Lo Yeuk Lam09278507dTitle:It has been argued that virtual reality and 3D stereoscopic presentation are onlysuitable for the game and movie industries with limited values in GIT applications.Critically review this statement.IntroductionVirtual reality (VR) and 3D stereoscopic presentation is being increasingly popular invisualizing 3D Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data. Originally, thesetechniques are mostly used only in game and movie industries. With theadvancement in Geographic Information Technology (GIT), these techniques are nowmerged into the GIT industry. However, some may argue that virtual reality and 3Dstereoscopic presentation technologies can only apply to game and movie industries.In this essay, the definition of VR and 3D stereoscopic presentation will be first given.After that, we will investigate why these technologies are so popular in game andmovie industries. The essay will then followed by discussing how the technologiescan be used in GIS with several examples and the limitation of using thesetechnologies in GIT industry. A conclusion will be drawn after discussing all thefactors.Definition of Virtual Reality and 3D Stereoscopic PresentationAccording to Fisher and Unwin (2002), “Virtual reality is the ability of the user of aconstructed view of a limited digitally-encoded information domain to change theirview in three dimensions causing update of the view presented to any viewer,especially the user.”Stereoscopic presentation refers to the use of a pair of offset images to presentdifferent view into left and right eye separately, and combines in the brain to give aperception of 3D depth, so as to achieve a vivid and realistic perception of depth ofobject relief. (Boulos, M.N.K & Robinson, L.R., 2009)Why these technologies are popular in game and movie industries?3D visualization and VR encourage the interactions between the user and thevisualized images, and it is being more and more popular, as we can always see 3Dmovies in the theaters and playing 3D video games in most game platforms.There are some reasons for these technologies getting so popular in game and movieindustries. The first one is that 3D visualization gives viewers a more realisticvisualization than 2D ones. By using 3D technologies, viewers or players are just likethey are in the place same as the actors or within the scene of the game. Thisrealistic visualization makes viewers more deeply involved and it explains why thedevelopers and movie makers love to use 3D technologies to attract more people.
Lo Yeuk Lam09278507dThe second major reason is thatthese technologies make game and movie productsmore attractive. 3D images get the attention of the viewers, and by playing orviewing in 3D will give an impression of “better than a 2D one” to the viewer, thisattracts more people to choose 3D games and movies instead of a 2D one. And theenjoyment from 3D visualization is much higher than traditional 2D visualization, bywhich 3D visualization can attract a wider range of consumers or audiences,therefore 3D visualization technologies became more and more popular.How can VR and 3DSP use in GIS with examplesIn the previous paragraphs, it shows how and why VR and 3D stereoscopicvisualization are largely used in game and movie industries. And actually, we can usethe similar technologies to apply in the GIS field. (Source: Fisher, P. and Unwin, D., 2002. Virtual Reality in Geography : p.50)From the diagram above, it shows that, although, the use of virtual reality in GIS isonly 8% in year 2002, however, some other related professions like urban planningand environment show that there is an increasing trend of using 3D visualization forthe related industries.VR provides interactions between human and digitally created 3D "real" world. Thistechnology not only make abstract spatial data easier for the general public, who donot know much in GIS, to participate in decision making processes and have a moredetail view in his or her own neighbourhood, but this technology also help the GISprofessionals to analyse and to find out more information to help others decisionmaking. The following are some of the methods of using 3D GIS.
Lo Yeuk Lam09278507d 1. AnalysisThere are many different types of analysis can be performed by using virtual realityand 3D stereoscopic presentation for GIS. And in the following paragraphs, they willbe briefly descripted.View-shed analysisIt can be regarded as proprietary models with limited analytical capabilities or withfull analytical features (Shiode, 2001).Proprietary models with limited analyticalcapabilities refer to a self-contained model, with mostly the information for aparticular type of analysis and information (Shiode, 2001). (Source: Wuhan University Virtual Reality Laboratory at LIESMARS, http://vrlab.whu.edu.cn/chinese/news/news260.htm)From the diagram above, it shows a view shed from a particular room from abuilding. This can be treated as a proprietary model with limited analyticalcapabilities because we can only find out some analytical information from onemodel, but not any other types of information can be found.The other type is a model with full analytical features. It means that the model cannot only provide us with the information we need for a particular project, but alsosome other information for future uses.View shed analysis is a relatively new technology which requires the use of 3D GISvisualization technology. It solves one of the most common questions from thegeneral public which is “Will the new development block the view of my house?”,especially in the compact city like Hong Kong.
