Hildebrandt, Dieter; Klimke, Jan; Hagedorn, Benjamin; Döllner, Jürgen
2nd Int. Conference on Computing for Geospatial Research & Application COM.Geo 2011
Virtual 3D city models serve as integration platforms for complex geospatial and georeferenced information and as medium for effctive communication of spatial information. In this paper, we present a system architecture for service-oriented, interactive 3D visualization of massive 3D city models on thin clients such as mobile phones and tablets. It is based on high performance, server-side 3D rendering of extended cube maps, which are interactively visualized by corresponding 3D thin clients. As key property, the complexity of the cube map data transmitted between server and client does not depend on the model's complexity. In addition, the system allows the integration of thematic raster and vector geodata into the visualization process. Users have extensive control over the contents and styling of the visual representations. The approach provides a solution for safely, robustly distributing and interactively presenting massive 3D city models. A case study related to city marketing based on our prototype implementation shows the potentials of both server-side 3D rendering and fully interactive 3D thin clients on mobile phones.