The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XL-1/W5
11 Dec 2015
 | 11 Dec 2015


D. Wagner, N. Alam, M. Wewetzer, M. Pries, and V. Coors

Keywords: Geometry, Validation, CityGML, 3D city model, Requirements, Validation Rules, Tolerances

Abstract. Geometric quality of 3D city models is crucial for data analysis and simulation tasks, which are part of modern applications of the data (e.g. potential heating energy consumption of city quarters, solar potential, etc.). Geometric quality in these contexts is however a different concept as it is for 2D maps. In the latter case, aspects such as positional or temporal accuracy and correctness represent typical quality metrics of the data. They are defined in ISO 19157 and should be mentioned as part of the metadata. 3D data has a far wider range of aspects which influence their quality, plus the idea of quality itself is application dependent. Thus, concepts for definition of quality are needed, including methods to validate these definitions. Quality on this sense means internal validation and detection of inconsistent or wrong geometry according to a predefined set of rules. A useful starting point would be to have correct geometry in accordance with ISO 19107. A valid solid should consist of planar faces which touch their neighbours exclusively in defined corner points and edges. No gaps between them are allowed, and the whole feature must be 2-manifold. In this paper, we present methods to validate common geometric requirements for building geometry. Different checks based on several algorithms have been implemented to validate a set of rules derived from the solid definition mentioned above (e.g. water tightness of the solid or planarity of its polygons), as they were developed for the software tool CityDoctor. The method of each check is specified, with a special focus on the discussion of tolerance values where they are necessary. The checks include polygon level checks to validate the correctness of each polygon, i.e. closeness of the bounding linear ring and planarity. On the solid level, which is only validated if the polygons have passed validation, correct polygon orientation is checked, after self-intersections outside of defined corner points and edges are detected, among additional criteria. Self-intersection might lead to different results, e.g. intersection points, lines or areas. Depending on the geometric constellation, they might represent gaps between bounding polygons of the solids, overlaps, or violations of the 2-manifoldness. Not least due to the floating point problem in digital numbers, tolerances must be considered in some algorithms, e.g. planarity and solid self-intersection. Effects of different tolerance values and their handling is discussed; recommendations for suitable values are given. The goal of the paper is to give a clear understanding of geometric validation in the context of 3D city models. This should also enable the data holder to get a better comprehension of the validation results and their consequences on the deployment fields of the validated data set.