Lo Yeuk Lam09278507dShadow analysisShadow analysis can show the users or the GIT professionals with the effects of theshadow of a particular object like building to buildings nearby or the area around. Inthe days with rapid development, and the establishment of sky high buildings,shadow analysis becomes more and more valuable, because it can help analysissomething that is difficult to human-made it like the effect of sunlight. Using 3Dvisualization and computer technologies, shadow analysis can definitely help in therelated analysis by the GIT professionals and urban planners.Photogrammetry usePhotogrammetry refers to a type of remote sensing technology that “obtains reliableinformation from noncontact imaging and other sensor systems about the Earth andits environment, and other physical objects and processes through recording,measuring, analyzing and representation (ISPRS, 2011).(Source:http://photogrammetrydevelopment.blogspot.com/2011/01/photogramme try-feature-extraction.html)The above diagram shows an image with used a pair of stereoscopic aerial photos tocreate a 3D visualization of the area concerned. Other geospatial data like distance,height can be obtained from the visualization. Photogrammetry can not onlymeasures the objects that still exist, but also objects that disappeared but with aerialphotos of it or fast moving objects (Linder, 2009).Other than the above mentioned ways of analysis, there are still some moredifferent types of analyses which use the technologies like virtual reality and 3Dstereoscopic visualization. For example, skyline or line of sight analysis, textureanalysis, wind direction analysis, journey or trip route analysis and terrain analysis.All these different types of analysis used the virtual reality and 3d stereoscopic
Lo Yeuk Lam09278507dpresentation to help analyzing and determining different useful information fromremotely sensed data, which can help the GIT professionals and other organizationto make use of the information for environmental decision making or policy making. 2. PPGISPPGIS is the abbreviation of Public Participation Geographical Information Systems.It refers to how GIS technology could “broaden public involvement in policymakingas well as to the value of GIS to promote the goals of nongovernmental organizations,grassroots groups, and community-based organization” (Sieber, 2006).As the general public may not be familiar with GIT or how GIT can help their dailylives with just some models or calculations, virtual reality and 3D stereoscopicpresentation for visualizing the information can suit their needs. This can make thegeneral public easier to get into the processes when participating in planningprocesses or environmental decision making processes, as virtual realitypresentation and 3D stereoscopic presentation can make the abstract data likespatial information easier to be represented and understand by others.Nowadays, social network tools like facebook, Google Online platform are widelyused as a means to obtain opinions from the general public for the environmentaldecision or other policies. PPGIS can also make use of the modern technologies likethe social network tools, working together with the GIS 3D visualization ofcorresponding information to make the general public easier to understand and alsomake the decision maker easier to obtain opinions. 3. Public UsesWords like buffering, overlay, may be easily understand by GIT related professional,however, the public do not. Virtual reality visualization and 3D stereoscopicpresentation can be used to let the general public to be beneficial from GITas ameans to make these GIS technologies easier to public uses to facilitate their dailylives. City tours, 3D street view and navigation programmes are the most commonmethod to make use of virtual reality and 3D stereoscopic presentation for publicuses. 4. Other usesOther than the above mentioned uses from GIT professionals to the general public,3D visualized GIS can also use for disasters prevention and other quick responses toemergencies. The analytical function of virtual reality and 3D stereoscopicpresentation can provide a better understand for the technicians to perform analysis
