Later this month, the Open Geospatial Consortium is holding a technical committee meeting in Boulder, Colo., and as part of the meeting there is a one-day 3D Summit on Sept. 20 to discuss 3D Information Management (3DIM). The ongoing work on 3D geospatial standards enable innovation with city modeling, augmented reality, AEC, operations and maintenance systems, and other applications. This future-focused meeting should provide examples and discussions about where 3D is heading for modeling of outdoor and indoor spaces, and how interoperability will speed adoption and add functionality.
I recently spoke with Scott Simmons, executive director, at TechniGraphics a CACI company, and current chair of the OGC 3DIM group about the upcoming event. The intent of the event is to cover the full lifecycle of 3D data from sourcing the means of capturing the data, to data capture, to processing, to distribution, and on to exploiting that data. Simmons feels that many companies fall within just one of these areas, and he hopes to show the full story across this whole spectrum, because it’s all important.
On the data capture side, there is an increasing amount of automation with the creation of 3D models using a stereo pair of images and photogrammetry techniques. The event will highlight the work that DigitalGlobe enables with their stereo satellige imagery, and Microsoft will discuss the modeling that they’ve been doing with ground-level photogrammetry. Lidar acquisition will also be touched on.
There will be participation from both Bentley and Autodesk to discuss the engineering-grade requirements in the CAD industry, with an effort to touch on CAD and GIS integration from both perspectives. There are a good deal of quick capture and modeling technologies that help modelers build geometries more quickly and provide textures. The event will discuss whether these tools are good enough, and what capabilities are still needed.
The history of 3D visualization within the geospatial and CAD context has been around for quite a while. Many saw great promise early on, and with 3D flythroughs so hot for many years. But either the visual quality wasn’t good enough or the process was too time consuming and expensive. The event will address some of these early frustrations, and compare these with today’s use cases and capabilities, to help communicate the benefits to perhaps draw some people back.
The CityGML city modeling standard has tackled a great many of the challenges, and will be discussed at the event. This standard has shown good interchange of models, adds an ability to mix levels of detail within models, and is the only 3D geospatial format that has strong legs under it. There will also be discussion of IndoorML, the indoor markup language for indoor modeling and navigation. Navigating indoor spaces is a more difficult problem than street navigation, and it shows great promise for greater adoption of location-based services that provide rich context to the user.
Augmented reality is a growing area of interest for the use of 3D models, and this area brings in some of the gaming technologies such as X3D and web-based 3D services. Augmented reality is a place where some amazing 3D work is being done where there’s a real need for precision. The alignment of images with modeled edges is where much of this work is working, with integration of data and imagery inputs with a 3D model. The founder of Wikitude, an augmented reality vendor, is on the schedule of speakers for the event.
All-in-all, this one-day event should provide a very stimulating look at the current state, and future promise of 3D information management. I’ll be moderating a panel on challenges and opportunities, and look forward to learning some things.