For more than a century spatial scientists have sought to mathematically describe, illuminate, and visualize various forms of spatial surfaces, and other 3-D and higher dimensional spatial data. In the early years these were mostly physical terrain surfaces illustrated under the rubric of hill shading. In the first half of the 20th century rapid developments in 3-D visualization occurred largely in air photo and analogue photogrammetry. Beginning in the 1960s it became feasible to implement quantitative formulations in computing machines. This provided the opportunity to operationalize the mathematical theory in a digital virtual environment that was much more flexible than before. At about that time the use of homogeneous coordinate transformations provided a major breakthrough for digital 3-D object visualization. The involvement of interactive control and visualization techniques soon followed. Spatial surfaces, and especially topographic surfaces, were among the more popular objects. Since that time the theory of spatial surfaces and objects, spatial data structure designs, and the technology of display hardware have continued to develop and enhance the 3-D spatial visualization processes. This presentation will reflect on these conceptual and technical developments in spatial 3-D visualization from the perspective of four decades of involvement in the field. Comments and suggestions will be offered for suggestions of future developments.
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- Perspectives on 3-D Visualization of Spatial Geodata and Future Prospects
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
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