Map Projections

Coordinate Systems and Indoor Cartography

5107.3 - Reflective 2D visualization of 3D objects using cartographic projection

Wednesday, July 5
9:10 AM - 9:30 AM
Location: Maryland B

In this contribution, the authors describe a novel method of visualizing any 3D object into a 2D seamless picture with the use of cartographical principles. The method uses properties of a sphere with reflective inner surface, in which a 3D object and capturing camera are placed. A sphere surface is consequently unfolded using cartographic projection allowing to see the whole object in 2D. The original idea was raised by a chemist, who needed to visualize complex protein structure for the printed publication purpose. In chemistry, only perspective or orthodiagonal views on the chemical structures are commonly used, which do not allow to show whole structure of a complex protein. Therefore, with standard methods of visualizing chemical substances, multiple images showing the area of interest are the only way of visualization. However, from the cartographical perspective, it is possible to render whole protein in one seamless image, giving the possibility to depict the area of interest at once.
The idea can be applied to any objects, preferably those of non-human origin, e.g. trees with leaves, cave systems, Earth’s landscape. Human-made objects are already described in sketches, elevations or technical drawing, which makes the cartographical visualization of such objects interesting, but not very useful. Most importantly, human-made objects are already simplified and often rectangular (e.g. buildings).On the other hand, objects of natural origin tend to have complex structures with inner spaces which cannot be accurately visualized with ordinary methods in one seamless image. Therefore they are ideal for nonstandard ways of visualization. Moreover, the perception of natural objects is not affected by their mathematical and computer approximations that much.
The framework of obtaining one seamless picture depicting the complex structure of natural objects could be used for scientists with a need to visualize objects from a 3D environment in 2D format (e.g. printed papers with limited space). It is quite an unconventional idea to go “backward” from 3D to 2D in the era of 3D cartography and graphics, but the authors believe that this approach could have several other applications. The authors will show how the principle of reflective visualization 2D visualization of 3D objects using cartographic projection can be employed in the field of geography and geoinformatics, on the example of the volcano terrain model. Such landscape feature is commonly depicted as an aerial image, where exact distance measurements on slopes are not possible. Using cartographic (equidistant) projection during the transformation from 3D to 2D seamless picture, where slopes are not distorted, exact measurements can be performed.

Vít Pászto

Palacký University Olomouc

Vít Pászto holds PhD from the Department of Geoinformatics, Palacky University in Olomouc, Czech Republic. His scientific scope covers topics such as spatial analysis of geographical phenomena, geocomputational methods in geosciences, spatial statistics and geosciences education. His latest research was focused on rural/urban areas delimitation using fuzzy sets and logic. He is currently assistant professor at the Department of Geoinformatics with focus on geoinformatics and its application in geography.


Send Email for Vít Pászto

Tomáš Králík

Palacký University in Olomouc, Czech Republic

Tomáš Králík graduated at the Department of Geoinformatics, Palacký University in Olomouc, Czech Republic. He is now Ph.D. student at the same department with focus on modern visualization techniques in cartography. His scientific interests cover also 3D visualization, computer graphics and unmanned aerial vehicles applications.


Send Email for Tomáš Králík

Jiří Pánek

Palacký University Olomouc

Jiří Pánek holds B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Geography and GIS from the Department of Geoinformatics and PhD from the Department of Development Studies, both Palacky University in Olomouc, Czech Republic. His research is focussed on GIS in development cooperation and humanitarian aid, with main focus on Participatory GIS (PGIS/ PPGIS). He has experienced mapping in Kenya and South Africa, studied GIS in India and currently he is developing participatory platform for collection perceptions about urban environment.


Send Email for Jiří Pánek

Miljenko Lapaine

University of Zagreb, Faculty of Geodesy

Miljenko Lapaine graduated from the Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, in the field of Theoretical Mathematics. He obtained his PhD from the Faculty of Geodesy, University of Zagreb with a dissertation entitled Mapping in the Theory of Map Projections. He has been a full professor since 2003. He has published more than 900 papers, several textbooks and monographs. Prof. Lapaine is the Chairman of the ICA Commission on Map Projections, a founder and President of the Croatian Cartographic Society and the Executive editor of the Cartography and Geoinformation journal.


Send Email for Miljenko Lapaine


5107.3 - Reflective 2D visualization of 3D objects using cartographic projection

Attendees who have favorited this

Please enter your access key

The asset you are trying to access is locked. Please enter your access key to unlock.

Send Email for Reflective 2D visualization of 3D objects using cartographic projection