Canberra: Australian scientists have developed a revolutionary 3D interactive map of Tour de France's grueling course helping fans to track down their favourite cyclists.
People will be able to interact with the 'Doarama' maps, developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and experience every hill climb and sprint, while "virtually" taking in the surrounding landscapes that spread across France, Xinhua news agency reported.
The CSIRO's Data61 Software Engineer and head of Doarama, Pete Field on Thursday said the 3D maps were changing how the average fan experiences endurance events, which are traditionally restricted in the amount of TV coverage they receive.
"Until now we've 'made do' with a 2D overhead map and a separate terrain profile," Field said.
"3D fly-through maps were only available to large media broadcasters, and even then, these maps were limited to a single point-of-view, and only made available for the largest races."
"With Doarama, sport routes can be made available online, and it is completely interactive," he said.
Field said fans could change the perspective of the maps, while they could also skip ahead of the pack to preview the terrain up ahead.
"The viewer can move around inside the 3D world while the route is laid out before them," he said.
Doarama can be accessed by mobile devices as well as on desktop computers, and gives sport enthusiasts "the opportunity to experience the walk, run, hike, cycle or ski route, using its GPS route visualisations."