Methodologies for distributed and higher dimensional geographic information
In today's digital era, cartography has changed its role, from that of a pure visual model of the Earth's surface, to an interface to other spatial and aspatial information. Along with this, representationa nd manipulation of graphical information in three-dimensional space is required for many applications. Problems and difficulties must be overcome in order to facilitate the move to three-dimensional models, multimedia, and distributed data. Can accurate measurements, at sufficient resolution, and using affordable resources be obtained? Will application software usefully process, in all aspects, models of the real world, sounds, and videos? Combined with this, the workplace is becoming distributed, requiring applications and data that can be used across the globe as easily as in the office. A distributed, three-dimensional, GIS is required with all the procedural and recording functionality of current two-dimensional systems. Such a GIS would maintain a model, typically comprised of solids of individual buildings, roads, utilities etc. with both external and internal detail, represented on a suitable digital terrain model. This research examines virtual reality software as part of an answer. Alternatively, can technologies such as HTML, VRML, and scripting, along with object-orientation and open systems, allow for the display and interrogation of networked data sets? The particular application of this technology, considered during this research, is the need for accurate reconstruction of historical urban monuments. The construction, manipulation, and exploration of these models is often referred to as virtual heritage. This research constructs an innovative and resource effective methodology, the Phoenix algorithm, which requires only a single image for creating three-dimensional models of buildings at large scale. The development of this algorithm is discussed and the results obtained from it are compared with those obtained using traditional three-dimensional capture techniques. Furthermore, possible solutions to the earlier questions are given and discussed.