GEOG 497
3D Modeling and Virtual Reality

1.4 Applications of 3D Modeling


1.4 Applications of 3D Modeling

3D modeling was expensive in the past. With the availability of efficient 3D workflows and technologies that either sense the environment directly (such as LiDAR and photogrammetry) or use environmental information to create 3D models (such as Esri CityEngine's procedural modeling, see Lesson 2 and 4) it is now possible to properly use 3D models across academic disciplines. While there is still an ongoing debate to which extend 3D is superior to 2D from a spatial thinking perspective and there is, indeed, beauty in abstracting information to reveal what is essential (see London subway map), there is also, without a doubt, a plethora of tasks that greatly benefit from using 3D information. For example, whether or not you are gifted with high spatial abilities, inferring 3D information from 2D representations is challenging. Below is a quick collection of topics and fields that benefit from 3D modeling and analysis (see also Biljeki et al. 2015):

  • Estimation of shaded areas to calculate reduced growth areas for agricultural planning.
  • Estimation of solar irradiation.
  • Energy demand estimation.
  • Urban planning.
  • Visualization for navigation.
  • Forest management.
  • Archeology.
  • Visibility analysis.
  • Identifying sniper hazards.
  • Orientation and wayfinding.
  • Surveillance camera positioning.
  • Noise propagation in urban environments.
  • Flooding.
  • Cultural Heritage.
  • Communicating Climate Change.


Group Discussion (Application of 3D Modeling) 

Can you think of additional areas of application of 3D modeling not mentioned above?

The Task

Use the Lesson 1 Discussion (Application of 3D Modeling) to suggest and discuss further applications.

Due Dates

Please post your response by Saturday to give your peers time to comment by Tuesday.