3D Location- Based Services



3D Location- Based Services
White paper
location-based services
Your business technologists. Powering progress
Towards 3D
Geospatial information and its use for
business have experienced a boom in the
last few years. The field is currently making
a shift from the classical 2D paradigm to a
true 3D paradigm. This whitepaper discusses
the most recent developments in 3D geoinformation and location-based services
(LBS) and summarizes the challenges and
opportunities for the coming years.
About the Authors
Edited by José F. Esteban-Lauzán, Head of
Innovation at Atos, Coordinator of the
ORCHESTRA and DEWS projects, and member
of the Atos’ Scientific Community, Spain
([email protected]). Also based on
contributions from:
Óscar Morales, Ángel Palomares, and Guadalupe
Rodríguez Díaz from the GEO Lab at Atos
Research and Innovation, Spain.
Prof. Miguel Ángel Bernabé at Universidad
Politécnica de Madrid (UPM, Mercator
Group); Dr. Denis Havlik at the Austrian
Institute of Technology (AIT); David Overton
at Eurogeographics; Dr. Thomas Usländer at
Fraunhofer IOSB; and Graham Vowles at Bloxtore.
The work of the teams of European Commission
co-funded projects ORCHESTRA (FP6 Contract
number 511678; http://www.eu-orchestra.org/),
DEWS (FP6 Contract number 045453;
http://www.dews-online.org/), SANY (FP6 Contract
number 033564; http://sany-ip.eu/), GIGAS (FP7Contract
number 224274; http://www.thegigasforum.eu)
and EO2HEAVEN (FP7 Contract number 244100;
http://www.eo2heaven.org/) should also be
The Boom of GeoInformation
Some Key Atos
2D Location-Based
Atos’ Vision and
Future Directions
3D Location-Based
Conclusions and
The reasons behind the growth of geoinformation usage in a variety of fields and the
state of play today.
Usage of geo-information in 2D models and
an examination of their shortcomings. The
introduction of 2.5D as an intermediate
A look at the challenges of 3D GISs and
LBSs and an investigation into the work
currently taking place and the open standards
developed to facilitate development. Specific
examples of 2.5D and 3D GISs and LBSs are
Evidence of Atos’ extensive expertise in geospatial information management and locationbased services.
Atos is a key player in geo-spatial information
on a global scale and already has plans to take
its work in a number of different directions, as
explain in this chapter.
A summary of issues and ideas covered in the
paper and a list of sources for further reading.
Use Cases
and Business
A look at the areas for current and potential
uses of 2.5D and 3D GISs and LBSs.
Towards 3D Location-Based Services
The Boom of
Geo-information (or geo-spatial information)
and geographic information systems (GISs)
have experienced a boom in recent years. For
centuries, humankind has used cartography
(mapmaking) to represent the Earth – or portions
of it – on a flat surface, in order to gain a better
understanding of the world and to solve practical
problems (navigation, exploration, planning, etc.).
Maps and mapmaking have been progressively
refined as the result of the evolution of the
mathematical framework on which cartography
is based and the development of instruments
used to make measurements (magnetic
compass, sextant, printing press, etc.).
The advent of electronic computers and
peripheral devices led to another revolution in
the field of cartography in the 20th Century. But
it was only in the late 1990s that geo-information
began to appear in other fields. Today, geoinformation is widely used by billions of people
around the world in their daily lives.
In GIS, computer-aided design (CAD), and
dedicated applications, geo-information is
currently being produced and consumed at a
rate never experienced before. It is used in a wide
range of applications covering a wide spectrum
of sectors and businesses: infrastructure
management, risk and emergency management,
marketing, business planning, logistics, urban
planning, resource management (oil, gas,
mining, etc.), and more. Geo-information is also a
cornerstone of future applications as it makes it
possible to establish location, which is one of the
key dimensions of context.
Geo-information is
an integral part of the
way we understand
the world.
Geo-information is here to stay; it has become
an integral part of the way we understand the
world. However, it is not free of challenges. This
whitepaper focuses on the challenge of 3D.
