Canonical view in 3D cities

Virtual city models are useful for navigation planning or the investigation of unknown regions. However, existing rendering systems often fail to provide optimal views during the exploration, introduce occlusions, or show the buildings from the top only, which limits the amount of useful visual information accessible to the user. In consequence, users are forced to interact more extensively with the application to avoid these shortcomings. This process can be quite time-consuming.

In this paper, we propose a new technique based on canonical views to address these problems. We compute every building's canonical view and, dynamically, transform it correspondingly, so that it is easy to identify under all camera angles. A user study was conducted to assess how this technique compares to a regular view; our method improves the recognizability of the buildings and helps the users explore the virtual city more efficiently. The results indicate that using canonical views is beneficial for efficient navigation in virtual cities.

This project was implemented in C++ with OpenGL and GLSL.

This project was finished on the 10th of October, 2014
Associated paper
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