Use cases of 3D city models

3D city models are nowadays used for many different applications, across a multitude of application domains.

The following article gives a complete overview of the state of the art of the application of 3D city models (it is open access):

Biljecki F, Stoter J, Ledoux H, Zlatanova S, and Çöltekin A (2015). Applications of 3D City Models: State of the Art Review. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 4(4): 2842-2889.

In summary, 29 use cases, in which 3D city models provide added value, were found. The list can be found below. Please cite the article above when using the list in publications and presentations.

Use case Example of an application
Estimation of the solar irradiation Determining the suitability of a roof surface for installing photovoltaic panels
Energy demand estimation Assessing the return of a building energy retrofit
Aiding positioning Map matching
Determination of the floorspace Valuation of buildings
Classifying building types Semantic enrichment of data sets
Geo-visualisation and visualisation enhancement Flight simulation
Visibility analysis Finding the optimal location to place a surveillance camera
Estimation of shadows cast by urban features Determination of solar envelopes
Estimation of the propagation of noise in an urban environment Traffic planning
3D cadastre Property registration
Visualisation for navigation Navigation
Urban planning Designing green areas
Visualisation for communication of urban information to citizenry Virtual tours
Reconstruction of sunlight direction Object recognition
Understanding SAR images Interpretation of radar data
Facility management Managing utilities
Automatic scaffold assembly Civil engineering
Emergency response Planning evacuation
Lighting simulations Planning lighting of landmarks
Radio-wave propagation Optimising radio infrastructure
Computational fluid dynamics Predicting air quality
Estimating the population in an area Crisis management
Routing Understanding accessibility
Forecasting seismic damage Insurance
Flooding Mitigating damage to utility management
Change detection Urban inventory
Volumetric density studies Urban studies
Forest management Predicting tree growth
Archaeology Visualising ancient sites