OPENWEBGLOBE – AN OPEN SOURCE SDK FOR CREATING LARGE-SCALE VIRTUAL GLOBES ON A WEBGL BASIS
Keywords: Visualization, Algorithms, Virtual Reality, Web based, Point Cloud, Three-dimensional, Triangulation
Abstract. This paper introduces the OpenWebGlobe project (www.openwebglobe.org) and the OpenWebGlobe SDK (Software Development Kit) – an open source virtual globe environment using WebGL. Unlike other (web-based) 3d geovisualisation technologies and toolkits, the OpenWebGlobe SDK not only supports the content authoring and web visualization aspects, but also the data processing functionality for generating multi-terabyte terrain, image, map and 3d point cloud data sets in high-performance and cloud-based parallel computing environments. The OpenWebGlobe architecture is described and the paper outlines the processing and the viewer functionality provided by the OpenWebGlobe SDK. It then discusses the generation and updating of a global 3d base map using OpenStreetMap data and finally presents two show cases employing the technology a) for implementing an interactive national 3d geoportal incorporating high resolution national geodata sets and b) for implementing a 3d geoinformation service supporting the real-time incorporation of 3d point cloud data.