A Repository of Information Visualization
Techniques to Support the Design of 3D
Virtual City Models
Claudine Métral, Nizar Ghoula, Vitor Silva and Gilles Falquet
Abstract Virtual 3D city models are used for different applications such as urban
planning, navigation, pedestrian behaviour, historical information, or disaster man-
agement. These applications require rich information models that associate urban
objects not only with their geometric properties but also with other types of informa-
tion. When designing such models the choice of visualization techniques is far from
trivial because the city objects must be displayed together with additional informa-
tion, such as historical facts, planning projects, pollutant concentration, noise level,
etc. Finding relevant techniques depends on a set of criteria such as the type of
information, but also on the tasks that will be performed and the associated context.
Furthermore, a technique that is relevant when used in isolation may generate vis-
ual incompatibilities when used in conjunction with another one. We have defined a
model for the representation of information visualization techniques in 3D city mod-
els. We have implemented this model as an ontology and a knowledge base of tech-
niques currently used in 3D city models or 3D GIS. The goal of such an approach is
to provide a knowledge repository to support the design of 3D virtual city models in
which non-geometric information must be presented. In this chapter we describe the
model and the ontology of information visualization techniques that we designed.
We also show how the associated knowledge base can be used for the selection of
visualization techniques depending on different criteria, and for the detection of vis-
ual incompatibilities between techniques when used in the same scene.