Lorenz, Haik; Döllner, Jürgen
Computers, Environment and Urban Systems (CEUS)
New acquisition methods have increased the availability of surface property data that capture location-dependent data on feature surfaces. However, these data are not supported as fully in the geovisualization of the Digital City as established data categories such as feature attributes, 2D rasters, or geometry. Consequently, 3D surface properties are largely excluded from the information extraction and knowledge creation process of geovisualization despite their potential for being an effective tool in many such tasks. To overcome this situation, this paper examines the benefits of a better integration into geovisualization systems in terms of two examples and discusses technological foundations for surface property support. The main contribution is the identification of computer graphics techniques as a suitable basis for such support. This way, the processing of surface property data fits well into existing visualization systems. This finding is demonstrated through an interactive prototypic visualization system that extends an existing system with surface property support. While this prototype concentrates on technology and neglects user-related and task-related aspects, the paper includes a discussion on challenges for making surface properties accessible to a wider audience.