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Submitted to Directorate of Installation Support Facility Planning and Geographic Information Center Ft. Belvoir, Virginia Tony E. Graham 8 February -

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Presentation on theme: "Submitted to Directorate of Installation Support Facility Planning and Geographic Information Center Ft. Belvoir, Virginia Tony E. Graham 8 February -"— Presentation transcript:

1 Submitted to Directorate of Installation Support Facility Planning and Geographic Information Center Ft. Belvoir, Virginia Tony E. Graham 8 February - 7 June 1999

2 The use of three dimensional modeling and multimedia data (3DMMD) with a geographic information system (GIS) database was developed for military housing areas in Ft. Belvoir, Virginia. The approach is to integrate 3DMMD for visual analysis and spatial analysis through a GIS graphic user interface attribute table (GUIAT) by selecting any two dimensional (2D) building or land feature from the GIS map file. 3D models from the GIS 2D polygons representing Ft. Belvoirs permanent buildings are created using Bentley Microstation/J and Triforma software. 3D triangula interpolation models (TIN) are created from GIS contour features in Intergraph modular GIS environment (MGE) terrain analyst software. Renderings, fly-bys, digital photographs, aerial photographs are linked to the GUIAT. The 3DMMD approach was implemented in two distinctive steps: (1) a 3DMMD system designed to manipulate 3DMMD information with hyperlinking renderings, fly-bys, digital photographs, aerial photographs and (2) a GIS graphic user interface attribute table (GUIAT) using Microsoft Windows NT operating system, Intergraph Geomedia Professional and Intergraph MGE products. The 3DMMD approach provides a unique way to visually analyze spatial data.

3 GIS software applications create basic standard attribute tables (SAT) with default fields and values. The GIS SAT can be edited to create specific fields and values. These fields contain a user defined name such as Building _ID and values such as 00155 which represents the building number 155. With interest in utilizing multimedia in the form of text, photographs, sound and computer animation in a spatial information system, commercial GIS software firms such as MultiGen Inc. and Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) have developed full real-time 3D applications for GIS spatial analyzing and visualization. The objective of this research is to take GIS SATs, use it as a GUIAT for linking to 3DMMD and to demonstrate the potential for developing a totally integrated GIS based 3D building management application. The 3DMMD approach described in this paper is a prototype and based upon: an interactive 3DMMD fusion of GIS 2D data with creating 3D models, renderings, animations and fly-bys, digital photographs, and text; a GIS application program with MGE products and Geomedia to manipulate the spatial data a GUIAT through Microsoft Windows NT operating system.

4 This study focuses on the Ft. Belvoir military family housing area known as Gerber Village (GBV). This area is approximately 118 acres with several building types such as single family housing, duplexes, and administrative and academic buildings. The site corresponds to the state plane coordinate system 1983, zone 4501, Virginia North, North American Datum (NAD) U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Aerial photographs of the site were taken at about one thousand feet elevation for a scale of 1:200. The site has a moderate slope, substantial on and off-street parking, numerous parking lots, and overhead utility lines, ornate lamp posts and several mature tree species along both sides of the streets.

5 The data for this study have two distinct components: (1) a GIS database and (2) a multi- media database for each building type with unique file folders populated with individual building digital images, 3D models, 3D renderings and animations. As part of on-going work at Ft. Belvoir, Performance Group Inc. (PGI) has developed a detailed GIS database. This database includes color aerial photographs and numerous features. The software used is Intergraph MGE products, Intergraph GeoMedia, Intergraph Project Architect, Bentley Microstation Se, Microstation/J and Microstation Triforma. The data is administered using Oracle as the Relational Database Management System (RDMS). The GIS is populated with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tri-Service System GIS Data Standards (TSSDS) features and Ft. Belvoir specific features. Each feature SATs has default attribute fields of which values or other information is used to describe the feature. These attribute fields and values are the basis of the research for directly linking GIS data to multimedia data.