Although the most apparent milestone for its
popularity is probably the release of Google Earth
in 20051, there are several drivers that made the
boom possible, such as the Internet, increasing
storage and computing capacity, distributed
computing, service-oriented architectures (SOAs),
openness, open source software and open
standards (here, the role of the Open Geospatial
Consortium (OGC) should be noted as the
leading global organization in the development
of standards for geospatial and location-based
Google Earth was originally called EarthViewer 3D, created by Keyhole Inc., a company that was acquired by Google in 2004. http://www.google.es/intl/es/earth/index.html
OGC, Open Geospatial Consortium: http://www.opengeospatial.org/
Towards 3D Location-Based Services
2D LocationBased Services
Geospatial information is exchanged in electronic
format and consumed in dedicated or generalpurpose applications. The wide use of the
Internet, the trend towards distributed services,
the maturity of SOA approaches, and the
emergence of widely accepted open standards
(such as OGC’s web map services (WMS) or
web feature services (WFS)) have enabled the
creation, exchange and use of geo-information
in different sized ‘chunks’ (there is a tendency
to exchange small amounts of information)
where geo-information is simply consumed
(rather than used by experts for the long term
as before), with no physical support (DVDs, CDs,
tapes, paper, etc.) required.
In business, location-based services help in the management of stock, truck fleets, geographically
dispersed infrastructure, and to give a new dimension to marketing (geo-marketing) by exploiting a
customer’s additional location information.
Figure 1 shows a snapshot of an ORCHESTRA application for managing the impact of a disaster on
the road network. It also enables authorities to calculate alternative routes for existing traffic and
assess the economic and environmental impact of the measures taken.
Figure 1: A snapshot of an ORCHESTRA application for managing the impact of a disaster on a road network.
With respect to the consumption of geoinformation by the general public, there is an
increasing demand for quality information
(mainly, the underlying cartography). This
demand is natural on the consumer side; as we
become accustomed to using geo-information,
we desire more and better maps. However, the
demand also originates from the producers
of cartography, who spend large sums in the
generation of quality geo-information and do
not always see it used in mass products and
The ability to know the exact position of a
person, device or item along with the capability
to represent that person, device or item in its
surroundings opens a myriad of uses. This
information becomes richer when we know
the relative positions of items with respect
to each other, their orientation and speed.
This information is now available just using a
smartphone, the mobile communication device
with highest penetration rate in the current
This information allows the context for a person
or item at a given time and in any given location
to be established.
Location-based services are widespread today.
We use them to plan and undertake journeys
(of long or short distances), to check and view
the traffic status in a city (using real-time traffic
camera information or other means), to find out
where the nearest pharmacy or shopping mall is,
etc. The public sector also provides these kinds
of services to citizens, such as showing when
the next bus will arrive at a bus stop, or allowing
individuals to identify, geo-reference, and
communicate incidences in public infrastructure
(e.g. a broken streetlight or a damaged sidewalk).
Augmented Reality
The basic idea of augmented reality is to add
virtual information about a user’s surroundings
in order to provide them with a richer
perspective that takes context into account (the
virtual information provided must match the
user’s location and align with their needs and the
reason they are at that location).
Figure 2: Images from Barcelona City Council
AR Mobile App (Tempos 21).
More information is provided in Atos’ whitepaper
on mobile augmented reality3.
Most current augmented reality applications
present a 3D (or nearly 3D) image, but the
superimposed information rarely “knows”
about three-dimensionality so tags and other
information items are placed on top of the bidimensional coordinates where the tagged item
is located.
Towards 3D Location-Based Services
The Shortcomings of 2D
The personal and business uses of geoinformation covered so far are widely available
and publicized. And, however diverse they may
appear, they share a common trait: they are all
In spite of the dramatic advance and boom
of geo-spatial information and locationbased services, it is still mainly bi-dimensional
information being produced and consumed in a
world which is – at least – tridimensional.
The limitations of 2D geo-information and
applications are numerous, however only two
aspects will be covered here: The inaccurate
representation of reality and inaccurate or
incorrect rendering and – more importantly –
false interpretation of the information. A third
important limitation is the inability to solve
complex real-world problems with 2D models.
Inaccurate Representation
In the 2D world, maps are flat, heights are
indicated via contour lines or colors, and
volumetric features, like buildings, are rectangles.
This very primitive form of 2D representation
has been enriched over the years with different
techniques: Analog or digital photomontages,
the addition of polygonal surfaces to represent
features, texture maps, etc.
Difficulties of
2.5D as an Intermediate
Difficulties in interpreting geographic information
arise when the user is presented with 2D images
(maps, satellite images, orthophotos4, etc.) that
represent a 3D reality. For example, users may be
unable to tell exactly if one point or feature is at a
higher or lower level than another, if a surface is
concave or convex, etc.
