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Requirements for Topology in 3D GIS

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Topology and its various benefits are well understood within the context of 2D Geographical Information Systems. However, requirements in three-dimensional (3D) applications have yet to be defined, with factors such as lack of users’ familiarity with the potential of such systems impeding this process. In this paper, we identify and review a number of requirements for topology in 3D applications. The review utilises existing topological frameworks and data models as a starting point. Three key areas were studied for the purposes of requirements identification, namely existing 2D topological systems, requirements for visualisation in 3D and requirements for 3D analysis supported by topology. This was followed by analysis of application areas such as earth sciences and urban modelling which are traditionally associated with GIS, as well as others including medical, biological and chemical science. Requirements for topological functionality in 3D were then grouped and categorised. The paper concludes by suggesting that these requirements can be used as a basis for the implementation of topology in 3D. It is the aim of this review to serve as a focus for further discussion and identification of additional applications that would benefit from 3D topology.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geomatic Engineering, University College London

Publication date: 01 March 2006

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