s “match photo” feature to load the snippet, place it in 3D space, and then build a model by tracing over it. I’m by no means a skilled Sketchup user, but with some trial and error I was able to achieve some promising results:
One challenge, especially if you set out to use the entire 1878 panoramic image to model the city, is that it doesn’t map directly to actual 3D space: the image is warped for artistic effect. But for individual buildings it’s not a bad starting point, and it would be neat is someone more skilled in Sketchup could take a stab and doing this with more finesse.