data scientist working on 3D GIS
GIS

What are the uses of 3D GIS?

August 25, 2021

Geographic Information System or GIS has paved the way for mapping and spatial reasoning to become the primary, vital techniques for problem-solving in various situations. Geospatial professionals leverage GIS to oversee disaster response, develop buildings, respond to public health concerns, manage properties, and many more use cases. Still, traditional GIS systems are limited since they work with only two dimensions. 

Thanks to the advancement of technology, professionals developed 3D GIS using modern spatial software and methods. It can be used for a broad range of applications, going beyond compiling and studying maps to urban planning and earth sciences.

What Exactly Is 3D GIS?

Similar to standard maps, regular GIS systems use the horizontal (x) and vertical (y) axes to plot coordinates. However, 3D GIS takes this a step further by making it possible to display objects more precisely by adding one more dimension, z. 

Typically, 3D mapping represents elevation and location, making it helpful in developing scale models of features in buildings or the earth. A topographical map with 3D GIS represents not just the mountain’s location but its height as well, making it easier to share spatial data of various kinds.

3D GIS makes it possible for geospatial professionals to plot other variables, such as z-values, and assign numerous values to the same coordinate. The third dimension can represent many things, such as the population density of an urban area, concentrations of chemicals and minerals in an area, an aircraft’s positions, suitability of plots of land for development, and more. To make this possible, professionals will have to deal with a bit more complexity if they want to explore mapping layers and preserve spatial information databases. With top-tier data-sharing technologies, they can explore more powerful problem-solving and more detailed visualizations.

How Do You Apply 3D GIS in Disaster Response?

3D GIS has many use cases, particularly in disaster response. It can even help in some of the most dangerous situations encountered by communities due to the extensive geographic data and visualizations it provides for rescue missions.

For example, 3D GIS was incredibly helpful in wildfires that blazed across California in 2018 as they contributed significantly to disaster response. Emergency personnel had access to detailed maps that equipped them with situational awareness through information on current weather conditions, coordinates of a fire, available routes for evacuation, and more.

Additionally, firefighters utilized 3D GIS mapping software to mend a devastated area more efficiently. Elevated regions are challenging to fertilize and seed for new plant growth due to uneven terrain and unpredictable weather conditions. Wind and rain might carry fertilizer bits to low-elevation areas. However, with 3D mapping and historical weather data, planners can adjust their strategies according to the additional information, allowing them to anticipate wind conditions to dispense the seed and fertilizer more evenly.

Can You Use 3D GIS in Clean Energy Initiatives?

Sharing spatial data through 3D GIS software has also helped the clean energy industry. Local government agencies depend on data sharing of spatial information to erect sites to accommodate renewable energy production to bid for more alternatives to fossil fuels. It offers planners essential data that allows them to account for areas that would work best for producing solar, biomass, wind, and geothermal energy and increase the chances of success for renewable energy projects.

For instance, officials can choose the plots of land that have the most suitable soil for growing crops for biodiesel. They can also position wind farms in locations that have minimal to no danger for migrating birds. Lastly, they can keep a close eye on construction or maintenance projects and enjoy the latest updates, offering handy information to the workers.

New Ways to Share Spatial Data

3D GIS has unlocked new opportunities for data sharing, providing more applications for different industries. With more spatial data commercialization, companies can explore more efficient ways to carry out their projects at a lower cost.

Ellipsis Drive helps organizations become more successful when using, producing, and sharing spatial data by providing them with an easy way to activate and store it. With our software, you can safely manage and share your data through the web in under ten minutes. Get started for free by signing up today!

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