Student Name: Chow Man NaStudent ID: 09187784d LSGI 4321 Assignment 1Topic: 3D GIS is often considered as an effective mean to engage the public indevelopment proposals. Critically assess the strength and limitations of current 3DGIS implementation, and suggest possible improvement areasA. IntroductionGeographical information system (GIS) can be regarded as powerful tool withmultiple functions such as capture, structuring, manipulation, analysis andpresentation (Raper and Maguire, 1992). It is well recognized that existing GISpackages are able to handle and manipulate 2D and 2.5 data efficiently but limited toprocess and manipulate 3D spatial data to present real world spatial object.Therefore,it may facilitate an extension of the existing systems to a third dimension.3D GIS canbe applied to visualize the current state of cities and to perform simulation of theproposed development plan. In this application, high resolution 3D city modelcombined with urban planning database is introduced.3D Visualization can beregarded as the most important components in 3D GIS. Realism and interaction aredistinctivefeatures of visualization techniques. 3D game engine can beevenincorporated with GIS application to support 3D capabilities (Sharkawi, Ujang,Abdul-Rahman, 2008) since they are not expensive and be able to handle heavy realtime graphics (Stock and Bishop, 2005). 3D navigation which derives from gameengine is one of 3D GIS components. Using 3D visualization and 3D navigation mayenhance better understanding of the proposed designs and the environmentalimpacts caused by development proposal.With rapid growth of information technology, web based 3D GIS whichusuallyintegrate with multimedia, virtual reality and visualization is developed topublish urban planning designs and collect suggestions via the internet(Drummond &French, 2008), enabling effective and active participation in the developmentproposal.Public participation is fundamental to the success of an urban planning project. Toencourage public participation in the urban planning process, urban planners makeuse of 3D GIS and 3D Web based GIS to enable stakeholders to achieve betterunderstanding of the planning content and the effects caused by planning projects.In this paper, the goal is to examine whether 3D GIS can be an effective means toengage the public in development proposals. I will first describe the definition and
Student Name: Chow Man NaStudent ID: 09187784dfunction of 3D GIS. The advantages and limitation ofcurrent 3D GIS implementation will then be illustrated. Also, I will suggest possibleimprovement areas of current 3D GIS implementation. In the final section, I will thenconclude by presenting my own opinions on the subject.B. Definitionand Function of 3D GISAccording to Worboys (1995), 3D GIS should be capable of modeling, representing,managing, manipulating, analyzing and supporting decisions based upon informationassociated with three-dimensional phenomena.A wide range of innovative tools areintroduced to describe and display 3D city models. They contain off the shelf GISpackages and 3D extensions (for example, ESRI’s ArcScene and Community Viz’sScenario 360), 3D Globe products (for example, Google’s GoogleEarth, NASA’s WorldWind and ESRI’s ArcGlobe), open source language such as Virtual Reality Markuplanguage (VRML), Extensible 3D (X3D), and a range of computer gaming engines (forexample, FarCry, Unreal and Torque) (Pettit, Cartwright, Berry, 2006) which maysupport the public participation process by visualization approach.3D GIS can be used for visibility analysis and terrain modeling using Digital ElevationModel (DEM) and Triangulated Irregular Networks (TIN) (Jones, 1997). In other words,3D relief model can be constructed based on the spot heights and elevation data.Buildings can be extruded to the required heights and added onto the landscapewhile aerial photographs are draped onto the 3Dmodel to project a more realisticlook (Mak et al., 2006).Mak et al., (2006) also states that the 3D GIS has built in navigation functions toexplore, display and query the three-dimensional model in a few key-strokes or byclicking with a pointing device. Besides, 3D GIS can be able to perform someanalytical work such as evaluating view shed, interpolating spot heights at any point,constructing vertical profiles along linear features, determining steepness of slopesand performing line of sight analysis as well as sunshine and shadow analysis (Mak etal., 2006)C. Strength of Current 3D GIS implementationLai et al (2011) claimed that lack of engagement, lack of interactivity and lack ofeffective communication are three major challenges for public hearings which lead tocommunication gaps between the stakeholders.When compared to traditionalconsultation methods, 3D GIS can be aneffective channel of informationdissemination (Kwong, 2006).It is believed that internet can be a good medium for
