Virtual London

Current Work | Existing Models | Resources

Current Work

We are interested in a number of aspects of Urban Environment models :

We are currently building new city models for use on the City project within the Equator IRC. For the purposes of Equator we are specifically interested in model maintenance and on-line access from mobile sources.

Since the original models were built, much better GIS data has been provided, so building outlines, heights, pavements etc... will be much more accurately modelled.

The original London Demonstrator models (see below) are still used for worked on dense crowd simulation and visibility research.

Existing Models

For the COVEN Project we built a single integrated system that had a 17x10km generated 3D model with inserts modelled at higher resolutions. This was known as the London Demonstrator. It was novel for a number of reasons:

The following pictures show the extent of the model. These parts were built by an automatic process from the GeoInformation Cities Revealed data set for London.

Index image 1

Certain parts of the model were modelled in greater detail. The UCL Pearson building was modelled in AutoCad, other parts in Canoma. How to integrate models from such disparate sources and have them relit to look consistent is an unresolved problem.

When built (1999), the application was targetted at SGI Indigo or Onyx-class performance. The following snapshots show the application in action and demonstrate the frame-rate limiting.

Index image 1

Of course now, this class of performance is achieved on consumer hardware. The following pictures are taken from a 800MHz Pentium machine with a GeForce2 card. The 2nd shows the detailed local model.

Index image 1

Note though that it is still easy to hit the polygon or pixel fill limit, and it will be a few years before machines can render the whole model. Well before that happens, we will build bigger models.

The London Demonstrator served as a test-bed for crowd modelling and interaction experiments as the following snapshots show. You can also see a snapshot of the Pearson building model.

Index image 1

The DIVE London Demonstrator application itself is not under development at this time. Since it is such a complex application, we use it to stress test revisions and ports of DIVE itself.


Queries about the models and applications:
Anthony Steed,