Evolution of 3D GIS Integrated with Game Engine —New Features of SuperMap GIS 2023

29 Aug,2023

In 2020, SuperMap launched SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDKs, a high-fidelity 3D GIS development kit that closely integrates with game engine. This product combines the spatial scheduling management and spatial analysis and computation capabilities of 2D-3D Integration GIS with the high-fidelity visual rendering capabilities of game engine, to provide technological support for digital twin-related applications.

With the construction of digital twin cities, digital twin parks, and digital twin water conservancy project, the high-fidelity 3D GIS development kit is required to be upgraded to meet the increasing demands for full-element expression, visual rendering, and spatial analysis calculations. 

In 2023, SuperMap has further upgraded the high-fidelity 3D GIS development kit integrated with the game engine. With improved visual effects, the development kit supports more 3D GIS analysis and query functions, and also provides easier-to-use 3D scene viewing software to support the rapid construction of high-fidelity 3D scenes.

Figure: The digital twin world constructed based on SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDKs

More Powerful Capability to Dynamically Load Multi-Source 3D GIS Data

Previously, SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDKs support dynamic loading of local/online terrain, images, white model modelling, urban detailed models, inclined photographic 3D models, point cloud, BIM, vertical point and line surface, 3D topology networks and other large-scale multi-source GIS data, which realizes integrated spatial expression of indoor/outdoor, above-ground/underground, macroscopic and microscopic elements, and can support the construction of a digital twin world.

Based on this, SuperMap Hi-Fi SDKs for Unity 2023 has improved the loading performance of large-scale tilt-shot 3D models, and SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDK for Unreal 2023 has also been optimized in the following aspects:

1.It supports loading S3M data with multiple time series information. As shown in Figure 1, it supports simulating the dynamic flood inundation effects in multiple time series. This is realized by turning the regional water level information gained by IoT sensors into S3M data with multiple time series information. It can also replace material with UE water surface material to provide more realistic water effects. 

Figure 1: Flood inundation effect simulation in multiple time series using SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDK for Unreal

2.It further improves the rendering frame rate of long-time scene browsing and the stability of memory usage, so that the project can run stably 7/24. 

3.It supports saving scene images and relevant information, including current viewport position, geographic origin information, sun trajectory, weather effects, post-processing effects, etc. to enable users to quickly recreate the scene.

More 3D GIS Analysis, Query, Measurement, and Calculation Functions to Meet Higher Business Application Requirements. 

With the application of SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDKs in Real 3D China, Digital Twin City, Smart Airport, Digital Twin Park and other industries, users have raised the needs for more 3D GIS analysis and queries as well as interactive layer functions to meet more business application requirements.

Therefore, apart from supporting more than 30 types of analysis queries and layer interaction functions, SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDKs 2023 has been further improved in the following aspects:

  • In 3D GIS analysis and query aspects 

1.SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDK for Unreal 2023 added fill and dig analysis to support analysis to get fill and dig volume, area and other data, which can be used for the analysis of the earthwork volume in the process of construction, to assist in the selection of construction engineering solutions, please see Figure 2.

Figure 2: Fill and dig analysis in UE using SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDK for Unreal

2.SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDK for Unreal 2023 added profile analysis, which supports the calculation and feature extraction of the undulations, contour lines or attributes of the data on a certain cross-section and assists in the siting of facilities and land planning and utilization.

3.SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDK for Unreal 2023 adds multiple visual field analyses, which supports continuous analysis of visual conditions in multiple specified areas based on a certain observation point and its characteristics. It also assists in the planning of sightseeing routes and the setting of security monitoring points/disaster monitoring points.

4.SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDK for Unreal 2023 newly supports for skyline analysis to get height-limiting bodies, which supports applications in urban planning, urban design, and other fields.

5.In SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDK for Unreal 2023, a new spatial query function has been added, which allows highlighting selected model objects within a bounding box, as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3: Performing spatial queries in UE using SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDK for Unreal

6. SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDKs 2023 introduced the support for line-of-sight analysis, Viewshed Analysis, Measurement, and other functionalities based on UE model assets, as illustrated in Figures 4 and 5. This integration allows existing UE resources to participate in 3D spatial analysis.

Figure 4: Performing line-of-sight analysis based on UE model assets using SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDK for Unreal

Figure 5: Performing profile analysis and skyline analysis based on UE model assets in UE using SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDK for Unreal

  • In layer operations and interactive aspects

1.SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDK for Unreal 2023 has introduced a new surface excavation function, which enables the setting of displayed bottom and side materials after excavation, as demonstrated in Figure 6. This feature allows for a visual representation of underground pipelines through surface excavation.

Figure 6: Utilizing SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDK for Unreal to showcase underground pipelines through surface excavation

2.SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDK for Unreal 2023 has added support for modifying image transparency, as shown in Figure 7, allowing users to view historical images of a location by adjusting the image transparency.

Figure 7: Using SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDK for Unreal to view historical images by adjusting the image transparency

3.SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDK for Unity 2023 has introduced new enhancements that allow setting the maximum/minimum visibility height and loading priority mode for S3M layers, enabling better control over the loading and display of layers in the scene.

Enhanced 3D GIS Data Visual Effects to Enable Digital Reproduction of the Physical World

SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDKs supports the enhancement of various GIS data sources, including architectural white models, detailed city models, BIM, tilt photography 3D models (monolithic), vector points, lines, and surface, map tiles, and more. This enables the simulation of realistic sunlight and weather effects. The SDK also provides support for multiple post-processing effects, such as floodlighting, screen-space reflections, dynamic blur, and others, effectively facilitating high-fidelity visualization rendering for the digital twin world.

This year, to further integrate the high-fidelity visualization capabilities of game engines, SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDK for Unreal 2023 has introduced more impressive 3D GIS data beautification effects, enriching the visual presentation of 3D scenes. The main enhancements include:

1.Introduces support for S3M data with tangents, which enables the application of interior mapping technology for simulating indoor effects, as shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8: Utilizing SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDK for Unreal to simulate indoor effects

2.Adds support for dragging material balls to the UI panel for material replacement, improving ease of use.

3.Provides a more user-friendly weather effect adjustment tool.

4.Optimizes the PBR (Physically Based Rendering) effects of S3M data, offering materials that closely resemble UE4's original rendering, as shown in Figure 9.

Figure 9: Nearly original UE4 material effects

5.Introduces ray tracing technology combined with S3M data to achieve more realistic and stunning indoor effects, as shown in Figure 10.

Figure 10.

Easier-to-use 3D Scene Viewing Software and Enabling Rapid Creation of High-Fidelity 3D Scenes

Last year, SuperMap released a 3D scene viewing software developed based on UE5 and SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDK for Unreal: SuperMap iExplorer3D. It is a free, lightweight, grab-and-go 3D GIS application product for users, which supports accessing online/offline massive multi-source heterogeneous spatial data, and fast creation of high-fidelity 3D scenes to provide technical support for digital twin parks, smart cities, and other fields.

This year, SuperMap iExplorer3D 2023 has updated its product interface to improve ease of use. It has also newly added support for LUT (colour comparison table), providing various scene tones, and facilitating rapid creation of various styles of high-fidelity 3D scenes, as shown in Figure 11.

Figure 11: Adjusting weather, floodlight and LUT effects in SuperMap iExplorer3D to quickly create a high-fidelity 3D scene

In the future, SuperMap will continuously refine and optimize SuperMap Hi-Fi 3D SDKs to better support the implementation of Real 3D China, CIM, digital twin cities, digital twin water resources and other projects.

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