TRUE 3D IMAGES AND THEIR APPLICATIONS
A true 3D image is a geo-referenced image. Besides having its radiometric information, it also has true 3Dground coordinates XYZ for every pixels of it. For a true 3D image, especially a true 3D oblique image, it has true 3D coordinates not only for building roofs and/or open grounds, but also for all other visible objects on the ground, such as visible building walls/windows and even trees. The true 3D image breaks the 2D barrier of the traditional orthophotos by introducing the third dimension (elevation) into the image. From a true 3D image, for example, people will not only be able to read a building’s location (XY), but also its height (Z). true 3D images will fundamentally change, if not revolutionize, the way people display, look, extract, use, and represent the geospatial information from imagery. In many areas, true 3D images can make profound impacts on the ways of how geospatial information is represented, how true 3D ground modeling is performed, and how the real world scenes are presented. This paper first gives a definition and description of a true 3D image and followed by a brief review of what key advancements of geospatial technologies have made the creation of true 3D images possible. Next, the paper introduces what a true 3D image is made of. Then, the paper discusses some possible contributions and impacts the true 3D images can make to geospatial information fields. At the end, the paper presents a list of the benefits of having and using true 3D images and the applications of true 3D images in a couple of 3D city modeling projects.