Three-dimensional modeling and analysis have
been approached by adding a third dimension
(usually height) to conventional 2D maps and
In this respect, the results of an interesting
visualization experiment organized by M.A.
Bernabé (Technical University of Madrid (UPM),
Spain), Arzu Çöltekin (University of Zurich (UZH),
Switzerland) and Keith Clarke (University of
California Santa Barbara (UCSB), US) are useful.
For the experiment, more than 500 people of
varying degrees of expertise interpreted a set of
images from common “virtual globes” (Google
Earth, Bing, etc.) and orthophotos from major
websites. Preliminary results indicate that more
than 70 percent of users wrongly perceive relief5.
The results will be published later in 2011. The
test is available online at http://geocoder.aenaupm.es/percepcion/
repercussions for business applications as
they affect the modeling, analysis, design,
and simulation capabilities of demanding
applications (urban planning, emergencies, etc.).
Digital elevation models (DEMs), digital terrain
models (DTMs), and digital surface models
(DMSs) provide information about surfaces
and height, although the terms are used quite
loosely. DTMs model the bare terrain and DSMs
model the surface (whether natural terrain or
comprising human-made features, such as
houses). In most cases, DEM refers generically to
both types of model.
These models use remote sensing as well as
direct survey data. They provide good models,
with richer information than 2D images, but the
cost of high-quality DEMs is usually very high.
The US Geological Survey produces the National
Elevation Dataset, and EuroGeographics
provides EuroDEM, a digital representation of
the ground surface topography of Europe6.
Figure 3: Hillshade model derived from a DEM of the
Valestra area in the northern Apennines (Italy)7.
What these techniques provide is not true 3D, but
an approximation of 3D within 2D; what could be
called ‘fake 3D’. Although useful, and certainly
much better than plain 2D representations,
‘fake 3D’ does not represent reality well. This is
especially true for multi-scale environments and
for micro-scales.
A third dimension that may also be used to
represent information other than height, such as
population density or the number of speakers of
a language in a given area, for example, can also
be presented in this way.
Ortophotos are aerial photographs that have been geometrically corrected in order for the scale to be uniform.
Oral communication from Prof. M.A. Bernabé (on 13/03/2011)
Towards 3D Location-Based Services
3D LocationBased Services
3D GISs and location-based services (LBSs)
take advantage of true 3D modeling and
representation to better capture the interesting
features of reality for a given purpose. They
enable engineering, management, and business
processes which 2D GISs and LBSs cannot cater
to, as well as enriching the user experience,
thereby facilitating a truly immersive approach.
Figure 4: Alternative referencing systems and abstract space characterization are possible through the digital
nature of modern maps9.
Geographic Space
... Nested Hexagons as alternative to Traditional Square Grid (Cartesian)
The Challenges of 3D
Following Joseph K. Berry’s interesting posts on
the topic8, the current 2D approach for geographic
referencing is based on the classic Cartesian
framework, which utilizes squares and cubes as the
basic units for representing surface and volume.
3D GISs and LBSs pose specific challenges for
things such as data acquisition, modeling, analysis,
management, visualization, and technology; as
described by Neutens and Maeyer, “in recent
years, a wide range of 3D models have been
developed including voxels, tetrahedral networks
(TEN), constructive solid geometry (CSG), and
boundary representation (B-rep), and new data
collection techniques have emerged, such as
mobile mapping and laser scanning.”
2D Hexagon Grid
3D Polyhedron
Abstract Space
... Attribute Value (A) replacing Z Geographic Coordinate
A (attribute value)
Columns (X)
Rows (Y)
This approach worked quite well for 2D, but
does not really work for 3D, where the traditional
referencing system must call on alternative
coordinates (such as spherical coordinates)
or alternative geometric shapes (such as
pentagons, hexagons, dodecahedrons, and
icosahedrons). These geometric shapes enable
better 3D modeling than squares and cubes and
– having more sides than squares and cubes –
provide a better framework for measuring or
representing continuous movement.
2D Data Matrix
Surface Map
3D Data Matrix
Summary of the latest OGC 3D Summit (20/09/2011)10
Only a very limited set of examples for 2.5D and 3D GISs and LBSs are given:
Géoportail11, the French geoportal (developed and run by Atos Worldline), provides a great deal of
geo-information, including 3D geo-information that can be consumed upon installation of Terra
Explorer software.
Figure 5: Géoportail’s 3D functionality.
