3DPIE Unites Services for Geospatial Visualization
The Web3D Consortium is proud to have contributed to an important effort by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). The 3D Portrayal Interoperability Experiment (3DPIE) unites and successfully tests and demonstrates different mechanisms for the 3D portrayal, delivery, and exploitation of geodata based on open standards-based formats and services. The 3DPIE experiment successfully tested the interoperability of several X3D clients, notably the BS Contact browser by Bitmanagement, the InstantReality browser by Fraunhofer IGD, and the X3DOM HTML5 platform by Fraunhofer IGD. Main focus of the 3DPIE was to identify candidate standards for OGC’s Web 3D Service and Web View Service.
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has released a major new report detailing collaborative work by their members, together with contributions by Web3D Consortium (Web3DC) members, on a 3D Portrayal Interoperability Experiment (3DPIE) to assess geospatial 3D graphics interoperability on the Web. This work also helped to validate and benchmark the new OGC Web3D Service (Web3DS) specification. The Web3DS provides a standard web interface to request and deliver portrayals (renderings) of geo-referenced 3D models including buildings, trees, utilities, and other objects of urban environments. Through the Web3D Service, client applications from industrial strength engines to native HTML5 browsers can request, view and interact with 3D portrayals of 3D geospatial information.
The Web3D Service can deliver geospatial information as interactive 3D scenes in several formats, which are then rendered by the client software. Stand-alone and plug-in clients can be used to consume services like the Extensible 3D (X3D) International Standard , or KML with Collada models. X3D is the open standard for real-time 3D communication that is developed and administered by the Web3DC . In addition, the X3DOM platform provides a native HTML5 browser platform to render the X3D scene graph using WebGL and integrate 2D and 3D events via the commonly used Document Object Model (DOM). X3DOM is an experimental open source framework and runtime to support the ongoing discussion in the Web3D and W3C communities how a complete integration of HTML5 and declarative 3D content can work. It aligns the current HTML5 specification to support declarative 3D content, and allows authors to directly embed native X3D elements as part of any HTML5 page. Finally, the OGC’s Web3D View Service (Web3D-VS) can further deliver 3D city data bases as images, rendered on the server, from any specific viewpoint. The 3DPIE experiments demonstrated that these integrated standard services provide robust, cross-platform capabilities for semantically structured city models.
Through this multi-platform support, the Web3D and other OGC Web Services enable a wide range of geo-enabled applications from tactical simulation and autonomous vehicle supervision and analysis to edutainment and digital governance and planning. For example, the 3D Blacksburg project is a ‘town and gown’ collaboration underway in Virginia using these services to compose and deliver public and private mash-ups to support these applications across immersive and mobile clients. In a Master’s Thesis related to the project, Virginia Tech researchers developed and evaluated new X3D techniques for the management of Level-Of-Detail in the real-time portrayal of CityGML models. The 3DPIE experiment successfully tested the interoperability of several X3D clients, notably the BS Contact browser by Bitmanagement, the InstantReality browser by Fraunhofer IGD, and the X3DOM HTML-5 platform by Fraunhofer IGD. Reference links follow.
Over ten members including Web3D Consortium members: Virginia Tech, Naval Postgraduate School, Fraunhofer and Bitmanagement participated in this effort. Participation of the Web3DC members was possible because of the MOU and a liaison agreement between Web3DC and OGC to collaborate as partners to advance standards-based, web-enabled geospatial content sharing.