Over the last few years, we have been busy pushing forward with a series of developments that we think will dramatically increase adoption of 3D models in geology and geoscience. The result is V3Geo – an online repository and viewer for 3D virtual models. And with it, a direct connection to our LIME software.
Looking at today’s uptake of drones and a resurging interest in photogrammetry, it’s amazing how far things have moved on since the initial cutting-edge application of laser scanners in the early 2000s. Back then it was hard to envisage that so many geoscientists, from academics to the commercial sector, would now be regularly employing 3D acquisition as a key part of their repertoire of fieldwork and office analysis.
Despite the ease of 3D model collection and processing, an ongoing challenge has been what to do with the 3D models – how can we visualise and interpret them and share our results with others? This is where V3Geo comes in. V3Geo is a cloud-based hosting platform for virtual 3D models, with a front end for browsing and viewing datasets. It has a simple classification schema for tagging and filtering the database of models. And unlike other 3D model sharing sites, the 3D viewer can handle large datasets (some areas are tens of kilometres in extent), interpretations, and aims to be a dedicated platform for geoscientists.
For now, we have populated the site with a good selection of our own virtual outcrops – expect the range of geology and geoscience available to increase soon as uptake increases. Keep an eye on V3Geo for updates.
Connection to LIME
V3Geo is about storing and browsing 3D models online. But how can we gain increased value from the models and include them in our own quantitative and qualitative work processes? Another exciting development is a direct connection to V3Geo from LIME, which is now cloud aware!
Instead of the “normal” bottlenecks around transferring huge 3D model files when starting out with virtual outcrops, it is now possible to filter the V3Geo models and load them directly within LIME through the Internet connection. You can even select multiple models for comparison purposes or integrate them as the basis of a virtual field trip. Combined with the list of LIME v2 features coming soon, V3Geo integration will be a powerful way to facilitate working with virtual 3D geoscience.
Upcoming after spring 2020 sprint
With the challenging situation caused by the COVID-19 crisis, the team has been in overdrive to get the browse and viewing part of V3Geo and LIME v2 ready for all those field courses and excursions being cancelled due to restrictions on travel. What is available now is an early version of what we planned to release later in the year.
Next up will be tools to allow upload of models to the V3Geo website, and even an uploader for interpreted data from LIME. As usual, watch this space!
V3Geo has been possible thanks to the ongoing support of our SAFARI sponsors, as well as our IT collaborator, OMT Tech.
The VOG Group, March 2020
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