The CityServer3D is used in various projects for research and development. Each project bears individual challenges which affect the CityServer3D's evolution. This page lists current projects as well as some highlights of previous ones.

3D-Vis: Interactive 3D Visualisation in Spatial Planning


The researchers from the Fraunhofer IGD develop innovative IT solutions in the fields Spatial Visualisation, Visual Analytics and 3D Computer Graphics. The harmonization and integration of manifold spatial data, their analysis, processing and interactive evaluation of the results are the core elements of the future-oriented solutions.

The researchers from the Fraunhofer IGD develop technologies that allow the users to efficiently manage, store and analyse 3D spatial data. Furthermore they model and visualize city and landscape models and provide services for quality assurance.

Their work builds on the CityServer3D technology that they have been developing with partners and customers since 2004. With the CityServer3D the users administrate and integrate two- and three-dimensional spatial data. They can automatically generate three-dimensional models and carry out simulations in the 3D world.


IQmulus: leverage the information in large heterogeneous geospatial data sets

For geospatial applications, huge amounts of heterogeneous data sets of different topology are collected nowadays with different data acquisition techniques. Especially airborne and mobile platform LIDAR data are becoming ubiquitous, but SAR and stereophotogrammetry also contribute to the rapid growth of geotopographical data sets to sizes of tens to hundreds of TBs. Due to the problems of handling such large data volumes and the difficulty of fusing point clouds of heterogeneous provenance, rasters, volumetric data and 2D vector data, many of those new data sets are not used appropriately or not at all.

Therefore, IQmulus is targeting to enable optimized use of large, heterogeneous geo-spatial data sets for better decision making through a high-volume fusion and analysis information management platform. This platform will transpose approaches and IT standards from distributed computing to enable distributed, service-oriented geospatial processing. The project will determine optimal execution and distribution parameters for different geospatial processing tasks and to ensure that the IQmulus system can transparently execute processing on different architectures like GPGPU clusters or clouds. Methods will be developed to connect processing and visualization into a tight loop, ensuring high interactivity in the process to enable users to better understand correlations between heterogeneous data sets.


urbanAPI: Urban Agile Policy Implementation

urbanAPI Teaser

In the context of European initiatives to improve policy as a more transparent and understandable process, the urbanAPI project aims to support activities such as issue identification, policy analysis, consultation, decision and evaluation in urban planning and land management policy. For this purpose, a policy metamodel, a formalised vocabulary, a set of rule languages to define data integration and abstract simulation models are introduced. Furthermore, the urbanAPI approach will transpose elements of agile ICT development to the urban policy making process: Multiple activities can run in parallel, and all activities are kept synchronized. In such a process, risks are identified earlier, conflicts are understood better, and that knowledge gained in one activity can directly be used in all other activities.

On this formal basis, a novel ICT toolset is developed. The urbanAPI toolset allows the fast development and deployment of participative policy support applications. These applications can be used for decision support, conflict management, analysis and visualisation and rely on innovative interaction platforms. Concepts known from web 2.0 and semantic web technologies, such as linking, tagging, rating and adding of semantic annotations, are supported directly. Applications created with the urbanAPI toolset also make use of a comprehensive data integration system to make use of the vast data resources – geospatial and statistical datasets – related to planning.

Local initiatives in the four urban regions working in this project will be encouraged to participate within the planning process, to contribute to the final solutions and understand and finally accept the expected impacts on environment and habitants. Based on the toolset, adapted urban planning applications will be created, deployed, evaluated and used to support policy makers, planners and stakeholders at different governance and spatial levels (urban quarter level, municipal level, urban region level).

3D City Models in the Internet

3D city model on the Multi-Touch Table

The Internet offers potential for interactivity which be very useful for urban planning. The CityServer3D can be extended by an interface allowing web browsers to view 3D city models. So, citizens and decision makers can inform themselves about current construction projects. The CityServer3D is therefore able to provide context-sensitive views of data, for example to visualize different planning variants. Apart from that, the interface can be used for professional data exchange since the underlaying data format X3D supports geo-referenced models.

For high quality and performance visualizations, the CityServer3D offers an interface to the Instant Reality Platform from the Fraunhofer IGD. This platform provides comprehensive interaction capabilities as seen on the InterGeo 2010. The possibility to explore a city model by several users at the same time substantially eases decision making processes.

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DeepCity3D Teaser

Modern cities are characterized not only by their surface constructions but also by underground structures like tunnels, quarries and pipes. Besides human-created constructions there are also diverse geological formations. This information is of major importance for a sustainable urban development. A lot of different organizations are involved in the construction of surface and underground structures. They have a good expert knowledge and a solid data base for the area they work in. By sharing the data within these organizations, time and money can be saved and – in the best case – catastrophes can be avoided.

The DeepCity3D project therefore aims at developing tools to integrate data from different organizations like 3D city models, underground constructions and geological data. One of the main research topics is the exploration of new techniques for underground visualization and exploration. A set of software tools will be developed within the project to help the different organizations in making decisions in their daily work. An integrated visualization of surface and subsurface constructions will help understanding the interdependency between buildings, caves, tunnels and geological formations.

The DeepCity3D project is supported by the German BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) and the French ANR (L'Agence nationale de la recherche) under the Inter Carnot-Fraunhofer programme. Participating organizations are the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD in Darmstadt, Germany and the Carnot Institute BRGM in Orléans, France.