On strategies and automation in upgrading 2D to 3D landscape representations

. Cartography and Geographic Information Science 42 (3): 244-258 (2015)


3D scenes within all media indicate a societal preference shift toward 3D presentations. In spite of wide data availability and successful standardization efforts in 3D modeling, it is not a standard practice to offer large-scale topographic references to the end user in the form of 3D models. This motivates to propose automated strategies for the generation of closed 3D representations of a complete urban landscape, which at the same time account for capabilities of consumer-class devices. The campus of Dresden University of Technology served as a test case. The final appearance of the 3D model will be steered directly by the original geographic information system (GIS) data source. Such a “schematic model” displays source classes and attributes by nonphotorealistic rendering. A tested generic workflow can be presented, which programmatically integrates attributed 2D GIS entities and digital elevation model data, checks for compliancy with consistency rules and generates a slim geometric model. Only detailed GIS references can be considered to allow close-range visualization as needed in virtual walks. In delegating the geometric processing to automated workflows, playing room is gained for as well innovative as expressive texturing and, thus, design of the final 3D model.

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