Engel, Juri; Döllner, Jürgen
International Journal of E-Planning Research (IJEPR)
Immersive visualization offers an intuitive access to and an effective way of realizing, exploring, and analyzing virtual 3D city models, which are essential tools for effective communication and management of complex urban spatial information in e-planning. In particular, immersive visualization allows for simulating planning scenarios and to receive a close-to-reality impression by both non-expert and expert stakeholders. This contribution is concerned with the main requirements and technical concepts of a system for visualizing virtual 3D city models in large-scale, fully immersive environments. It allows stakeholders ranging from citizens to decision-makers to explore and examine the virtual 3D city model and embedded planning models “in situ”. Fully immersive environments involve a number of specific requirements for both hardware and 3D rendering including enhanced 3D rendering techniques, an immersion-aware, autonomous, and assistive 3D camera system, and a synthetic, immersion-supporting soundscape. Based on these requirements, we have implemented a prototypical visualization system that we present in this article. The characteristics of fully immersive visualization enable a number of new applications within e-planning workflows and processes, in particular, with respect to public participation, decision support, and location marketing.