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01/20/2010: The Draft for Candidate OpenGIS® Web 3D Service Interface Standard 0.4.0 in now available at OGC as public discussion paper:

11/20/2009: The Draft Specification Document for W3DS 0.4.0 has been approved as public discussion paper by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and will be soon made public on the OGC webpage:


W3DS is the acronym for OGC Web 3D Service, an implementation standard draft which is currently discussed at the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). This is the public Wiki for collecting information on the current development status and publishing the draft document.


The Web 3D Service (W3DS) is a portrayal service for three-dimensional geodata such as landscape models, city models, textured building models, vegetation objects, and street furniture. Geodata is delivered as scenes that are comprised of display elements, optimized for efficient real time rendering at high frame rates. 3D Scenes can be interactively displayed and explored by internet browsers with 3D plugins, or loaded into virtual globe applications. The W3DS is capable of handling data sets of a wide range of scales, from full globes down to smaller immobile objects such as lanterns which are still of geographic relevance. It can handle data sets consisting of multiple Levels of Detail for each object, thereby greatly increasing performance without sacrificing quality. The representation of geographic objects my range from very detailed and textured models, to prototypic and generic models used for same types of objects, to abstract boxes or symbols. Scenes are retrieved by queries defining the geographic area, information layers, styles, and further parameters, very similar to the Web Map Service (WMS) interface. The formats used for encoding 3D scenes are designed for limited bandwidth networks like the internet and realistic and efficient real time rendering. They avoid overhead produced by e.g. XML tags, and exploit graphics technologies like display lists, re-using scene graph nodes by defining links, indexed geometry arrays, and software shaders. Due to the used formats the contents delivered by the W3DS is not restricted to static objects, it can also include animations and other visual effects, as well as pre-defined behaviors triggered by user interactions. read more...


The idea of a W3DS was developed in the context of the initiative Geodata Infrastructure North Rhine-Westphalia (GDI-NRW), resulting in a prototype named Pilot 3D. The Pilot 3D implements the interoperable geo-visualization of 3D city and regional models. Several W3DS implementations are already running and experiences made during the test phase are reflected in this draft specification. The W3DS discussion paper was picked up in the GDI-3D project carried out at the University of Bonn as a central service for providing city and landscape models in a distributed Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI-3D). Concepts on how to integrate a range of other OGC services including OpenLS (Geocoder, Routing Service, Directory Service), WFS, CS-W, WPS, and SOS in such a 3D infrastructure were developed and shown in an integrated client. The W3DS was also included in the OGC OWS-6 initiative as experimental interface for providing LOD4 indoor models.


Version 0.4.0 (November 2009) - OGC 09-104r1

This version was also uploaded to the OGC portal:

09-104r1_web_3d_service-0.4.0.pdf specification document (pdf) XML schemas

09-104r1_web_3d_service-0.4.0.part1.rar specification document (doc part 1)

09-104r1_web_3d_service-0.4.0.part2.rar specification document (doc part 2)

previous versions...


This document is not an OGC Standard. It is distributed for review and comment. It is subject to change without notice and may not be referred to as an OGC Standard.
Document type: OpenGIS® Discussion Paper
Recipients of this document are invited to submit, with their comments, notification of any relevant patent rights of which they are aware and to provide supporting documentation.

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