The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLIV-4/W1-2020
03 Sep 2020
 | 03 Sep 2020


K. Wong, C. Ellul, J. Morley, R. Home, and M. Kalantari

Abstract. The interest in and use of 3D models in built environments is rapidly increasing, and they are now a key component of decision-making in areas including climate change mitigation (e.g., calculating solar panel potential, flood modelling, modelling housing age for retrofitting of thermal insulation), urban planning and cadastral systems (modelling rights, restrictions and responsibilities in complex buildings, streamlining the process to issue planning permits, design of existing or new developments) and infrastructure (construction, transport, utility management and modelling, asset management). 3D models are also an integrator for the data underpinning smart cities – knowing where a sensor is in 3D space allows the data to be integrated with the surrounding context – for example, noise data could be integrated with traffic information. Reflecting this interest, national mapping and cadastral agencies (NMCA) including Ordnance Survey (GB) are now increasingly generating 3D mapping at national scale, and there is extensive research as to how this data can be integrated with another emerging source of 3D models such as building information modelling (BIM).

These trends were evident during the 3rd BIM/GIS Integration Workshop and 15th 3DGeoInfo 2020 events, which were co-hosted by University College London and Ordnance Survey (GB) in September 2020. The workshop and conference brought together international researchers from academia, industry, government and national mapping and cadastral agencies in the field of 3D geoinformation, in an interdisciplinary gathering of researchers in the fields of data collection, data management, data quality, data analysis, advanced modelling approaches, applications, users, visualisation, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and many more.

This year’s theme was Users and Use Cases. The workshop and conference covered a wide range of topics including 3D data acquisition and processing, 3D city modelling and related standards, visualisation and dissemination of 3D data, augmented and virtual reality, 3D and Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning. Three sessions of the BIM/GIS Integration Workshop were dedicated to Applications of BIM/GIS Integration, and an entire day of 3DGeoInfo 2020 to Users and Use Cases within 3DGeoInfo. Additionally, two sessions were specifically aimed at NMCA participants.

Although initially intended to be a face-to-face event in London, the team rapidly adjusted to the emerging COVID-19 situation, identifying an online solution that facilitated and encouraged participant interaction. This meant that the events could still provide a platform for learning, discussion, and exchange of ideas that they have been able to in previous years, as well as providing opportunities to promote international collaboration in these topics. This special issue of the ISPRS International Archives of Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences contains 23 papers selected by a double-blind peer review involving a minimum of two reviewers, presenting research on topics including visualisation, point cloud management, virtual reality, data interoperability, data quality, generating national 3D datasets, indoor 3D, urban planning/permits and underground data management.