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ISRN Computer Graphics
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 728913, 19 pages
Review Article

3D Design and Modeling of Smart Cities from a Computer Graphics Perspective

Department of Computer Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA

Received 30 September 2012; Accepted 22 October 2012

Academic Editors: U. Gudukbay, G. Lavoué, and G. Patanè

Copyright © 2012 Daniel G. Aliaga. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Modeling cities, and urban spaces in general, is a daring task for computer graphics, computer vision, and visualization. Understanding, describing, and modeling the geometry and behavior of cities are significant challenges that ultimately benefit urban planning and simulation, mapping and visualization, emergency response, and entertainment. In this paper, we have collected and organized research which addresses this multidisciplinary challenge. In particular, we divide research in modeling cities and urban spaces into the areas of geometrical modeling and of behavioral modeling. The first area overlaps significantly with computer graphics and computer vision—our focus is on algorithms that produce intricate geometry quickly from a compact set of specifications (i.e., procedural modeling). The second area of behavioral modeling centers on understanding the underlying socioeconomic, meteorological, and resource consumption/waste production processes occurring within an urban space. Research in urban modeling, even from a computer graphics perspective, must tie the two areas of geometric and behavioral modeling together in order to ensure that useful 3D modeling techniques are developed and are placed within their needed context. In addition, we discuss the growing trend of inverse procedural modeling and some sample urban applications.