Student Name: Chow Man NaStudent ID: 09187784ddistributing planning information and platform forparticipation. The public can easilyaccess the planning information at any timethrough the internet instead of attending a meeting at a particular time or place.Web based GIS make use of the proliferation of the internet to enhance publicparticipation in urban planning process.Offering 3D visualization of existing andplanned structures via internet can enable non professional to achieve betterunderstanding on planning contents and the consequences bought by urbanplanning project.It is believed that the use of web based system has potential tobreak down the psychological barrier to solicit viewpoints in public meetings orhearing (Mak et al.,2006).Greater involvement in the planning process may result inthe greater understanding and acceptance of development proposal.Besides, 3D GIS are flexible and interactivewhen compared to 2D GIS. 2D GISarepowerful tool but it is difficult for non professionals to understand the content ofdevelopmentplan that may hinder the public participation in planning process. Thus,it is essential to develop common visual language to visualize some of importantinformation for the planning projects and present new concept of the proposeddesign. Interactive visualization of urban simulation can realistically present andassist in developing good decisions that help create consensus (Chen et al., 1998). Itis obvious that 3D GIS can be an alternative approach for public consultation. Also,the 3D navigation system in 3D GIS allows users to walk through and explore theenvironment of the project area. It seems that model using game engine can enableusers to observe changes in the stimulation environment and even provide tools foranalysis of changes (Broll et al., 2004). Users can gain unusual experiences that areunavailable in 2D GIS. Coors et al (2004) states that people canrecognize landmarksand search routes in the cities easier by using 3D models than using a symbolic 2Dmap which makes 3D visualization more relevant for 3D navigation and due to thehigh visual correspondence between map objects and real world objects, it mayincrease the navigational value of the 3D map. In other words, orientation can be nolonger a problem in such stimulation environment. It seems that application of 3DGIS can stimulate public interest and enhance public engagement in developmentproposal.Furthermore, 3D GIS can be effective communication tools to distribute technical andenvironmental information of development proposals to the general public andcollect their opinions towards these development proposals. For instance, Virtualglobe based and web service architecture can be able to integrate other
Student Name: Chow Man NaStudent ID: 09187784dcommunication platform such as email, forum whichallows the users to express their opinions on planning projects (Wu, He & Gong,2009). Wu, He & Gong (2009) also believe that the system can provide a distributed3D urban planning information sharing environment for public participation.Therefore, 3D GIS are crucial to enhance public participation process since it maybridge the communication gap between urban planner and the public and improvethe transparency in planning process.More importantly, realism can be an obvious benefit of 3D visualization. 3Dvisualization techniques within 3D GIS, such as photo realistic texturing, advancedlighting and real time navigation can enable users to access the models fromdifferent directions, angles and zoom level.For instance, 3D virtual model of Londonprovide in depth visualization of all buildings in London where users can be able tonavigate at street level or fly across in panoramic fashion (Bulmer, 2001). Virtualreality (VR) can be considered as one of powerful visualization techniques to supportpublic participation in urban planning processdue to its highly realistic, interactiveand dynamic representation. VR can enable the continuous change of the viewingposition and provide ways to interact with real world spatial objects.For example, GIS merge with virtual reality system can provide a real time interactionand visualization of road planningscenarios that allow users click on possible roads,choose the interesting information and see the effects of their choice (Heldal, 2007).Using the virtual reality techniques can further improve understanding of theenvironmental changes and arouse more discussion on the planning issues. Forinstance, a 3D interactive virtual environment for the Yuansantze Flood Diversionwork project is constructed to display flood flow and wave visualization established abalance between the capability and efficiency, meanwhile enhancingpublicparticipation in this large scale government project (Lai et al., 2011).Undoubtedly, 3D GIS can overcome some challenges caused by traditionalconsultation approaches and become interactive and useful tools to expand publicparticipation in urban planning processto certain extent.Meredith (2000) states thatbetter access to information, better connection to decision making process, bettertools for getting input into decision making process are important to efficient publicparticipation which reflect 3D GIS can play a role to engage the public indevelopment proposals.
