While most people still consider two-dimensional mapping the norm, computer graphics technologies have already enabled three-dimensional landscape representations for quite some time. Now, a new 3D portrayal service standard will unitize the process.
(Darmstadt) The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) aims to establish freely available standards in the geospatial sector. With the 3D Portrayal Service (3DPS), a standard was developed that both regulates and visualizes the provision of 3D geospatial information. The 3DPS describes how clients and servers negotiate what data will be delivered in which form. Thus, interoperable portrayals are made possible. The new standard will enable users to view and subsequently analyze combinations of 3D geospatial information from diverse sources. As editor, the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD contributed significantly to the standard’s development.
3DPS is designed to make the best possible use of client capabilities in order to achieve optimal data portrayal. “The standard’s most impressive aspect is its flexibility” according to Ralf Gutbell, one of the 3DPS’ editors and a member of the Spatial Information Management Division at Fraunhofer’s IGD. “Users decide whether data will be streamed depending on the camera angle or – by way of a contrasting example – whether the entire scene will be rendered at once”. Client functions are particularly significant for web-based 3D-rendering at desktops, while server-side rendering is especially useful for mobile end devices and high-resolution 3D landscapes. Thus, 3DPS is comparable to Web Map Service - the interface released by OGC for the retrieval of two-dimensional maps from the internet.
A first reference implementation of the standard was already carried out in close collaboration with Prof. Dr. Ing. Volker Coors, Professor for Geospatial Informatics at the HFT Stuttgart. Professor Coors led the 3DPS Standards Working Group (3DPSSWG), which together with the Fraunhofer IGD provides the link to the online demonstration.
About the Open Geospatial Consortium
OGC is a non-profit organization of more than 525 active members, including government organizations, private enterprises, universities and research facilities. Its goal is the development of universally applicable standards for spatial information and geospatial data for the purpose of achieving interoperability. OGC standards enable technology developers to make available and usable geospatial information and related services for all types of applications.