Analytical 3D Views and Virtual Globes — Scientific Results in a Familiar Spatial Context

ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 6 January 2010

Dirk Tiede, Stefan Lang

“In this paper we introduce analytical three-dimensional (3D) views as a means for effective and comprehensible information delivery, using virtual globes and the third dimension as an additional information carrier. Four case studies are presented, in which information extraction results from very high spatial resolution (VHSR) satellite images were conditioned and aggregated or disaggregated to regular spatial units. The case studies were embedded in the context of: (1) urban life quality assessment (Salzburg/Austria); (2) post-disaster assessment (Harare/Zimbabwe); (3) emergency response (Lukole/Tanzania); and (4) contingency planning (faked crisis scenario/Germany). The results are made available in different virtual globe environments, using the implemented contextual data (such as satellite imagery, aerial photographs, and auxiliary geodata) as valuable additional context information. Both day-to-day users and high-level decision makers are addressees of this tailored information product. The degree of abstraction required for understanding a complex analytical content is balanced with the ease and appeal by which the context is conveyed.”