A great deal of the value in our product is the data that the physical models represent. You can definitely find models of full cities and individual buildings out there on the web -- some for sale, some being given away for free. If you look carefully at these, you'll find that they're not particularly up-to-date or all that detailed. The geometry is also generally not in a form that will slice well and yield workable tool paths for 3D printing or CNC milling. They'll almost always require a lot of manual cleanup and revision.
If you don't particularly care about how current or accurate or detailed your end result is, you're down for a few lifetimes worth of vertex-level mesh editing, you've got your own 3D printer and time on your hands, then by all means -- print your own Manhattan or Chicago model! (And send us some photos when you're done...)
What's "special" about the Microscape project and the models we're producing is that we start by collecting and processing our own scan data. We don't buy it from someone else and we don't hire a third party to do the scanning. We shoot our own aerial photos. We process those photos into 3D geometry using photogrammetry software running on our own in-house cluster of heavy-duty computers. And then we manually refine all of that geometry into a cleaned up, edited form that will look good printed at 1:5000 scale.
That last, manual editing step is extra important because it also gives us an opportunity to make editorial decisions about what to include, what to exclude (trees and vehicles in our current series of models, for example), and what topographic or architectural features to exaggerate or de-emphasize in order to achieve the final "look" we want in physical form. Our final product is a one-of-a-kind artistic interpretation of raw data that remains true to reality while taking certain, carefully considered liberties for the sake of visual impact.