3DTGIS provides an innovative 3D topology-based, non-manifold representation approach that enables the ability to integrate a solids modeling capability with COTS Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to improve battlefield decision making.
“Long experience indicates that, all else being equal, military practitioners and their civilian supervisors who purposely make geography work for them are winners more often than not, whereas those who lack sound appreciation for the significance of geography succeed only by accident.”
– John Collins, Military Geography: For Professionals and the Public
Effective geospatial intelligence requires the integration of multiple types of information, including information relating to terrain, buildings, roads, bridges, earthworks, etc. Each type of information must be collected, represented, and modeled at a level of detail and fidelity commensurate with each analyst’s requirements. Today’s quick-response, high-precision warfare has increased the need for visualizing representations in high fidelity and in analyzing representations with physics-based accuracy. Military planners require line-of-sight analysis, network analysis, penetration analysis, munitions selection/assessment, and battle damage forecasts.
There is growing interest within the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) community in integrating 3D and GIS to take advantage of 3D GIS’s capability for better visual effects and for more powerful analytic capability than its 2D GIS counterpart. 3D based graphics provide increased visualization functionality such as rendering, zoom and pan, rotation, and viewpoint manipulation. Although better visualization greatly increases user understanding of 3D entities within a geographic space, there remains a need for integrated analyses capabilities that support complex battlefield decision making.
The focus of KBSI’s Implementation of a Geospatial Three Dimensional Topology Model (3DTGIS) initiative was to provide 3D-based analytic computations that can satisfy the more demanding requirements of battlefield decision making. 3TDGIS uses an innovative 3D topology-based, non-manifold representation approach that allows analysts to integrate a solids modeling capability with the COTS GIS systems that are widely used in the DoD community.
The 3TDGIS technology’s radial-edge representation of individual objects captures the topological relationship within every 3D geographic entity and stores those relationships, providing a theoretically sound foundation for intra-relation queries. An Octree was used in the 3TDGIS technology to provide the inter-relation information for relationships among disjoint objects. In the 3TDGIS initiative’s multi-representation approach, Octree was used to complement 3D topological boundary representations, and the integration of the two schemas served as the best option for the final 3DTGIS technology.