Work in 3D GISs and LBSs is currently taking place
in many universities and labs around the world,
and open standards to facilitate its development
are also being addressed by OGC, specifically
within the 3D Information Management (3DIM)
Working Group. This group aims to facilitate, “the
definition and development of interface and
encoding standards that enable software to
develop solutions that allow infrastructure owners,
builders, emergency responders, community
planners, and the traveling public to better manage
and navigate complex built environments.
Effective integration of these software data
and services has eluded the geospatial and
CAD industry for decades. Today, through the
cooperation of diverse stakeholders, integrated
infrastructure information systems will be
achieved. OGC members and partners will work
in an iterative development process to achieve
incremental demonstrations of real solutions.”
Taken from “Referencing the future”, Joseph K. Berry, http://www.innovativegis.com/basis/Papers/Other/3D_GIS/
Towards 3D Location-Based Services
Like Géoportail, many national spatial
infrastructures (SDIs) – the specialists’
for geoportals – provide 2.5D and 3D
information of their territories, together
thematic (non-geographic) data.
Figure 6: Geovirtual’s 3D globe navigation.
Geovirtual is a Spanish company that provided
the Glinter12 application to enable 3D flights over
the terrain.
Figure 7: Google’s 3D view of San Francisco13.
Google provides a browser plug-in to use Google
Maps in 3D in combination with Google Earth.
Figure 8: gvSIG’s 3D viewer.
Global Geomatics currently uses StreetMapper
360 for quick 3D mapping of highways, roads,
railways and other infrastructure in Africa.
gvSIG has recently announced version RC1 of
Capaware15 provides an open-source 3D geographical multilayer framework.
Many specialized companies are working
on 3D instrumentation, data acquisition, and
visualization technologies.
screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET, published at http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20003451-264.html
Towards 3D Location-Based Services
Use Cases and
Business Opportunities
There are many current and potential uses of
2.5 and 3D GISs and LBSs, a few are mentioned
Logistics/Supply Chain
3D simulations and management software and
systems can greatly improve logistics. Layers
describing geo-information and warehouse
facilities are superimposed upon with information
about routes, utilization, throughput, and other
parameters than impact on productivity and
The software can vividly show real or simulated
flows of trucks, forklift trucks, and other machinery
within the premises and enable simulations
that help assess the impact of redesigning the
warehouses and docks, or modifying transport
routes or stock configurations until performance
is optimized.
GreenIT/Data Centers
With 3D GISs and LBSs, the best location and
orientation (for items where this parameter
is important) of devices and items in data
centers can be carefully planned, enabling
better management: Reduction of lengths of
cable used in connections, better mapping of
temperature, humidity, and other important
sensor information, better placement of the
sensor networks, etc.
3D GISs and LBSs may also be used in
conjunction with relevant sensors to assess and
reduce the emissions and carbon footprint of
public or private fleets.
Infrastructures (Road,
Railway, Telecom, Energy
& Utilities)
GISs are widely used today for the management
of infrastructure, including roads, railways, cable
networks, cellular telephony antennas, oil & gas
prospects, etc. However, there are limitations
due to the lack of interoperability and lack of 3D
Interoperability is a must even in-house; an
organization’s system must not only be able to
communicate with external systems, but also
with other internal systems. The increasing
use of sensors and other devices – such as
unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) which are
used for inspection and can take photographs,
videos, and other measurements from airborne
sensors – means ‘internal interoperability’ is key
for efficient infrastructure management. This can
only be properly supported by true 3D systems,
which are able to capture and represent features
with the necessary detail, in a multi-scale and
(ideally) seamless manner.
Urban Planning
Urban planning takes place in a challenging
environment: It requires multi-scale information,
it affects the surface and underground
worlds, and is never a stand-alone activity; it
has to contemplate many different views at
once (human comfort, overall performance,
multimodal transportation means, and water or
air quality, among others).
An activity such as extending a subway line
must take into account the location of water, gas,
cable, and electricity lines, other subway lines,
the sewage network, traffic tunnels, garages,
underground water deposits and currents, etc.
Having accurate 3D representations of these
information layers is vital for risk reduction and
efficiency improvements in the design and
development phases.
Figure 10: 3D Modeling of Geology and Hydrogeology
in Urban Planning17.
OGC provides the “City Geography Markup
Language (CityGML) Encoding Standard”18 for
the representation, storage, and exchange of
virtual 3D city and landscape models.
