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<p>Traditional geospatial information systems (GIS) use geographically referenced data to produce highly accurate digital maps. These two-dimensional maps include well-recognized symbols that represent features such as mountains, forests, buildings, and transportation networks. Although this flat view provides an excellent means of orienting the user to the general nature and location of the geographic features for a given area, it does not provide the full experiential value that comes from immersion within a 3D environment.</p> <p>The authors, working in conjunction with the University of New Orleans' Computer Science Department, developed a 3D-GIS to assist the US Marine Corps with mission preparation and rehearsal. It also provides on-site awareness during actual field operations in urban areas.</p> <p>Going beyond presenting stereoscopic views of an area or merely applying photo textures to highly simplified geometric shapes, they created an environment that replicates its real-world counterpart by including detailed 3D objects. The article details the design considerations they faced as well as the implementation and structural overview for the entire system.</p>

M. Abdelguerfi, R. Ladner and K. Shaw, "3D Mapping of an Interactive Synthetic Environment," in Computer, vol. 33, no. , pp. 35-39, 2000.
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