Open3D: Crowd-sourced distributed curation of city models

Zhihan Lu, Paul Guerrero, Niloy J. Mitra, Anthony Steed

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Detailed, large-scale 3D models of cities are important assets for many applications. While creating such models is difficult and time consuming, keeping them updated is even more challenging. In comparison, in many domains, crowd-sourcing of data is now an established process for expanding the scope or detail of data sets. In this paper, we describe the initial prototype implementation of Open3D, a crowd-sourcing platform for distributed curation of large-scale city models. We present an open architecture with interfaces that clearly separate model storage and indexing from viewing or editing. To support collaborative editing of extremely large models, we propose to use a modeling and model description paradigm that can integrate polygon-based modeling with parametric operations. We demonstrate the main concepts and prototype through an online city model that can be synchronously edited by multiple users, with live changes being propagated among clients. The main implementation consists of a set of web services, which support key functions such as model storage, locks for editing and spatial queries; a light-weight viewer based on the Cesium library, which runs on desktops and mobile devices; and a prototype editor, which clients can install to edit the models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 21st International Conference on Web3D Technology, Web3D 2016
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781450344289
StatePublished - Jul 22 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event21st International Conference on Web3D Technology, Web3D 2016 - Anaheim, United States
Duration: Jul 22 2016Jul 24 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 21st International Conference on Web3D Technology, Web3D 2016


Other21st International Conference on Web3D Technology, Web3D 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 ACM.


  • Architecture
  • Collaborative Editing
  • Large 3d Models
  • Procedural Edits
  • Shape Modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software
  • Artificial Intelligence


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