Figure 9: MVS’s Virtual Cable ™ Navigationtechnology.
Navigation aids can be made more effective with
3D augmented reality. For example, MVS’s Virtual
Cable™ technology16 provides an application for
automotive navigation that shows the route to
be followed as a color cable suspended over the
The image that guides the driver is produced by a
special volumetric head-up display (HUD) device
which is located behind the dashboard of the
car. The need for this kind of display is a current
limitation of the technology, but developments
in 3D visualization are likely to remove this sort of
barrier, making adoption more widespread and
Prof. Dr. Peter Wycisk, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, http://www.fona.de/en/forum/2007/exhibition.php?we_objectID=5265&pic=12&y=2007
Towards 3D Location-Based Services
Risk & Emergency Management
Risk & Emergency Management is a field that can greatly benefit from 3D GISs and LBSs. There
are already some very advanced solutions for 2D and 2.5D GISs, both for managing natural and
human-made disasters. 3D would enable the ideal seamless transition from outdoor to indoor spaces,
as well as helping decision making (e.g. whether terrains where people can look for shelter should
be elevated or sunken, accurate placement and transport of resources, etc.) and simulations (3D
diffusion of a smoke plume or a “toxic cloud”).
Figure 11: 3D propagation model of the 2004 tsunami wave (US Geological Survey)19.
It must be noted that in this context, sensors
are not merely relatively small devices with
rather autonomous behavior that communicate
measurements of different kinds; they are
anything that provides valuable information
(including people, who produce ever-increasing
amounts of geo-referenced information).
Quote Havlik, D. (2011):
“…the OGC defines the term Observation as a piece
of structured and semantically very rich information
containing e.g. the value, unit, temporal-, domainand spatial- context, provenance, ownership, quality,
uncertainty and process description. Observations
may indeed be a result of “direct” observation
of the natural world by people or sensors, but
the OGC definition explicitly includes the idea of
historic observation repositories, and observations
generated by various numerical models.”
Such developments can be applied to other situations, such as modeling and simulation of crowd
behavior during emergencies. This can improve the knowledge of risk professionals, as well as
enhancing the protocols to be implemented during an emergency. Human-made disasters usually
occur at locations and premises, and at a scale, that makes 3D a necessary feature in the design and
implementation of critical procedures such as evacuation. Additional technology must be coupled to
the 3D GIS system in order to portray relevant features in these micro-scale environments (buildings,
subways, garages, etc.).
Figure 12: Indoor Navigable Data Model (Lee, 2004b).
The relative maturity of environmental
applications in the use of new technologies is
fostered both by usage and by political efforts,
such as INSPIRE (European Directive for the
harmonization of spatial information in Europe),
GMES (Global Monitoring for the Environment
and Security), SEIS (Shared Environmental
Information System), and GEOSS (Global Earth
Observation System of Systems), in which the
European Commission and the European Space
Agency play key roles.
Besides the application of 2D and 3D GIS
techniques in medical imaging and the
ambitious Virtual Physiological Human initiative
(which is very interesting but outside the scope
of this whitepaper), 3D GISs and LBSs have an
important role to play in the healthcare sector.
One example is the fusion of healthcare and
environmental information in order to assess the
impact of environmental factors on health. This
is done in different spatial and temporal scales,
from short term (epidemic outbreak) to long
term (impact of water quality on the health of
the population in a given location).
Environmental applications have been among the first to exploit the latest developments in geoinformation, such as the widespread use of open standards or the latest advances in sensor networks.
The degree of advancement is such that researchers are already talking about the “Observation Web”;
the mixture of 2.5D and 3D geo-information, overlaid sensor measurements, and other thematic
information layers. This “Observation Web” would be the environmental equivalent of the “Earth’s
electronic skin”, proposed by Murray in 1999.
An example of this is the prediction of cholera
outbreaks. Scientists have shown that a
correlation exists between the presence of a type
of algae and the outbreak of cholera epidemics.
Information from in situ sensors and satellite
images can be processed in order to assess the
presence of specific algae in the water, which
combined with other sources of information, can
help predict likely cholera outbreaks and launch
the necessary pre-outbreak measures.
Photo: http://walrus.wr.usgs.gov/tsunami/sumatraEQ/SumatraNW1pic.html
Video: http://walrus.wr.usgs.gov/tsunami/sumatraEQ/images/sum2TNW_small.mov
Towards 3D Location-Based Services
Some Key
Atos Projects
Atos has extensive expertise in geo-spatial
information management and locationbased services. Atos has led remarkable
projects and initiatives in this field. There
are many other projects besides the French
Géportail mentioned above, the four most
recent of which, that directly address the use
cases and business opportunities presented
in Section 5, are presented below.