6 In an Architectural sense, 3DM building represents a visual representation of an object, which is used to conceptualize the object and what impact the object may have on the surrounding environment, buildings or site. Many software developers began to create software specifically for 3DM. This 3DM application slowly became acceptable because of two reasons; (1) hardware was not economically available; and (2) software was not user friendly. However, the rapid improvement of hardware and software since 1994 has made both hardware and software economically available; and personal computers (PC) are capable of processing large amounts of data. 3DM for high definition areas of interest by Architects, Engineers and Planners shifted from small simple objects to buildings, building complexes, roads, bridges, vehicles, aircraft, urban centers, ports and other uses. GIS has also progressed to 3DMs. Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) pioneered GIS software applications and has developed GIS software with 3DM capability. Another firm MultiGen Inc. has developed real-time 3DM capabilities using GIS data. Both firms approach differs dramatically from this research and is beyond the scope of this paper. For this study, the approach is to develop a building facility management GIS system with the current available software; Intergraph GeoMedia, Intergraph Project Architect, Bentley Microstation Se, Microstation/J and Microstation Triforma.

7 The study area has fifty buildings comprised of seven different family housing types, one mixed-use building type, and one recreation building type. Each building type is identified in Ft. Belvoir GIS permanent building features by its distinctive building shape (polygon) as a two dimensional (2D) shape. Digital photographs were taken of each building representing the front elevation, back elevation, left elevation, right elevation, and surrounding site conditions with a Kodak DC50 digital camera. These digital photographs are converted to standard image file format. For this study the tiff format was chosen. Each building floor plan was previously created in Intergraph Project Architect, a 3DM software. Therefore by using Bentley Microstation Triforma and design file referencing a 3DM was easily created from the building footprint. Ft. Belvoir GIS contour features were then used for creating a digital terrain model (DTM) with Intergraph MGE Terrain Analyst. The DTM is referenced into Microstation as a 3DM design file. The 3D buildings with the DTM are used for generating 3D renderings and animation. In the Microstation rendering process a workflow is used. This work flow typically starts with methods for setting up lighting environments, creating and applying material definitions, setting up camera views, creating and recording flythrough, and animation creation and recording. While detailed discussion for each process is beyond the scope of this paper a brief discussion is followed. In rendering, lighting can make the difference between an average image and a truly photo-realistic image. Common lighting sources are global and source.

8 Source lighting defines specific lighting types and how an object is illuminated with a specific light source such as distant, point, spot and area. Global lighting defines illumination of every object from a single light source such as the sun. Material definitions add realism to computer-generated images of 3DMs. When a model is rendered, instead of producing simple colored surfaces, realistic textured surfaces are displayed. Material definitions can be simply pattern maps, bump maps, or a combination of the two. This process involves defining materials and applying materials. The example GUIs show opening the material palette and the material table. These two GUIs is where defining and assigning materials to any surface takes place. Camera view setup is used to position a camera at any location for a certain perspective using a certain lens. Creating flythroughs can greatly increase the visual perception and understanding. With the flythrough GUIs in Microstation setup, creation and recording is simple. For this rendering and flythrough study, a small test area is used that simulates the larger study area. After successful flythrough and movie creation, a multimedia database is created with digital photographs, images, 3D renderings and animation.

9 Multimedia in the 1970s meant that a sound track was synchronized to one or more slide projectors equipped with automatic timers (Olson, 1997). Today, however, multimedia implies the use of a PC or networked PCs with information presented through some combination of text, graphics, digital video, digital photographs, digital audio, sound and animation (Bill, 1994). In general, components of multimedia technology include specialized hardware, software and programming techniques. The primary hardware component being the desk top PC with multimedia capability, stereo speakers and a high-resolution monitor. Additional hardware may include a color flatbed scanner, digital camera, compact read/write disc (CDRW), zip hard drive and a video camera. Microsoft Windows networking (NT) operating system has multimedia capability. Used with Microsoft PowerPoint presentation application, it is a simple task to establish a hyperlink through hypertext to other data files or text files.

