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. [DOI] [PDF]

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