ORCHESTRA – Environmental Risk & Emergency
The ORCHESTRA project20, led by Atos, constituted a milestone in GISs and LBSs, since it provided a
sound architectural framework for geospatial applications based on relevant standards (OGC, W3C,
ISO/CEN, OASIS), demonstrated the validity of the approach in several real-world implementations,
and piloted several advanced features such as semantic catalogs and Geo-DRM (digital rights
The four implementations addressed different application scenarios of interest: The management of
forest fires, the management of floods, the impact of disasters on road networks, and maritime pollution.
Figure 13: ORCHESTRA – Simulation of affected areas during a flood in the Tordera basin (Spain).
ORCHESTRA was the first, and is still the only, software architecture that was granted ‘Best Practice’
status by OGC.
DEWS – Risk & Emergency Management
DEWS21, a project led by Atos, is a new generation of early warning systems, designed for use in any
location and for any type of risk. Its first implementation focuses on the risk of tsunamis in the Indian
Figure 14: DEWS – Estimation of affected areas during a tsunami event in Indonesia.
Prof. Dr. Peter Wycisk, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, http://www.fona.de/en/forum/2007/exhibition.php?we_objectID=5265&pic=12&y=2007
Towards 3D Location-Based Services
DEWS enables the rapid detection of an event, in this example, a tsunami, and the calculation of
its propagation; the areas that it will likely affect (and the probable severity of the impact). But its
power resides also in its capacity to distribute alerts instantly, through more than 10 communication
channels (fax, e-mail, SMS, radio, sirens, broadcast or narrowcast TV-overlay, etc.).
Figure 15: DEWS – Warning message superimposed on TV.
The warnings and alarms are sent in a
personalized way: Each person receives the
right message, through the desired channel, in
their preferred language, and according to their
situation or role during the event (tourist, local
civilian, member of an authority, member of the
emergency services, etc.).
There are two configurations of DEWS: One
for National Centers, where the system links to
local sensor networks and focuses on the local
(national) situation, and one for Regional Centers,
where the system links to sensor networks
in the local country and abroad, and shares
the information and alerts with neighboring
countries. The National Center configuration was
installed in Indonesia in October 201122.
EO2HEAVEN – Healthcare
EO2HEAVEN is an ongoing initiative (and a
GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of
Systems) official pilot) to improve understanding
of the complex relationships between
environmental changes and their impact on
human health. The project monitors changes
resulting from human activities, with emphasis
on atmospheric, river, lake, and coastal marine
pollution. EO2HEAVEN follows a multidisciplinary
and user-driven approach involving public
health stakeholders who work closely with
technology and service providers in both the
earth observation and in-situ environmental
monitoring domains. The result of this
collaboration is the design and development
Atos has extensive
expertise in geospatial information
management and
of a GIS based upon an open and standardsbased spatial information infrastructure (SII)
that is envisaged to become a helpful tool for
researching human exposure to and the early
detection of potential health endangerments.
The EO2HEAVEN project is scheduled to finish
in early 2013.
23 Towards 3D Location-Based Services
Planning and Transport
Figure 16: MUGAGABE – Planning and Management of cyclist routes and infrastructure in Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain).
MUGAGABE is a system for urban transport
planning, specifically, for the planning
and management of the cycle routes and
infrastructure of the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz, in the
Basque Country, Spain.
The system enables the public authorities (in this
case, the staff at the Municipality) to plan and
manage cycling routes in and around the city,
including interfaces with roads and signals along
the lanes, amongst others.
The system also allows for bidirectional
communication; that means for citizen
participation with individuals providing feedback
or informing the local authorities about incidents
that require attention: A faulty lane surface, a
damaged signal, a flooded area, etc.
ADIENC – Mobile Land
Figure 17: ADIENC – Mobile Land Planning in Cantabria (Spain) showing the iPhone look and feel of the application.
ADIENC is an ambitious project for the Regional
Government of Cantabria (Northern Spain).
The objective of the project is to present geoinformation on mobile device screens, enabling
users to interact with maps and geo-referenced
information. This was achieved in a multi-platform
way (instead of making dedicated developments
for each device and operating system), making
only minor platform-specific adjustments in the
final development phase to ensure the integrity
and coherence of the graphic user interfaces.
