Towards Interactive 3D City Models on the Web

Towards Interactive 3D City Models on the Web

Rainer Jochem (German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), Germany) and Marcus Goetz (University of Heidelberg, Germany)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/ij3dim.2012070103
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Abstract

A ubiquitous accessibility of data over the Web nowadays is very common. Although the Web, 3D graphics, and geographic data are crossing their ways, common applications are typically based on technologies that are rather esoteric to most web-developers. Nevertheless, in the last couple of months, some efforts towards a seamless integration of 3D graphics into common Web browsers have been performed. Regarding the data of such applications, they are mostly proprietary and commercial data, which are collected by professional cartographers or surveyors. Nevertheless, following the Web 2.0 approach, within the last five years the trend of Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) became popular, describing an ever expanding range of users who voluntarily and collaboratively collect geographic data. Trying to merge the mentioned trends and desires, within this paper the authors present a way to transform the crowdsourced OpenStreetMap data into a 3D city model. Contrary to other existing approaches towards OpenStreetMap 3D, they combine emerging and established Web technologies, allowing an easy consumption in arbitrary web browsers. The applied technologies are easy to learn and understand by the web community and allow for quick prototyping, and creating mash-ups with further spatially enabledWeb2.0 data.
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In this section, the necessary components for a visualization of 3D city models on the Web are discussed. The first subsection covers 3D graphics technologies for the web, while the second subsection describes the OpenStreetMap project which is used as a data source for generating the required 3D geometry.

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