3D extensions to ArcView shipping now (March 1998)

Generic 3D functions from Esri's ArcView mayimpact the vertical geometry engines used in the industry's various Shared Earth Modelprojects.

A perceived weakness in ArcView based applications such as Open Explorer has been the absence of 3D functionality - so that it was impossible to leave the horizontal plane and follow the wellbore down to the reservoir. The 3D Analyst extension, originally announced more than one year ago, intends to change this by enabling users to create, analyze, and display surface data. Support is provided for Triangulated Irregular Networks (TINs) and simple three-dimensional vector geometry, as well as interactive perspective viewing. To support sophisticated 3D surface analysis, the 3D Analyst enables support for the creation and use of TINs within ArcView. TINs are vector-based topologically structured data models that are well suited for terrain and surface data modeling. The new ArcView 3D extensions allow users to :

Create and modify surface models.

Create 3D shapefile themes.

Simple editing of TINs.

Planimetric display of surfaces.

Fly through

Using these tools, users can rotate the scenes and "fly-through" them - giving a whole new meaning to exploring the data. You can even point and identify features in 3D. ArcView 3D Analyst provides a seamless link between 3D visualization and your GIS data. More than a 3D viewer, ArcView 3D Analyst gives users the power to manipulate and analyze data from a three-dimensional perspective, including 3D specific tools such as line-of-sight, volumetric calculations, grid and TIN creation, and much more. Upon loading ArcView 3D Analyst, additional tools and choices are added to the View document and the 3D World document is enabled. These menus and tool buttons are fully customizable using Avenue.


Additionally, Avenue requests are also provided for more sophisticated functionality that can be used to satisfy more demanding application requirements. ArcView 3D Analyst goes beyond common forms of surface analysis, such as contouring and slope/aspect derivation, by providing attribute support and low-level TIN navigation tools and iterators. Values representing attributes can be assigned to triangle facets (real features) in a TIN. This means that, for any location on a TIN, the user can access not only the surface geometry but other thematic characteristics such as land cover. The navigation tools and iterators are useful to application developers who need to walk through the triangulation or process a collection of triangles that satisfy some criterion. These capabilities will be of significant benefit to application developers. Open Vision is an add-on to Open Explorer which will incorporate this new technology from ESRI.

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