The result is compliant with OGC standards (so
the mobile device can show geographic layers
from servers using the WMS standard).
The system has been developed and tested
for Windows Mobile 6.5 and 6.1, Blackberry’s
RIM, Nokia’s Symbian, iPhone 3G, and Google’s
Towards 3D Location-Based Services
It is worth noting that the whole project lasted just nine months, during which Atos’ trimestral mobile
market studies showed continuous changes in the predominance of one device or operating system
over the others. That was the main driver for the decision to go for a multi-platform approach until
the market stabilizes.
Geo-enabled Management of Cultural Heritage in
Santiago de Compostela
This system integrates GISs and LBSs with a document management system (DMS), and enables the
public administration to manage information about historical buildings; cultural heritage is associated
with information and documents (all geo-referenced).
Atos is one of the key
players in geospatial
information at a
global level.
The whole system resides in one server that provides cartographic information and all other services.
The system calls on products from ESRI, OpenText and Oracle, and is compliant with OGC WMS and
WFS standards, with additional customizations.
Figure 18: Geo-enabled management of cultural heritage in Santiago de Compostela.
These are just a few examples of the GIS and LBS systems and applications that Atos is currently
providing to customers.
Towards 3D Location-Based Services
Atos’ Vision and
Future Directions
Atos is one of the key players in geospatial
information at global level, the first major IT
services company to push for open standards
and open source implementations, and the
leader of milestone research & development
(R&D) projects.
Atos’ power as IT provider for geospatial services,
and what distinguishes it from competitors is
flexibility: Atos works with open standards (OGC,
W3C, ISO, etc.), open-source software, proprietary
software, and third-party products and services
(ESRI, Oracle, ERDAS, etc.) in a seamless way
in order to provide the best solution for each
customer’s business needs. In addition, Atos
applies new business models (such as High-Tech
Transactional Services (HTTS), Public-Private
Partnerships (PPP), and Revenue Sharing) in
order to support customers during the current
financial crisis that sees many businesses are
transitioning towards a “new normal”.
Future directions of work include, among others:
True 3D modeling and representation, with an
emphasis on indoor environments.
Internet of things and big data approaches for
geo-spatial information.
Crowdsourcing as added value and enabler
emergencies, etc.).
Atos’ power as
IT provider for
geospatial services is
Location in the cloud, and cloud orchestration
to avoid vendor lock-in.
Embedding business intelligence and
analytics results in geo-information layers.
3D and advanced 2D geo-information for
smart cities.
Towards 3D Location-Based Services
and References
Geo-information (or geo-spatial information),
geographic information systems (GISs), and
location-based services (LBSs) have experienced
a boom in recent years, both in people’s
professional and personal lives.
Havlik, D. et al. “From Sensor to Observation Web with Environmental Enablers in the Future Internet”
(accepted for publication in MDPI’s Sensors Journal, in 2011). Pre-final and final versions facilitated by Dr.
Havlik on 05/02/2011 and 15/03/2011 respectively.
Ristol, S. (Ed.) “Mobile Augmented Reality – One Step Beyond” Atos Whitepaper.
Bernabé, M.A. Oral and e-mail communications (13 and 14/03/2011)
Esbrí M.A., Esteban J.F., Hammitzsch M., Lendholt M., Mutafungwa E. “DEWS: Distant Early Warning
System – Innovative system for the early warning of tsunamis and other hazards”. (Jornadas
Ibéricas de Infraestructuras de Datos Espaciales, JIDEE 2010. Lisbon, Portugal, 27-29/10/2010).
Zambuni R. “Towards Intelligent Cities with 3D City GIS Initiatives,” Infrastructure Today, 31-34, April 2010
Neutens, T; Maeyer, P. (Eds.) Developments in 3D Geo-Information Sciences. Springer-Verlag Publication
Douglas, J.; Usländer,T.; Schimak, G.; Esteban, J.F.; Denzer, R. “An open distributed architecture for sensor
networks for risk management”. Sensors Journal, Special Issue: «Sensors for Disaster and Emergency
Management Decision Making» (Online at http://www.mdpi.net/sensors/) 8 (2008), Nr.2, S.1755-1773;
ISSN: 1424-8220
Kanellopoulos I. & Klopfer M. (Eds.) “The ORCHESTRA Book”. Copyright by the ORCHESTRA Consortium
2008. ISBN 978-3-00-024284-7. http://www.eu-orchestra.org/docs/ORCHESTRA-Book.pdf
Usländer, T. (Ed.), 2007. Reference Model for the ORCHESTRA Architecture Version 2 (Rev 2.1),
Deliverable D3.2.3 ORCHESTRA FP6 Integrated Project 511678, OGC Best Practices Document 07-097,
Berry, J.K. “Referencing the Future,” (GeoWorld, 2007).
