An approach for representing complex 3D objects in GIS applied to 3D properties (Civil Project)

The main problem that is addressed in this thesis is how to represent complex three-dimensional objects in GIS in order to render a more realistic representation of the real world. The goal is to present an approach for representing complex 3D objects in GIS. This is achieved by using commercial GIS (ArcGIS), applied to 3D properties.

In order to get a clear overview of the state-of-the-art of 3D GIS and the current 3D cadastral situation a literature study was carried out. Based on this overview it can be concluded that 3D GIS still is in its initial phase. Current 3D GIS developments are mainly in the area of visualisation and animation, and almost nothing in the area of spatial analysis and attribute handling. Furthermore, the literature study reveals that no complete solution has been introduced that solves the problems involved in 3D cadastral registration.

In several countries (e.g. Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, Israel, and Australia) 3D properties exists in a juridical framework, but technical issues such as how to represent, store, and visualize 3D properties has not yet been solved. Some countries (Sweden, Norway, and Australia) visualize the footprints of 3D property units in a base map. This approach partly solves some technical issues, but can only represent 3D objects in a 2.5D environment. Therefore, research in how to represent complex objects in GIS as ‘true’ 3D objects is of great need.

This study will emphasize MultiPatch as a geographic representation method to represent complex 3D objects in GIS. A case study will demonstrate that complex objects can be visualized and analysed in a commercial GIS, in this case ArcGIS. Most commercial GIS software available on the market applies a 2.5D approach to represent 3D objects. The 2.5D approach has limitations for representing complex objects. There is therefore a need of finding new approaches to represent complex objects within GIS. The result shows that MultiPatch is not an answer to all the problems within 3D GIS but a solution to some of the problems. It still requires a lot of research in the field of 3D GIS, especially in development of spatial analysis capabilities.
Source: University of Gävle
Author: Ekberg, Fredrik

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