IMAGE-BASED REALITY-CAPTURING AND 3D MODELLING FOR THE CREATION OF VR CYCLING SIMULATIONS
With this paper, we present a novel approach for efficiently creating reality-based, high-fidelity urban 3D models for interactive VR cycling simulations. The foundation of these 3D models is accurately georeferenced street-level imagery, which can be captured using vehicle-based or portable mapping platforms. Depending on the desired type of urban model, the street-level imagery is either used for semi-automatically texturing an existing city model or for automatically creating textured 3D meshes from multi-view reconstructions using commercial off-the-shelf software. The resulting textured urban 3D model is then integrated with a real-time traffic simulation solution to create a VR framework based on the Unity game engine. Subsequently, the resulting urban scenes and different planning scenarios can be explored on a physical cycling simulator using a VR helmet or viewed as a 360-degree or conventional video. In addition, the VR environment can be used for augmented reality applications, e.g., mobile augmented reality maps. We apply this framework to a case study in the city of Berne to illustrate design variants of new cycling infrastructure at a major traffic junction to collect feedback from practitioners about the potential for practical applications in planning processes.