Student Name: Chow Man NaStudent ID: 09187784dD. Limitation of Current 3D GIS implementationSeveral limitations of recent 3D GIS implementation should be taken into accountsince it may restrict public participation in the development proposal. To begin with,there is an increase in the cost of data collection with the use of 3D modeling whencompared with 2D. In spite of the progress in automatic object detection and 3Dreconstruction, the manual work is still predominant (Rahman, Zlatanova&Pilouk ,2001).The high cost of data acquisition may limit the applicability of 3D GIS to be atool in public consultation process.Besides, 3D GIS are limited to model some urban features due to their complexstructure or the data which are not enough for the definition of the geometry (Coors,Rumor, Fendel&Zlatanova, 2007). In other words, 3D modeling problem occur due tonot well defined data structure. Coors, Rumor, Fendel&Zlatanova (2007) also listsome problems about the 3D geometric structure of some particular featureclassshown in Table 1.Table1 Example of geographic features with relative geometries and 3D modeling problemFeature Entity ProblemBuilding 3D Complex Ring Acquisition only of the boundary of the base of the featuresWall 3D Poly line The geometry don’t allowed the complete definition of the objectStaircase ??? Complex object, the geometry is not definedScarp 3D complex Ring The geometry of the features is not correctly acquiredMoreover,3D GIS emphasize the importance of visualization but advanced spatialanalytical functions are rarely found such as overlay, intersection, disjoint and so on.In 3D GIS, users can only perform some basic analytical function such as sunshineand shadow analysis, distance measurement as well as visibility and viewshedanalysis.Some may argue that 3D visualization within 3D GIS is impressive to theusers but it may not be as informative as the 2D GIS since advanced GIS analytical
Student Name: Chow Man NaStudent ID: 09187784dfunctions such as spatial queries and bufferingarecommonly found in 2D GIS. In depth queries functions are still unavailable in 3D GIS.Fisher et al. (1997) point out that 3D graphics may be more pleasing and eye-catchingthan conventional plain ones whereas these 3D graphics may not be as informativeas those in 2D format. Therefore, 3D GIS can be used in early stage of planningprocess to provide a quick overview of planning projects for stakeholders. However,urban planners may make use of advanced analytical functions in 2D GIS to performfurther analysis of the development projects.More importantly, large file size induced by 3D realistic representationmay lead toloss of users as they are not willing to wait for long time to download the model.According to Mak et al.(2005) estimated that 20% of users were lost for every 10seconds spent on loading files on a webpage. The applicability of 3D GIS for generalpublic will be affected. Also, appropriate hardware and software are required so as tovisualize the planning content in the 3D model.It is inconvenient for the user toinstall special tools or browser plug-ins before visualizing the 3D model which maylimit public accessibility to planning information.Last but not least, the accuracy is one of deficiency in 3D model. 3D visualization maycontain errors in spite of the realistic appearance. Hamilton et al.(2001) contend thatsome 3D models might appear “perfect” whereas they might not be identical to thereal situation. They also claim that misinterpretations of 3D representation, such asthe scale factor may lead to uncertainty of 3D model. For example, the verticaldistance of landscape and other features may be exaggerated in order to achievebetter visualization. Thus,the reliability of the model will be affected. The publiclacking sufficient GIS knowledge may be misled by 3D graphics. It may limitparticipation in development proposal.E. Suggestion of possible improvement areaConsidering problems associated with spatial modeling for 3D GIS, Abdul-Raham andPilouk (2007) suggest that an integrated data model permitting the derivation of aunified data structure capable of maintaining all the components of the geometricrepresentation of real world objects should be designed. They also state that eachgeometric component must be able to represent a real world object differentlyunderstood by different people.Besides, effective methods for data structure should be provided to address 3Dmodeling problem. Some geometry of geographic features isnot well defined in 3D
