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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9781307, 11 pages
Research Article

Developing a Tile-Based Rendering Method to Improve Rendering Speed of 3D Geospatial Data with HTML5 and WebGL

Department of Geoinformatics (GSE), University of Seoul, 163 Seoulsiripdae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to Jiyeong Lee

Received 26 April 2017; Accepted 6 September 2017; Published 19 October 2017

Academic Editor: Lei Zhang

Copyright © 2017 Seokchan Kang and Jiyeong Lee. 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.


A dedicated plug-in has been installed to visualize three-dimensional (3D) city modeling spatial data in web-based applications. However, plug-in methods are gradually becoming obsolete, owing to their limited performance with respect to installation errors, unsupported cross-browsers, and security vulnerability. Particularly, in 2015, the NPAPI service was terminated in most existing web browsers except Internet Explorer. To overcome these problems, the HTML5/WebGL (next-generation web standard, confirmed in October 2014) technology emerged. In particular, WebGL is able to display 3D spatial data without plug-ins in browsers. In this study, we attempted to identify the requirements and limitations of displaying 3D city modeling spatial data using HTML5/WebGL, and we propose alternative ways based on the bin-packing algorithm that aggregates individual 3D city modeling data including buildings in tile units. The proposed method reduces the operational complexity and the number and volume of transmissions required for rendering processing to improve the speed of 3D data rendering. The proposed method was validated on real data for evaluating its effectiveness in 3D visualization of city modeling data in web-based applications.