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on June 8, 2007 at 1:25:03 am

Author: Pedro Yarza


Concurrent sessions (day 2) - Geodata


Date/Time:  Wedneday, 6th of June. 4:00 PM


Presentation: Road infrastructure video-logs and virtual globes



Section 1: Abstract



Road administrations all over the world are one of the main historical users of GIS application as they manage information which is mainly related to the use of land and the management of real elements that can be represented on maps.

Road administrations are the receptors and analysts of information related to the roads that they manage.

The works done by the road administrations cover the following areas:



  • The planning of new roads to fulfill the needs of the road users according to the managed budget.
  • The construction of new roads to fulfill the needs detected during the planning.
  • The maintenance of the roads to improve comfort and safety of road users.


The main purpose of this paper is to show road administrations and GIS-related organizations that the virtual globes can be very useful for the management of road-related information.

This paper focuses on the management of road maintenance information rather than on road planning and construction issues. Application of virtual globes to the planning and construction of roads is beyond the scope of this paper.

The information that the road administrations need to manage in the maintenance area is related to the following:


  • Pavement surface (measurements of road comfort and security for the user).
  • Pavement structure (parameters measuring the remaining life of the road).
  • Road geometry and road inventory elements (signs, barriers, structures).


Historically this information has been analyzed by means of database management tools which allow the filtering of the information to detect which are the main needs of road maintenance.

One step further, video-logging has become a common practice for departments responsible for road maintenance. It is a useful technology for identifying the location of roadside attributes and monitoring the road right-of-way and also the road pavement. Most systems currently use digital technology to directly digitize the images and store them on a hard disk. The digitized images usually have the location of the image, in linear or geographical coordinates that make it possible to reference the information in the image precisely. Usually these systems sample the video at regular intervals along the road, normally every 10 m. This provides sufficient information for management purposes while not overloading the data storage system. In many instances video-logs are recorded in conjunction with other data. The combination of pavement data with the video image is very useful to confirm the true condition of the road. Altogether the digitally georeferenced video data allows quick retrieval and effective management of the road information.

All this information can be incorporated in to virtual globes by at least two ways:


  • Incorporating in the video-logging and data management application new modules that handle a virtual globe.
  • Using the virtual globes as the main entry point to get the information about the roads, and link the use of the legacy video-logging applications to the virtual globe.


The visualization of the information through the virtual globes can be made by means of graphics and videos incorporated directly in the virtual globe or by context information that is pulled out when the user selects one feature along the road. These applications can also be mixed with video-logging functionalities to provide a broader view than the one provided by the current video-logging systems.

Besides the current evolving functionalities that appear in the different virtual globes nowadays, there are other areas for future enhancements. For instance:


  • Better handling of custom orthoimages (road administrations use their own high resolution orthoimages for planning works).
  • Implementation of dynamic segmentation (this technique generates point or linear geometry for database record events referenced by their position along a linear feature).
  • Integration of right of view and pavement images in the same 3D virtual globe visualization (this improves the information provided by the orthophotos and the digital elevation model).



As a summary it can be stated that the use of the virtual globes provides the user with a tool that goes one step further by allowing the visualization of the information of the road network through a more intuitive interface than currently used video-logs.


Section 2: Sample Images







Section 3: Downloads (not yet)


Paper (PDF)

Presentation (PDF)


Section 4: Videos



Section 5: Contact


Pedro Yarza


Área de Gestión de Infraestructuras

AEPO S.A. Ingenieros Consultores


Calle Marcelina 3. 28029 Madrid. Spain

Phone: 34+913237304

Fax: 34+917336624 


pyarza [at] aepo [dot] es 



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