From mapping to virtual geography

Erik Kjems, Jan Kolar

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Abstract

The history of mapping goes back hundreds of years. Many books and articles have been written on this topic as many different ways to present our world. This paper will not deal with cartography in a normal sense as indicated by the headline but will face and argue the necessity of dealing with data that takes its origin in the real world and keeps its relation to this world. Geographical data are changed in order to create traditional maps which over centuries have been rendered on a sheet of paper with two-dimensional presentations in mind. Over centuries, cartographers have devised methods for mapping the surface of the Earth to a plane. These efforts were driven by constraining features of the plane paper. Nowadays, in our age of multimedia and computer technology professionals are capable of building three-dimensional virtual environments of whole cities or mountain massifs. However, many efforts in creating such three-dimensional scenes omit that neither any mountain massif nor any city rises above a plane, but above a more complex geometric feature which is also defined in a three-dimensional space. Today, there is simply no need to figure the Earth mapped to the plane paper or to any other plane. Many approaches have been made to build up our world in virtual spaces and create an illusion of spatiality, thus many different techniques have been developed to handle the modelling, the data acquisition, and the conversion between different software solutions and coordinate systems with its projections and assumptions on different levels. These initiatives are usually based on two-dimensional map projections and their results suiting the purpose of urban models with well-defined boundaries and limited model sizes. If you want to deal with the whole world in one model which utilizes a uniform data representation the next step is to deal with a global approach to coordinates and view of the world. Here, escaping flatland means escaping projections. In the Grifinor system within the 3D GeoInformation Project described at Cupum'2003 in Sendai, Japan a global approach with a geographical coordinate system has been used. This paper will discuss the use of a geographical coordinate system in connection with virtual environments. It will argue why it is important to deal with referencing virtual environments with respect to the Earth’s origin. It will also discuss advantages, difficulties, and new aspects of this approach and how to create a virtual world with all its elements which is able to cover the whole world and with “real” coordinates stored in a database.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCUPUM '05 : Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management : Abstracts of the 9th International Conference, London 2005
EditorsSusan E. Batty
PublisherCenter for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London
Publication date2005
Pages326
ISBN (Print)0955058104
Publication statusPublished - 2005
EventInternational Conference on Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 29 Jun 20051 Jul 2005
Conference number: 9

Conference

ConferenceInternational Conference on Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management
Number9
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period29/06/200501/07/2005

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Keywords

  • Geocentric coordinates
  • Model-map
  • Cartographic projections
  • Urban models

Cite this

Kjems, E., & Kolar, J. (2005). From mapping to virtual geography. In S. E. Batty (Ed.), CUPUM '05: Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management : Abstracts of the 9th International Conference, London 2005 (pp. 326). Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London.
Kjems, Erik ; Kolar, Jan. / From mapping to virtual geography. CUPUM '05: Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management : Abstracts of the 9th International Conference, London 2005. editor / Susan E. Batty. Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London, 2005. pp. 326
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Kjems, E & Kolar, J 2005, From mapping to virtual geography. in SE Batty (ed.), CUPUM '05: Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management : Abstracts of the 9th International Conference, London 2005. Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London, pp. 326, International Conference on Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management, London, United Kingdom, 29/06/2005.

From mapping to virtual geography. / Kjems, Erik; Kolar, Jan.

CUPUM '05: Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management : Abstracts of the 9th International Conference, London 2005. ed. / Susan E. Batty. Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London, 2005. p. 326.

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

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Kjems E, Kolar J. From mapping to virtual geography. In Batty SE, editor, CUPUM '05: Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management : Abstracts of the 9th International Conference, London 2005. Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London. 2005. p. 326