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Design and Implementation of a 4D Web Application for Analytical Visualization of Smart City Applications

Group of Smart & Sustainable Cities, European Institute for Energy Research, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
Faculty of Information Management and Media, Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, 76133 Karlsruhe, Germany
School of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, CentraleSupélec, 91190 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(7), 276;
Received: 8 June 2018 / Revised: 28 June 2018 / Accepted: 6 July 2018 / Published: 12 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Web and Mobile GIS)
PDF [7463 KB, uploaded 30 July 2018]


Contemporary development of computer hardware and software, WebGIS and geo-web services as well as the availability of semantic 3D city models, facilitate flexible and dynamic implementation of web applications. The aim of this paper is to introduce 4D CANVAS, a web-based application for dynamic visualization of 3D geospatial data for improved decision making in smart city applications. It is based on the Cesium Virtual Globe, an open-source JavaScript library developed with HTML5 and WebGL. At first, different data formats such as JSON, GeoJSON, Cesium Markup Language (CZML) and 3D Tiles are evaluated for their suitability in 4D visualization applications. Then, an interactive Graphical User Interface (GUI) is built observing the principle of cartographic standards to view, manage, understand and explore different simulation outputs at multiple spatial (3D surface of buildings) and temporal (hourly, daily, monthly) resolutions. In this regard, multiple tools such as aggregation, data classification, etc. are developed utilizing JavaScript libraries. As a proof of concept, two energy simulations and their outputs of different spatial and temporal resolutions are demonstrated in five Asian and European cities. Finally, the 4D CANVAS is deployed both in desktop and multi-touch screens. The proposed application allows easy integration of any other geospatial simulation results, thereby helps the users from different sectors to explore them interactively in 4D. View Full-Text
Keywords: 4D visualization; 3D city models; smart city; energy simulation; Cesium 4D visualization; 3D city models; smart city; energy simulation; Cesium

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Murshed, S.M.; Al-Hyari, A.M.; Wendel, J.; Ansart, L. Design and Implementation of a 4D Web Application for Analytical Visualization of Smart City Applications. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7, 276.

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