User:!i!/3D codesprint

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This page is for internal communication only! For presenting the sprint to public, see /External


The topic 3D grows within the community and a full toolchain is available (see 3D Development) today. But essential parts for bringing the 3D experience to consumers are still unfinished and seem to be too big to get done only in spare time. As some of the developers are currently leaving university or are available as freelancers, this might be a good chance to spend a few months dedicated to this topic.

What to do

We want to make 3D data available to end users with a good user experience. This means we need to put individual components together and present them as a single platform.

Consumers will usually expect a service comparable to Google Street View (performance, level of detail/realism) but with the pros of an open project: Everybody can contribute, every place can work on getting such details, results can be used in any way imaginable...


For offering a useful 3D OpenStreetMap service, we need the following components. Some current examples are listed below.

  • offline native client
    To get best performance (esp. for mobile platforms), a native client allows hardware accelerated and cached interactive display of the 3D data.
  • 3D streaming service
    To transfer full 3D informations in a similar way like a TMS, we might need a new protocol.
    • W3DS (feature rich but complex)
    • OpenSim (build for interactive worlds)
    • something new, lightweight and custom LOD (offer just outlines+heights, ... full 3d geometries)
  • 3D elevation service/editor
    Currently OSM only supports 3D tagging for buildings, city buildings and nature. Editing the ground height level is currently impossible, but can be done in a VGI way, too.
    • OpenDEM (currently no editor or service)
  • 3D model service
    Describing 3D models using tags is limited by design. So we want to offer an service, where everybody can upload real 3D models, created with authoring tools he like.
  • exporters
    For making the results available to more 3D designers/artists we need to support a wide range of 3D and GIS formats (as COLLADA, CityGML)
  • editor improvments
    As it's essential that mappers can easily contribute, we need making this process easy and error insensitive.
    • JOSM should be extended with presets and error checking for 3D attributes
  • photo portal
    Usually mappers take photos of scenery and extract the details out of it. Currently these resources are only used by their creator, but they could be made available to the public to simplify the wiki-like process and achieve several goals:
    • help people collecting/georeferencing their survey photos
    • care about privacy (avoid Google Street View disaster)
    • break though "tyranny of the place" -> splitup survey/modelling/tagging chain
    • OpenStreetPhoto
  • accepted 3D schemas
    If we have motivated mappers, they should be enabled to fill in all the details that they want. Starting with simple tags, but covering even more complex modelling
    • Simple 3D buildings support needs to be improved in osm2pov, OSM-3D, OSMBuildings
    • a schema for more complex buildings
    • an agreement on how certain map features are displayed and customized (e.g. a wall has material, height, width, ...)
  • powerful infrastructure
    If we roll out a consumer service beyond the OSM community itself, it needs a lot of resources if we might get on slashdot or heise :(
    • OSM-3D (limited as only single university)
    • (something new and XXL)


  • who has time? what you want to do?
  • who want's the community?
  • user:!i!
    • will finish university at end of summer
    • starting Open3DMap for more detailed city furniture models
    • improving osm2world
    • acting as information hub and coordinate single actions
  • user:Tordanik
    • will finish university at end of spring
    • maintainer of OSM2World, contributor to 3D slippy map setup at
    • would like to focus on backend work, but can do some client coding as well
  • user:Kendzi
    • maintainer of Kendzi3d
    • would like to focus on editor capabilities, like changing building height in 3d view.
    • would like to add few more complex roof shapes
  • user:j3d
    • maintainer of VectorTileMap [WebGL Demo]
    • would be interested to work on a building-model server and development of an efficient model encoding format
    • would like to use 3D models made from OSM data with vtm.


  • est. costs
    • paying n devs
    • meet in person from time to time
  • est. time
    • inform about progress
    • community material (tutorials, animations, ...)
    • promoting result
  • Who
    • open media projects OSMF / OSGeo / FOSSGIS / OpenData Network/ Wikimedia / OKFN / Blender foundation ...
    • Google Maps competitors Microsoft / yahoo / ...
    • GIS companies in general (ESRI, ...)
    • 3d browsers (layar, ...)
    • 3d content industry (Trimble, ...)
    • game industry, game industry suppliers (City Engine, ...)
    • navigation/app developers (Skobbler, ...)
    • global community (crowdfunding)
  • Why should they sponsor?

See also