3D Printing: A physical approach to Geovisualization

Authors: Brandon Rose*, Texas State University
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Remote Sensing
Keywords: GIS, Geovisualization, 3D Printing, Remote Sensing
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


3D printing technology and accessibility have grown significantly in the last 10 years. Schools, colleges, and public libraries have all begun providing access to 3D printing resources. Typical applications of 3D printing were rooted in engineering disciplines, but as the availability and ease of use increases so too does the range of disciplines which utilize 3D printing. For Geography, these uses lie primarily in geovisualization. Vector features and raster surfaces can be brought into the physical world through 3D printing. Practical applications of the resulting physical 3D models exist in remote sensing, urban planning, and geographic education. Producing a model based on geographic data is not a simple task and the complexity can vary depending on what is being represented. Free tools along with open source software exist to perform these operations but established and widely used workflows do not. In order to expand the reach of physical 3D geovisualization a completely free and open source workflow is outlined. The general outline for this workflow discusses the optimal data for 3D printing, transformation of data into 3D space, and variations of the workflow depending on what is being modeled. The workflow presented here aims to provide an intuitive and open source procedure for creating geographic models ready for 3D printing.

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