3D Geographical Analysis within JAVA/VRML-based GIS: "Lantern" Operation

Recently, the Geographic Information System (GIS) based on 3-dimensional geoprocessing technology and Internet environment are regarded as one of emerging issues in the GIS fields. We attempt to develop a prototype 3D GIS with consideration of the strategic linkage of Java and Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML). In this version, several key concepts of state-of-the-art GIS are studied: designing of 3D feature format, handling of spatial features and/or aspatial attributes and multimedia data, spatial indexing of selected feature, developing of 3D analytical or metric operators such as 3D buffering function, near function, and distance or statistical measurement. Especially, concept of "Lantern Operator" in 3D geographical analysis functions is newly devised, and it is basically controlled by floating node, 3D location input of source point, and its direction, effective-length and azimuth.