10 In recent years software development and PC development has increased cad efficiency and productivity to produce 3DM with a unique blend of polygonal modeling, vector modeling and terrain model in an integrated application package. An increase in utilizing multimedia information in GIS with multiple data sources such as maps, aerial photographs, ground photographs, text, and digital camera images with associated GIS databases can be used as visual analyzing tools of spatial problems of interest. An interactive multimedia system utilizes the concepts of interactivity, non- linear information retrieval and hypertext to organize and display text, digitized photographs, 3DMs, flythroughs, animation and 3D renderings using a GIS GUI attribute table. A hypertext link within the GIS database attribute table (GAT) is used for linking the multimedia data from a so-called multimedia database. A hypertext link is, in effect, a multimedia browser; and allows integration with the GIS multimedia database. Therefore the system includes two components: (1) the GIS attribute table (GISAT) and (2) a multimedia database.

11 The GISAT is used as the GUI to display the multimedia data and provide the user with an interactive tool to explore multimedia information. In the GISAT, fields are created and populated with hypertext. This hypertext is displayed in blue and is made possible through Microsoft Windows NT to access the Oracle RDBM. A sort of bridge from GIS to multimedia. The basic concept of a hypertext system is comprised of hypertext (nodes) and hyperlinks (relationships) (Nielson, 1990). Each hypertext node may have pointers, called hyperlinks, whose function is to re-direct the user to other nodes. The number of hyperlinks depends on the content of each node. Some nodes are related to many nodes and will have many hyperlinks, while other nodes serve only as destinations for hyperlinks and have no outgoing hyperlinks of their own.

12 Visual data of Ft. Belvoir Gerber Village, the buildings and surrounding site conditions is the heart of this multimedia database. In this GISAT database hypertext in each field are used to facilitate access to the multimedia data via its hyperlinks. The multimedia database was created and stored in its own unique file structure and made accessible by using Microsoft Windows NT. For example, the GIS GUI attribute table for building 155 in Gerber Village contains the named field Floorplan_1. The value associated with this field contains the hypertext Markup Language (HTML) document link to the Microstation design file called Floorplan_1.dgn. Within GeoMedia Professional, the geoworkspace (project) and database is opened. The user queries any building, clicks on the building, and the GISAT GUI is displayed. The user scrolls through the named fields and selects any field that has a blue underlined hypertext phrase. For instance, if the user selects the Front elevation picture field, the digital photograph will appear, while selecting the PowerPoint presentation field launches a slide presentation; selecting the Animation field launches a flythrough animation. The user is always in GIS, thus permitting visual analysis and spatial analysis simultaneously. It creates a simple method for cross-referencing relationships between map and land use features.


14 The integrating 3DMMD with GIS database approach described above provides a unique way to visually represent geographic features from within a GIS spatial framework; using a combination of spatial data in image/vector format, attribute data, digital photographs, 3DMs, flythrough and animation and 3D renderings; without any programming by using a desktop PC, Microsoft Windows NT, a GIS software application and cad software application. Current technology in PCs and GIS real-time applications has extended GIS into areas of military ground and air simulations. The next frontier seems headed for urban built-up areas temporal real-time 3D simulation.

15 Ft. Belvoirs Geographic Information Center and Performance Group, Inc. (PGI) provided support for this project. In particular, the author would like to acknowledge the contributions of PGI employees Pete McGraw, Vince Nicchitta, Wes Wood, Chris Landgraf, Matt Brussock, Jim Groves, Jr. and Brent Balcomb, in providing training, hardware support, software support, system administration support, GIS database training and support and access to Ft. Belvoirs GIS database. Pete McGraw was instrumental in developing this project. The author appreciates support from co-worker Ms. Karen Chambers who assisted in many ways. Specific commercial products mentioned in this paper are proprietary and trademarked by their respective companies. No publication of this paper is permitted without written permission from the author.

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