Virtual GIS: A Real-Time 3D Geographic Information System
Hodges, Larry F.
Faust, Nick L. (Nickolas Lea)
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Advances in computer graphics hardware and algorithms, visualization, and interactive techniques for analysis offer the components for a highly integrated, efficient real-time 3D Geographic Information System. We have developed "Virtual GIS," a system with truly immersive capability for navigating and understanding complex and dynamic terrain-based databases. The system provides the means for visualizing terrain models consisting of elevation and imagery data, along with GIS raster layers, protruding features, buildings, vehicles, and other objects. We have implemented window-based and virtual reality versions and in both cases provide a direct manipulation, visual interface for accessing the GIS data. Unique terrain data structures and algorithms allow rendering of large, high resolution datasets at interactive rates.