3D GIS Integrated with VR Wearable: More Immersive Virtual Geo-space

13 Apr,2016

The perfect combination of SuperMap 3D GIS and VR wearables, like Oculus RIFT helmet, has enabled a new era of 3D GIS with smart perception. When you walk into lifelike 3D models built by Oblique Photograph Modeling and Building Information Modeling (BIM), are you able to distinguish between what are virtual and what are real?

Our Old friend - VR
Speaking of Virtual Reality (VR), most people think it is an emerging technology in recent years.
In fact, the concept of VR was firstly raised between 1950s and 1960s. In 1968, the first prototype of VR, named ‘The Sword of Damocles’, has been made. In this sense, it is our old friend.
However, it's true that VR becomes well known in recent years, especially after Facebook spent 2 billion US dollars acquiring a VR company, Oculus, and created a huge public curiosity about VR. Afterwards, more famous technology companies started to invest in VR, bringing more public attention to VR. A new industry which will bring remarkable changes to internet and people’s lifestyle is rising.


Story between VR and 3D GIS

VR has created a new medium, which helps people acquire the same experience in the created virtual environment as in the real world, with the strong visual impact and the intuitive interaction experience brought by the VR wearables, better than those brought by words, pictures, audio, video and other methods. It allows users to experience the possible or impossible situations in the reality at a very low cost.     

It is worth noticing that, as a revolutionary new medium, VR does not only become popular in entertainment industry like gaming and film-making, but also allows GIS users to interact with 3D scenes, which ends the awkward situation that 3D GIS applications can only be displayed by 2D screen. As a good medium to express the sense of reality and virtual environment of 3D GIS, VR has already amazed and enchanted GIS users. What's more, SuperMap GIS 8C products now support VR wearables.

SuperMap 3D GIS supports Oculus Rift

3D GIS + Oculus Rift = immersive 3D experience

In SuperMap Desktop software, you just need to connect VR equipment to feel the immersive experience by the new medium tool. An example is given by using indoor wandering, viewer feels being instantly moved to another room after putting the 3D patch, the virtual room is as the same size as the real one. Due to it’s been displayed by a non-2D screen, the stereoscopic effect is better. The 360°view supported by VR equipment allows viewing not being restricted by the screen, moving head can see the scenes at all the directions. If you want to wander in the room, just need to turn on walking mode then you can view freely.



Using Oculus Rift for indoor wandering

The viewing experience is very immersive, this effect is not achieved only by VR wearables. Behind the cool effect, SuperMap 3D has provided complete function supports in data model combination, magnificent scenes construction, real operation experience, which created solid foundation in achieving 3D immersive experience.

Virtual geo-space constructed by Oblique photograph and BIM

Data is the most important factor for a system, there is no exception for 3D GIS. Ample 3D model data is an important foundation for 3D GIS to fully show geo-space information. From hand-made model to oblique model and BIM, SuperMap supports all kinds of model data. The oblique model shows magnificent geo-space, BIM as a smaller model shows the interior environment. The perfect combination of oblique model and BIM data creates a virtual environment from outdoor to indoor, from ground to underground.  

3D effect constructs 3D scene

In reality, there are situations like weather change, water flow due to the wind, car moving on the street, the shadow of object changes with the sun, models are not sufficient to restore the real world. Therefore, SuperMap provides a series of 3D effects, their visualization is crucial for constructing 3D scenes. (Viewing using wifi is recommended)


Providing particle effect of flame, rain, snow, firework, explosion, etc, can be used in atmosphere simulation, emergency evacuation drill 

Skeletal animation and node animation, simulation of people walking, car moving

Three dimension fill symbol simulates still or sparkling water surface showing the reflection

Video of dynamic display

The operating experience based on collision detection

The co-work between model data and 3D effect, visually it constructs a virtual geo-space which is as the same as real world. However, when operating the system, there are awkward situations that viewers can walk through the walls in the building. This is against the physical principle of ‘wall-passing’ and is definitely a huge bug. The walls in the virtual environment have to have collision detection if they want to stop the moving of viewer.

SuperMap 3D supports collision detection, it can detect if the camera and objects have collided and then responds, it can set threshold value for collision detection, allowing user observe scene in a range. When meeting slope, stairs, users can experience using stairs and elevator. When colliding a wall, it can find the path at direction of obtuse angle.

Indoor wandering

In addition, SuperMap 3D provides walking modes of keyboard driven, automatic walking, automatic running, in co-operation with fast, accurate indoor collision detection, it can improve the sense of reality and immersion.


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Tags:3D GIS

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