communication mediumProceedings of the second international symposium on Virtual Reality & Visual Computing
For most large infrastructure projects, it is mandatory to assess their impact on the urban and rurali environment before they are started. Many shareholders want to involve the public or even are obliged to do so due to legal provisions. For interactive exploration, a geospatial visualization framework is needed that supports very complex scenes. They should be realistically rendered for sufficient credibility. Applied research on this topic (in close cooperation with industrial partners) resulted in GEARViewer, a geospatial rendering framework. It supports huge geospatial scenes consisting of large-scale terrain models, buildings, roads, tramways, railways, tunnels, vegetation and a skylight model. Everything is geo-referenced. An animation system augments the scene with moving vehicles and pedestrians that provides a simplified traffic simulation. This enables a realistic and vivid experience of planned infrastructure projects and allows assessing their effects on the real environment. GEARViewer supports OGC standards such WMTS to efficiently communicate with GIS. For example, basic 3D geometry can be procedurally generated from 2D GIS data. On the other hand, versatile outputs can be created mainly for presentation purposed such as high-res images, videos, even in 360° panorama formats. Furthermore, parts of the scene can be cut out and exported to be used in other 3D tools and viewers, supporting interoperability and a more flexible workflow. It was used for many planned projects in Austria and Germany.