Managing versions and history within semantic 3D city models for the next generation of CityGML

Kanishk Chaturvedi, Carl Stephen Smyth, Gilles Gesquière, Tatjana Kutzner, Thomas H. Kolbe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Semantic 3D city models describe city entities by objects with thematic and spatial attributes and their interrelationships. Today, more and more cities worldwide are representing their 3D city models according to the CityGML standard issued by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). Various application areas of 3D city models such as urban planning or architecture require that authorities or stakeholders manage parallel alternative versions of city models and their evolution over time, which is currently not supported by the CityGML standard 2.0. In this paper, we propose a concept and a data model extending CityGML by denoting versions of models or model elements as planning alternatives. We support transitions between these versions to manage history or evolution of the city models over time. This approach facilitates the interoperable integration and exchange of different versions of a 3D city model within one dataset, including a possibly complex history of a repository. Such an integrated dataset can be used by different software systems to visualize and work with all the versions. The versions and version transitions in our proposed data model are bi-temporal in nature. They are defined as separate feature types, which allow the users to manage versioning and to perform queries about versions using an OGC Web Feature Service. We apply this data model to a use case of planning concurrent versions and demonstrate it with example instance data. The concept is general in the sense that it can be directly applied to other GML-based application schemas including the European INSPIRE data themes and national standards for topography and cadasters like the British Ordnance Survey Mastermap or the German cadaster standard ALKIS.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783319256917
ISBN (Print)9783319005140, 9783319009926, 9783319036434, 9783319081793, 9783319256894, 9783319337821, 9783319615141, 9783319639451, 9783319714691, 9783540342373, 9783540685678, 9783540713173, 9783540777991, 9783540873921, 9783540882435, 9783642032936, 9783642034411, 9783642047909, 9783642105944, 9783642122712, 9783642155369, 9783642224409, 9783642241970, 9783642297694, 9783642318320, 9783642327131, 9783642332173, 9783642343582, 9783642363788, 9783642375323
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography
ISSN (Print)1863-2246
ISSN (Electronic)1863-2351


  • City model lifecycle
  • CityGML
  • History
  • Planning versions
  • Semantic 3D city models


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