Student Name: Chow Man NaStudent ID: 09187784dGIS such as staircase and wall. Use of tools formanual modeling of the staircase and introduction of the multipatch structure thatallow the generation of the wall is recommended to tackle the 3D modeling problem(Coors, Rumor, Fendel&Zlatanova , 2007).Also, Abdul-Raham and Pilouk (2007)recommend that a design of updating procedures which include the development ofconsistency rules ensuring the logical consistency and integrity of the integrateddatabase are required to maintain the spatial model for 3D GIS.Moreover, it is essential to develop additional spatial operators and explore morespatial analysis functions for 3D GIS. For instance, 3D GIS should be able to performlogic (intersection, union), overlay and merging operations. Also, it is suggested thatdesign of a user interface and query language enable users’ access to the integrateddatabase (Abdul-Raham and Pilouk , 2007). 3D GIS with improved analytical functioncan become more informative for general users.Regarding the cost of data acquisition, it is important to develop effective methodsfor 3D data collection. Utilization of existing components such as 2D and DTM(back-word compatibility) and preparation of those components for futureincorporation into the higher dimension model (forward compatibility) can beconsidered as an useful approach to reduce the costs of repeating data collection(Abdul-Raham and Pilouk , 2007).Last but not least, it is essential to optimize the file size without degrading the qualityof 3d model. The time of data transmission can be greatly reduced. To make the 3DGIS application more enjoyable and interesting, compatible with some gameswouldgive wonderful experience for public users. It is useful way to stimulate the publicinterest and enhance effective participation in urban planning process.F. ConclusionTo conclude, public participation can be regarded as essential part in the planningprocess. Effective participation must be based on well informed public whereas lotsof non professional find it difficult to understand the content of plans and theconsequences bought by planning alternatives (Knapp, Bogdahn& Coors, 2007). 3DGIS are introduced to be interactive planning tool to improve the communicationamong stakeholders and stimulate the public interests and enhance publicparticipation in urban planning process. Scottish executive in Scotland (2006)mentioned that the potential of 3D modeling is to engage communities and assistingplanners and councilors to visualize and access the visual impact of development
Student Name: Chow Man NaStudent ID: 09187784dproposals.It reveals the importance of visual impactof environmental changes to the public and the potential of visual media forcommunication to the stakeholders (Miller et al, 2008). However, current 3D GISimplementations mainly emphasize the importance of 3Dvisualization and itsinteractive components. Advanced analytical functions are rarely found since relateddata management may not be suitable for real 3D functionality. Gaborit& Howard(2004) comment that without enough tools to use 3D urban models, theachievement of these models is the model themselves, instead of what can be donewith them. Therefore, it is essential to develop more advanced analytical tools toincrease the functionality of 3D GISso that 3D GIS can become more effective meansto engage public in the development proposal.Compatible with some games canmake 3D GIS present the planning information in an interesting way. Apart fromapplication 3D GIS, social networks such as facebook and some useful mobile appscan be other effective means to encourage public participation in the urban planningprocess.G. References Broll W, Lindt I, et al (2004) ARTHUR: a collaborativeaugmented environment for architectural design and Urbanplanning. J Virtual Real Broadcast 1:1–9 Bulmer, D. (2001). How can computer simulated visualizations of the built environment facilitate better public participation in the planning process?., 1-42. Chan, R.,Jepson, W., Friedman, S., 1998. Urban simulation: an innovative tools for interactive planning and consensus building In: Proceedings of the American Planning Association National Conference, Boston, pp.43-50 Coors, V., C. Kray, K. Laakso, and C. Elting, 2004.Presenting route instructions on mobile devices.Book Chapter in “Geo-Visualization”, 2004.Book Sections, 2004. Coors, V., Rumor, M. &Fendel, E. M. (2007).Urban and Regional Data Management. Use of 3D GIS data to model the urban environment,224,225. Drummond, W. J., & French, S. P. F. (2008). The future of GIS in planning:Convergingtechnologies and diverging interests. Journal of the American PlanningAssociation, 74(2), 161–174.
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