http://www.innovativegis.com/basis/Papers/Other/3D_GIS/ (accessed 13/03/2011)
Lee, J. 3D GIS in Support of Disaster Management in Urban Areas (18/12/2005).
http://lbs360.directionsmag.com/articles/index.php?article_id=2049 (accessed 14/03/2011)
Kwan, M.P.; Lee J. “Emergency response after 9/11: the potential of real-time 3D GIS for quick emergency
response in micro-spatial environments”. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems 29 (2005)
93–113. Elsevier
Lee, J., 2004b «3-D GIS for Geo-coding Human Activity in Micro-scale Urban Environments» in
Geographic Information Sciences: Springer’s Lecture Notes in Computer Science Computers (LNCS
3234). Eds. Egenhofer, M.; Freksa, C.; and Miller, H. (Springer, New York) pp 162-178
Lange, E. “The limits or realism: perceptions of virtual landscapes”. Landscape and Urban Planning 54
(2001) 163-182. Elsevier
BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research)
http://www.fona.de/en/forum/2007/exhibition.php?we_objectID=5265&pic=12&y=2007 (accessed
ORCHESTRA Project. http://www.eu-orchestra.org (accessed 14/03/2011)
DEWS Project. http://www.dews-online.org/ (accessed 14/03/2011)
DEWS installation in Indonesia. http://www.dews-online.org/news/-/blogs/dews-installation-at-bmkg-injakarta-indonesia?_33_redirect=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dews-online.org%2Fnews%3Fp_p_
id%3Dcolumn-1%26p_p_col_count%3D1 (accessed 25/10/2011)
OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium). http://www.opengeospatial.org/ (accessed 14/03/2011)
OGC 3D Summit. http://www.vector1media.com/events/event-coverage/23063-the-ogc-3d-summitdelivers-advancements-and-challenges.html (accessed 25/10/2011)
EO2HEAVEN Project. http://www.eo2heaven.org/ (accessed 14/03/2011)
SANY Project. http://www.sany-ip.eu/ (accessed 14/03/2011)
Géoportail. http://www.geoportail.fr/ (accessed 13/03/2011)
EuroGeographics. http://www.eurogeographics.org/content/products-services-eurodem (accessed
Glinter. http://www.glinter.net/website/public/index.htm (accessed 14/03/2011)
gvSIG3D. http://gvsig3d.blogspot.com/ (accessed 14/03/2011)
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However impressive the technology is, the
limitations of 2D geo-information and applications
are numerous, and notable for some business
applications. True 3D GISs and LBSs are still
under development, but some applications and
systems already exist. Technological evolution
will make 3D as widespread as 2D is today. As
these technologies become available, the “that’s
nice” phase will quickly move on to the “I can’t
work/live without it” phase.
Over the last decade Atos has led, and continues
to lead, important initiatives in this field. It provides
customers with powerful systems and solutions
for demanding applications, such as emergency
management, urban planning, healthcare and
risk management.
Towards 3D Location-Based Services
About Atos
Atos is an international information technology
services company with annual 2010 pro forma
revenues of EUR 8.6 billion and 74,000 employees in 42 countries at the end of September
2011. Serving a global client base, it delivers
hi-tech transactional services, consulting and
technology services, systems integration and
managed services. With its deep technology
expertise and industry knowledge, it works
with clients across the following market sectors:
Manufacturing, Retail, Services; Public, Health &
Transport; Financial Services; Telecoms, Media &
Technology; Energy & Utilities.
Atos is focused on business technology that
powers progress and helps organizations to
create their firm of the future. It is the Worldwide
Information Technology Partner for the Olympic
Games and is quoted on the Paris Eurolist
Market. Atos operates under the brands Atos,
Atos Consulting and Technology Services, Atos
Worldline and Atos Worldgrid.
Atos, the Atos logo, Atos Consulting, Atos Worldline, Atos Sphere, Atos Cloud and Atos Worldgrid are registered trademarks of Atos SA. December 2011
© 2011 Atos.

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