[mapserver-dev] Updated Google Maps API and 3D

Stephen Woodbridge woodbri at swoodbridge.com
Tue Dec 4 07:44:37 PST 2012

On 12/4/2012 9:00 AM, Tom Payne wrote:
> Hi Stephen,
> On 3 December 2012 22:36, Stephen Woodbridge <woodbri at swoodbridge.com> wrote:
>> Sorry for the cross posting. The following article which is thin on details
>> raise some interesting questions in my mind related to Mapserver and
>> OpenLayers.
>> http://www.zdnet.com/google-dives-deeper-on-vector-based-maps-with-api-update-7000008233/?s_cid=e550
>> I know OpenLayers 3 is looking at potentially adding camera model to support
>> tilted views. Would this be a static definition to support tiling? Or would
>> the camera be able to be dynamically changed? This seems a lot like Google
>> Street View.
>> Has any thought been given to support for 2.5D or 3D features? Is there a
>> need for this?
> Yes, supporting 2.5D and 3D features is part of what we're working on
> for OpenLayers 3 at Camptocamp.

I thought I remembered this form the OL3 post a while back.

> Note that StreetView is quite different technology, it's closer to the
> skyboxes used to provide backgrounds in computer graphics.

Right, Google uses Flash to stitch together the individual images and to 
navigate through them. And I imagine there is a lot of pre-processing to 
organize them all.

>> If mapserver supported rendering orthogonal views or even a camera view
>> model them a guess a layer could be defined to pass that information to
>> mapserver to render in the same.
>> Mapserver devs - there was some discussion about supporting 2.5D objections
>> like buildings. In light of Google and Apple moving in these directions is
>> this an area that we should be discussing for a future version. Should be be
>> looking at a more flexible viewing model like a camera model as an option.
> Note that it's incredibly inefficient to re-generate all the tiles on
> the server whenever the camera position changes on the client.
> Instead, (almost) all systems work by sending normal tiles to the
> client and then having the client project them.

Right, I do not think this is viable to generate tiles for a movable 
camera. It probably makes more sense to just generate singleTile images 
of the view in question and you comment in the ticket this is already 
possible in OL3 if a server had support for defining a camera.

>> It looks like the OGC is working on this also, google "ogc web 3d service".
> My understanding from following the OGC discussions is that they were
> more focused on visualizing CityGML data.

I'm not up to speed on this, so I guess I need to do more reading.

>> Seems like these questions should be discussed if they are not already being
>> discussed.
> They are already being discussed (and implementation has started) for
> ol3 at Camptocamp.

Good to know. I worked at Computervision Corp for 17+ years, a company 
that developed computer aided design and drafting systems, and we did a 
lot of modeling and rendering of surfaces and solid models, so I am 
aware of the what goes into render such models. That was 15 years ago 
and computers are much faster these days but even so having support from 
a GL/OpenGL rendering pipeline really helps performance. That said I'm 
not sure we have access to it from the browser. Some initial work was 
done in mapserver to support using an OpenGL renderer to render through 
a HW graphics board, but I'm not sure if that ever got released or was 
anything more than an experiment.

So all in all, I think more important than the use cases I put out is 
that I think "we" as a community need to stay on top of the emerging 
industry trends and it sounds like you are doing that.

Thank you for your thoughts and insights.

-Steve W

> Regards,
> Tom

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