Geographical visualization is situated in the context of the Geographical Information System (GIS) development and it is used on a wider scale of GIS (Hernandez, 2007). GIS includes methods and techniques developed in order to represent features of the real world in the virtual environment of informational technology. The representations of the real world features are done as closest to the models created by the human mind (Bishr, 1998).
Moreover, geovisualization is the consequence of highly progress of computational techniques in the last decades. A defining element of geovisualization is the role and the emphasis of the human understanding developed on the basis of visual processes (Hernandez, 2007).
Geovisualization offers…show more content… In the last decades, the demand for virtual urban models development has increased constantly and three-dimensional models have attracted numerous researchers in urban planning (Zhou et al., 2004).
In order to view the virtual reality on computer screens, three components are needed namely hardware, software and data regarding the study area. There are abundant 3D models of urban centres, but if 3D models are not developed, these models can be built using 2D layers from GIS. Having the footprints of the buildings in 2D, we can extrude those using GIS techniques and software. Besides building footprints, we can utilize topographical data obtained from points or topographic contours, roads and sidewalks (Levy, 2005).
Using 3D visualization in urban planning and development may help in public debates among developers, planners and residents. Very often, concerns related to urban growth are different among these three factors, since each of them has diverse interests in urban development. Involving 3D visualization and virtual reality models in urban planning can reduce the issues those may arise from the urban growth (Levy,…show more content… Consequently, the general public may have access to download and analyse the entire city using virtual reality, by visualizing and moving through the city (Zhou et al., 2004).
The main advantage of using virtual reality in urban planning and development includes the possibility to review and modify the proposed designs prior to the construction. Moreover, these virtual 3D models can help in tourism promotion for different cities (Levy, 2005).
The use of 3D-urban-GIS permits decision makers and planners to make assignments regarding the consequences of different urban developments before the realization of those developments. By doing this, numerous issues may be avoided and citizens may be informed regarding the new developments in their city. Additionally, 3D-urban-GIS can be used to analyse the environmental impact of the new developments towards air, light and green space (Köninger & Bartel, 1998).
By involving 3D models for cities development, urban planners and decision makers can extract the best information regarding the buildings those are about to be developed. Moreover, 3D urban models can improve the accuracy of cognitive spatial visualization among both specialists and non-specialists (Rautenbach et al.,