Survey of True 3D and Raster Level of Detail Support in GIS Software

  • Kenan Bektaş
  • Arzu Çöltekin
  • Ralph K. Straumann
Part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series (LNGC)


Principles of stereoscopic vision have long been used in geographic data processing and visualization. In recent years, a number of mainstream digital devices and systems with stereoscopic capabilities are marketed to public, making True 3D visualizations more accessible. This trend may potentially impact how spatial data is visualized in everyday life. In low-bandwidth environments, however, level of detail (LOD) management approaches have to be applied for efficient processing of large -True 3D-spatial datasets. In order to outline future research needs in True 3D visualizations, this paper presents a survey on current support provided in common Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The survey is designed to document whether the visualization modules of the selected systems a) can display 3D b) can display stereoscopic 3D c) can manage different levels of detail when displaying raster graphics. We document the names of visualization modules and report the types of stereoscopic operations, stereoscopic viewing methods and raster LOD management approaches in surveyed software. The analysis shows that all surveyed GIS support non-stereoscopic or stereoscopic 3D visualizations and a form of raster LOD management. Present raster LOD techniques in the surveyed systems are efficient for level switching when scale changes, however, unlike in other graphics processing software, none of them utilize human visual system inspired approaches. We hope that findings from this study will allow both researchers and practitioners to assess the current state of True 3D and raster LOD management support in widely used GIS software.


GIS Software Survey True 3D 3D Visualization Stereoscopic Visualization Level of Detail Management Geo-Virtual Environments 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenan Bektaş
    • 1
  • Arzu Çöltekin
    • 1
  • Ralph K. Straumann
    • 1
  1. 1.GIScience Center, Department of GeographyUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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