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Making the Invisible Visible—Strategies for Visualizing Underground Infrastructures in Immersive Environments

1
Centro de Tecnologías de la Imagen (CTIM), Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35017 Las Palmas de G.C., Spain
2
European Institute for Energy Research (EIFER), D-76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(3), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi8030152
Received: 13 February 2019 / Revised: 5 March 2019 / Accepted: 10 March 2019 / Published: 20 March 2019
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Abstract

Visualization of underground infrastructure in an interactive 3D immersive environment is extremely important for efficient management of city’s infrastructure. This paper describes different geometric modelling approaches to illustrate appropriate visualization of such data. A multimodal prototype has been developed by exploiting different algorithms to render these invisible underground objects as part of an urban model. This prototype has been integrated in an immersive geographic information system (GIS), named MultiVis, for handheld iOS and Android devices. As a part of the study, three distinct strategies have been tested; the first is based on the use of transparencies to convey a sense of depth, the second relies on an image-space superposition of “ditches” on top of the rendered frame and the third is a world-space deformation of the elevation model that exposes the underground elements. Furthermore, a comparative user experience analysis of different techniques aimed to the geometrically accurate visualisation of utility networks and other underground facilities are performed and evaluated. It includes a set of user evaluations for different parameters of these techniques, which gives us an insight on how the proposed methods affect the experience and usability for technical and non-technical users. View Full-Text
Keywords: augmented reality; virtual reality; visualization; underground infrastructure; user experience survey augmented reality; virtual reality; visualization; underground infrastructure; user experience survey
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Ortega, S.; Wendel, J.; Santana, J.M.; Murshed, S.M.; Boates, I.; Trujillo, A.; Nichersu, A.; Suárez, J.P. Making the Invisible Visible—Strategies for Visualizing Underground Infrastructures in Immersive Environments. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8, 152.

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