Lo Yeuk Lam09278507dand data interpretation to prevent disasters or to have quick responses toemergencies.After getting into some details of the above mentioned methods, below are someexamples demonstrating the use of VR and 3D stereoscopic presentation in differentcountries and in different aspects or uses.For example in Portland, they already started using GIS to help their decision makingprocesses since year 1992. The Metro’s GIS systems of Portland called the “FutureVision” were created to provide interested citizens with a new view of the region(Bosworth et al., 2002). This Future Vision used the 3D visualization to show therelief and other geospatial information to citizens who are interested in the future ofthese cities. It helped the citizens to, firstly, understand the physical constraints ofthe area, secondly, how growth would likely occurred, and thirdly, where criticalnatural resources still existed within the metropolitan urban form (Bosworth et al.,2002). From this example, it shows that not only the decision maker or the GITprofessionals can make use of the 3D visualization technologies to enhance publicinvolvement and help the decision making processes go smoothly and it also helpedto let the decision maker and citizens working hand in hand for a better future of theneighbourhood they lived in.Another example is from the GeoSim Systems. GeoSim is a company whichsuccessfully makes use of 3D visualization of city models for city tours. VirtualPhiladelphia 3D model is one of their successful virtual city tour models. From theirwebpages, the company suggested that 3D city models can “offers a full spectrum ofcore capabilities and custom solution for urban infrastructure, tourism and travel,real estate, security and defense, 3D yellow pages, entertainment, media andadvertising applications” (GeoSim, 2011). As different 3D models of different citiesare unique, they can provide a full perspective from different angle for decisionmaker to make their decision, it also helps the general public to understand and toinvolve in the decision making processes. As these 3D models are derived from a1:6000 scale together with the use of aerial stereo pairs, it provides high precision of10 to 15 cm error. Under such a high standard of precision, it can provide us with abetter analyzing effect.Limitation in promoting VR and 3DSP in GISAfter reviewing how virtual reality and 3D stereoscopic presentation can be used inGIT, there are still some limitations of it. Firstly, the cost of have a 3D virtual citymodel is too expensive. For a 3D Kowloon model, its cost is as high as 1.5 millionHong Kong dollars for only the data preparation. Such high costs make the use of 3Dfor analyzing and public display difficult to be a reasonable choice.
Lo Yeuk Lam09278507dBesides, time is another major concern. As each 3D model is unique, time is aconstraint that a fully developed 3D model of a city may take years from datapreparation to model construction. And other than that, the effectiveness of using3D visualization for public to understand and get involved in the decision makingprocesses is doubted because research found that there is not much difference forthe public when using virtual reality presentation in public decision makingcompared with using traditional methods (Jobst et al, 2010).ConclusionVirtual reality and 3D stereoscopic presentation can help the GIT professionals anddecision maker and also the general public to get understand some geospatialrelationship between different things. Analyzing, make the general public getinvolved in the use of GIS or use GIT to help making a better neighbourhood, or evendisasters prevention and rescue. All these, with the help of 3D visualization, canmake the traditionally difficult jobs or visualization easier to display to the public.Although, there are some research found that there is not much difference for thepublic as if we use 3D visualization or the traditional way of visualization.After reviewing how virtual reality and 3D stereoscopic presentation can be used inGIT and its limitation, we can find that although there are some limitations, thebenefits of using 3D visualizationReferenceAbdul-rahman, A. &Pilouk, M. (2007). Spatial data modelling for 3D GIS.Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.Batty, M., Chapman, D., Evans, S., Haklay, M., Keuppers, Stefan.,Shiode, N., Hudson-Smith & Torrens, P. M. (2000). Visualising the City: Communicating Urban Design to Planners and Decision-makers. Centre for AdvnacedSpacial Analysis (CASA), Univeristy College London, 26 .Boulos, M. N. K. & Robinson, L. R. (2009).Web GIS in Practice VII: Stereoscopic 3-D Solutions for Online Maps and Virtual Globes.International Journal of Health Geographics, 8 (59).Fisher, F. & Unwin, D. (2002). Virtual Reality in Geography. New York, USA: Taylor & Francis Inc.Hudson-smith, A., Evans, S. & Batty, M. (2009).Building the Virtual City: Public Participation through e-Democracy. Knowledge, Technology & Policy, 18 (1), 62-85.
Lo Yeuk Lam09278507dShiode, N. (2001). 3D Urban Models: Recent Developments in the Digital Modelling of Urban Environments in Three-Dimensions. GeoJournel, 52 (3), 263-269.Sieber, R. (2008). Public Participation Geographic Information Systems: A Literature Review and Framework. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 96 (3), 491-507.Silva, C. N. (2010). Handbook of Research on e-Planning: ICTs for Urban Development and Monitoring. Hershey, PA, USA: IGI Global.