Since April 1st, 2004, GeoTango International Corporation has been taking the lead in a project that will enhance visualization of geospatial information over the Internet. The project is supported by the GeoInnovations program of GeoConnections, Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). Other partners in the project include DRDC Valcartier, Department of National Defence and the Earth Sciences Sector of NRCan.
GeoConnections is a national partnership program, led by NRCan, that is building the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI) to harmonize Canada's geospatial databases (topographic maps, air photos, satellite images, nautical and aeronautical charts, census and electoral areas, forestry, soil, marine and biodiversity inventories) and to make them accessible on the internet by developing technology, standards, access systems and protocols.
The objective of GeoTango's project is to implement a commercially viable 3D tool (called GSN 3D Explorer) in order to access, visualize, and analyze GML data and integrate GML vector with raster and digital elevation model (DEM) data types via OGC/CGDI compatible web service interfaces. This tool would be the first of its kind, offering powerful 3D visualization and analysis functions in a web client environment by integrating data streams from any OGC Web Feature Services (WFS), Web Map Services (WMS) and Web Coverage Services (WCS) data servers. GSN 3D Explorer will be realized based on the research breakthrough at York University's GeoICT Lab which utilizes a network of geocomputing resources to support on-line and on-demand visualization.
GSN 3D Explorer is capable of performing 3D and 2D visualization, analysis and modeling such as on-the-fly visualization, overlay, surface analysis and site building. It supports interactive 3D viewing capabilities of GML data such as, 3D pan, roam, zoom in, zoom out, rotate, translate, show/hide layer, add/remove layer, etc; for enhanced 3D operations of GML data, such as layer extrude, layer transformation, layer transparency, annotation etc.; for on-the-fly 3D visualization (fly-by or fly-through) by integrating GML with images and terrain models. In addition, data security control and authentication functions will be implemented in GSN 3D Explorer for secured content access.
With this tool, users will be able to explore, visualize and analyze the CGDI data on-line, on demand and on-the-fly from interconnected CGDI servers. Furthermore, this interoperable tool can be further chained with other CGDI tools or services to form an amalgamation of distributed services via the CGDI.
Source: GeoTango, Dec. 1, 2004