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Occlusion-Free Visualization of Important Geographic Features in 3D Urban Environments

State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Wolfgang Kainz
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2016, 5(8), 138;
Received: 28 March 2016 / Revised: 26 July 2016 / Accepted: 28 July 2016 / Published: 8 August 2016
PDF [5935 KB, uploaded 8 August 2016]


Modern cities are dense with very tall buildings, which often leads to features of interest (FOIs, e.g., relevant roads and associated landmarks) being occluded by clusters of buildings. Thus, from any given point of view, users can see only a small area of the city. However, it is currently an important technical problem to maintain the visibility of FOIs while preserving the urban shapes and spatial relationships between features. In this paper, we present a novel automatic visualization method to generate occlusion-free views for FOIs in real time. Our method integrates with three effective cartographic schemes: route broadening, building displacement, and building scaling, using an optimization framework A series of distortion energies are presented to preserve the urban resemblance, considering the view position and the urban features based on spatial cognition to maintain spatial and temporal coherence. Our approach can be used to visualize large urban environments at interactive framerates in which the visibility of the occluded FOIs is maximized while the deformation of the landscape’s shape is minimized. Using this approach, the visual readability of such 3D urban maps can be much improved. View Full-Text
Keywords: 3D visualization; features of interest; occlusion-free; optimization 3D visualization; features of interest; occlusion-free; optimization

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Zhang, L.; Zhang, L.; Xu, X. Occlusion-Free Visualization of Important Geographic Features in 3D Urban Environments. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2016, 5, 138.

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