Exploring 3D Visualization Techniques Using Geographic Information Systems Technology at the University of Arizona
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractAs computers and geographic information systems (GIS) technology improves, more advanced visualization and analysis becomes possible. One area of GIS technology that is seeing improvement is the development of 3D GIS data. The primary focus of this project was to explore three types of building models that can be created from varying quality data and used by a wide variety of users. Using ESRI software, the goal was to provide guidance for GIS users to develop high quality 3D data relevant to their specific needs. Examples of created 3D products are photorealistic-textured buildings, thematically symbolized buildings, and 3D renderings designed for interior navigation. The resulting data were compiled into an interactive web application for visualization and making comparisons between methodologies. All methods involved using 2D building footprint source data and leveraging the attributes and geometry to create 3D structures. These models provide viewers with additional information that would be impossible to convey in two dimensions, such as viewing a route that occupies the same space on different floors of a building, like navigating between offices or classrooms. Interior navigation is one of many examples of an application that can be built upon the fundamental 3D data examined in this project. Additionally, institutions or organizations seeking to develop their first 3D data from 2D data could potentially use the findings of this project to inform their decisions and start supporting the advancement of 3D GIS at a faster rate than if they were to attempt to develop these data independently.