Using modular 3D digital earth applications based on point clouds for the study of complex sites

Oscar Martinez-Rubi*, Maurice de Kleijn, Stefan Verhoeven, Niels Drost, Jisk Attema, Maarten van Meersbergen, Rob van Nieuwpoort, Rens de Hond, Eduardo Dias, Pjotr Svetachov

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    This article discusses the use of 3D technologies in digital earth applications (DEAs) to study complex sites. These are large areas containing objects with heterogeneous shapes and semantic information. The study proposes that DEAs should be modular, have multi-tier architectures, and be developed as Free and Open Source Software if possible. In DEAs requiring high reliability in the 3D measurements, point clouds are proposed as basis for the 3D Digital digital earth representation. For the development of DEAs, we propose to follow a workflow with four components: data acquisition and processing, data management, data analysis and data visualization. For every component, technological challenges of using 3D technologies are identified and solutions applied for a case study are presented. The case study is a modular 3D DEA developed for the archaeological project Mapping the Via Appia. The 3D DEA allows archaeologists to virtually analyze a complex study area.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1135-1152
    Number of pages18
    JournalInternational journal of digital earth
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - Dec-2016


    • 3D digital earth application
    • point clouds
    • data management
    • visualization

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