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A memorandum of understanding signed by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and the Web3D Consortium allows them to collaborate on interoperable, Web-based geospatial services and could lead to innovations in the conversion of 2-D data into 3-D display, says Federal Computer News.
“We believe the incorporation of interactive, Internet-based 3-D graphics is the next logical step that will benefit users with a richer, more meaningful geospatial experience,” said Alan Hudson, president of Web3D.
Officials of both industry groups feel the time is right to begin developing the standards that would support Web-based 3-D visualization.
The proposed standards would allow users to flow 2-D data from applications such as computer-aided design geographic information systems into a 3-D environment in real time. That conversion is possible now, officials said, but would take weeks to process.
The two groups plan to coordinate on activities such as working on the X3D specification that the Web3D Consortium has already started developing for 3-D Web-based communications. They will also collaborate on the specifications that OGC has developed for displaying map data in standard Web browsers .
Officials expect it could take at least six months for an initial harmonization of the two groups’ specifications. Because they are all based on Extensible Markup Language, even that initial set of joint specifications would be immediately useful, they said.
A new version of Google Earth will soon hit the market that allows users to admire a whole gamut of cities in largely photorealistic detail. Last week Google announced a deal with NASA to capture the moon and Mars in 3D as well.
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