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OGC completes 3D Portrayal Interoperability Experiment


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Release Date: 
19 September 2012

19 September 2012 - The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) has completed the 3D Portrayal Interoperability Experiment (3DPIE). The 3DPIE was designed to test and demonstrate different approaches for service-based 3D visualization using the candidate OGC standards for 3D portrayal: the OGC Web 3D Service (W3DS) and Web View Service (WVS) Interface standards.

Results have been published as an OGC Public Engineering Report ( This report will provide the basis for further standardization efforts in service-based 3D portrayal.

The OGC members participating in the 3DPIE worked to identify, test, and further develop technology standards and workflows for spatial data infrastructure that supports rapid visualization of very large and complex 3D geospatial data sets. The objective of the candidate W3DS and the WVS standards is to make it as easy to integrate and visualize 3D urban and landscape models in web applications as it is easy to integrate 2D maps in web applications. The 3DPIE clarified specifics of 3D portrayal services and provided a proof of concept as well as best practices and guidelines for the candidate standards' implementation, integration, and use. The experiments demonstrated the feasibility of 3D portrayal services using massive real-world 3D data, including a complete textured 3D city model of Paris.

New image- and vector-based streaming and visualization methods have been integrated into established software products and research prototypes. By linking various solutions for serving geospatial 3D assets with web and mobile applications using the 3D portrayal services, interoperability was successfully demonstrated. Of particular interest is the Extensible 3D (X3D) Graphics International Standard, which is the open standard for real-time 3D communication developed and administered by the non-profit Web3D Consortium ( Also, the upcoming HTML5 web standard was addressed by using WebGL and declarative X3DOM technology for directly embedding 3D spatial data in modern web browsers.

Members of the Web3D Consortium worked to help identify key technological issues and develop common integration strategies. Prof. Volker Coors, one of the OGC representatives in the Web3D Consortium, comments: “I was really impressed by the results of the experiment, especially how well OGC services and Web3D technologies complement each other.”

The initiators of the 3DPIE were:
-- Hasso-Plattner-Institut at the University of Potsdam (HPI)*
-- GIScience at the University of Heidelberg*
-- Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research (IGD)*

The other OGC members that participated were:
-- Bitmanagement Software GmbH
-- Institute for Geodesy and Geoinformation Science at Technical University Berlin (IGG)
-- Institut Geographique National (IGN)
-- Laboratoire des Sciences de l’Information et des Systémes (LSIS)
-- Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), representing Web3D Consortium Members as part of the joint partnership agreement between OGC and Web3D Consortium
-- Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VT)

The 3DPIE was jointly managed by Benjamin Hagedorn (HPI), Arne Schilling (GIScience), and Volker Coors (Fraunhofer IGD / HFT Stuttgart).

About the Web3D Consortium:
The Web3D Consortium is a member-driven organization involved in many technical initiatives across the 4D value chain. The Web3D Consortium is a member-funded industry consortium committed to the creation and deployment of open, royalty-free standards that enable the communication of real-time 3D across applications, networks, and XML web services. Web3D works closely with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and has active projects with W3C, OGC, DICOM, IMS, KHRONOS, and MPEG standards-development organizations to maximize market opportunities for its membership. More information on Web3D Consortium membership is available at

About the OGC:
The OGC is an international consortium of more than 465 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OGC Standards support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. OGC standards empower technology developers to make geospatial information and services accessible and useful with any application that needs to be geospatially enabled. Visit the OGC website at