The membership of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) has approved the 3D Portrayal Service (3DPS) 1.0 standard.

Viewing 3D geospatial content from diverse sources has just become easier with the release of the new OGC 3DPS standard. The 3DPS standard describes how a client and service negotiate what is to be delivered and in which manner, to enable interoperable 3D portrayal. With 3DPS, users can view,analyze and combine 3D geoinformation from diverse sources in a single view. An important aspect of the 3DPS standard is that the portrayal service is optimized to best operate with the abilities of the client. Implementations of 3DPS support both client- and server-side rendering. Server-side rendering is usually used to support mobile devices and to get high resolution images of 3D scenes while client-side rendering is used for desktop and web-based 3D rendering.

3DPS is applicable to 3D geodata stores that want to target a range of portrayal clients or to 3D geodata portrayal clients that want to display geodata from a range of compatible sources. Major use cases include: navigating in the represented 3D scene; retrieving feature information; and analyzing detailed information such as simulation results or other 3D spatial information.
Prof. Dr. Volker Coors
“Just as the OGC Web Map Service (WMS) enabled interoperable 2D mapping, the 3DPS opens the door for interoperability of 3D scenes,” said Volker Coors, Fraunhofer IGD / HFT Stuttgart. “Fraunhofer IGD and 3D Content Logistics GmbH have implemented both client- and server-side rendering using the 3DPS during the development of the standard. The 3DPS complements information models such as CityGML and CDB and data delivery formats such as X3D, glTF, I3S, and 3D Tiles with a query interface. It is an important step forward for the interoperable 3D geospatial web. Last but not least, it is also a good example of the fruitful liaison of OGC and the Web3D consortium.”

3DPS specifies how 3D geospatial content is selected from different sources and delivered, but deliberately does not mandate particular content transmission formats. Similarly, it provides a framework to determine whether 3D content is interoperable at the content representation level, but does not prescribe how that content is to be organized and represented.

As with any OGC standard, the open 3D Portrayal Service 1.0 standard is free to download and implement. Interested parties can view and download the standard.

About fjbehr

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Franz-Josef Behr, Professor of Geoinformatics at Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences ( His specializations include * Internet, Internet GIS * XML, GML, SVG * Data exchange and Interoperability * Visualization * Open Source Solutions * Consulting Member of the DIN working group NA 005-03-03 AA "Arbeitsausschuss Kartographie und Geoinformation" (Sp CEN/TC 287+ISO/TC 211). He is the author of two authoritative books on GIS in German, one is "Strategisches GIS-Management", published by Wichmann Verlag (2004). The second is "Einführung in Geographische Informationssysteme" (1997).

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