S. Bleisch, S. Nebiker

FHNW, Institute of Geomatics Engineering, Muttenz, Switzerland


The aim of this project is to investigate how highly detailed 3D terrain and building models can be utilised as base data for printed 2D tourist maps and for a flexible interactive 3D information system addressing a variety of users. Cartography is the art or technique of creating maps or map-like representations of the real world. Rendering 2D views from 3D models in contrast is a computer graphics task. In order to derive a useful 2D map for tourist orientation from 3D models, cartographic knowledge needs to guide the visualisation and rendering process. The area and objects of the open-air museum Ballenberg with about 100 original century-old buildings from all over Switzerland are used to study how detailed digital 3D models can serve as base data for print map design. Several aspects were found to influence the creation of efficient 2D tourist maps of the area. The project uses Cinema 4D to vary and analyse parameters like scales, textures, level of detail, surroundings, projection, etc. of the buildings, the woods and the terrain. The goal is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the 3D base data for printed tourist map generation and to provide guidelines on how to achieve effective and appealing results.

The second part of the project researches how the same 3D base data can be used for an interactive information system addressing different users from children and adult museum visitors to architectural researchers. All those users have very different requirements and much information like signposts, waste bin locations, panoramic views, detailed interior constructions of buildings and cross sections is available for extending the 3D visualization. This information is present in several formats and forms and requires varying ways of integration into a 3D information system. The project employs a prototype to conceptualise and evaluate the possibilities for inclusion of this information, for the combination of 2D and 3D presentations and it suggests suitable methods for information linking and retrieval. The aspects regarding presentation of variable information content according to different user requirements will be studied in a later phase of the project. The findings of these project phases are partly specific to the information and models available of the study region Ballenberg. But the compiled guidelines and suggestions may be applicable more generally to the use of 3D data for creating print maps or 3D information systems in rural areas and for open-air museums and exhibitions.