Visualisation of documents in a 3D City Scene

It is now easy for cities to access a considerable amount of digital data and have tools to study their past changes and anticipate their future evolution. The possibility to provide themselves with a 3D model of their territory further facilitates the cities to conduct such complex studies. These digital twins represent several tens of terabytes of urban data with semantics to describe buildings, land, roads, water, vegetation, among other city objects. All these urban structures first have a spatial assignment, but they may also contain additional information such as the date of construction for a building, the river flow, etc. These data once aggregated together helps in highlighting key information, like the demography of a neighborhood, the composition of the view from the top of a skyscraper, etc. All these pieces of information allow us to implement generic methods that respond to spatial in addition to temporal or semantic problems.

The possibility of adding additional information in a virtual environment provides support for scientific entities wishing to communicate content to a targeted audience. The use of additional information is usual in domains like tourism, where models of historical sites are modeled and offer informative media for the digital visitor. We are particularly interested in this type of heritage documentation which allows us to describe urban changes and justify their evolution. To make this documentation accessible to all, both for the experts and the general public, we wish to make modeling in a three-dimensional scene of a virtual city. As part of a project in collaboration with historians, we have developed a tool to visualize geolocalized documents (photographs, postcards, deliberation texts, plans, etc.) in a 3D environment modeling the city and its territory. It provides a dynamic visualization, proposing, in particular, the different levels of importance to this information: a document concerning an entire neighborhood will be logically visible from a greater distance than another that only concerns a specific building. A temporal view of the city and its documents is possible considering the temporality of these documents.


This work has been presented at the international conference “UDMV 2016”.

Chagnaud, C., Samuel, J., Servigne, S., & Gesquière, G. (2016, December). Visualization of Documented 3D Cities. In Eurographics Workshop on Urban Data Modelling and Visualisation, UDMV 2016.