Diagram of 3 figures to depict a crowd

Digital 3D models are used in almost all areas of design and engineering from drug discovery through to architectural design optimization. With the advent of new imaging technologies such as more advanced remote sensing systems and consumer 3D cameras, there is a new capability to capture models that are both deep and broad in detail.

The Open 3D project aims to engage citizens in contributing towards a high-detailed 3D virtual model of London. Our colleagues in Computer Science at UCL are designing the necessary algorithms and services that allow the hosting of 3D models of scale on the Internet. But computer algorithms sometimes make errors, and they don't always pick up the fine-levels of detail that a person might see. That's why it's essential that people are also involved, to review and edit these 3D models to make them as accurate as possible.

Our work at UCLIC centres on usability testing. There is a need to understand the interaction between tool complexity, contributor recognition, editorial structure and review and critique. One of the challenges is that 3D modelling is a specialized task that requires lots of practice. To attract the curiosity of citizens, and to make it easier for citizens without technical expertise to participate, we are currently exploring different ways to break down the project into smaller simpler tasks. For example, we plan to develop a smartphone app where citizens take photos of buildings and these new images are used to improve the 3D model.


MSc Students

  • Pinsi Yan - "Gamification in Open 3D"

Selected Publications

Jennett, C., Cox, A.L., Guerrero, P., Steed, A., & Mitra, N. (2017). Designing for curiosity in citizen science. Designing for Curiosity: An Interdisciplinary Workshop at CHI 2017, Denver, Colorado. Workshop PDF

Kamel, B.M.N., Lu, Z., Guerrero, P., Jennett, C., & Steed, A. (2017). From urban planning and emergency training to Pokémon Go: applications of virtual reality GIS (VRGIS) and augmented reality GIS (ARGIS) in personal, public and environmental health. International Journal of Health Geographics, 17:7. Journal Link

Lu, Z., Guerrero, P., Mitra, N.J., & Steed, A. (2016). Open3D: Crowd-sourced distributed curation of city models. Web 3D Symposium Proceedings. ACM Link