3D scene export from ArcGIS Pro

12-21-2017 07:40 AM
Status: Open
Labels (1)
New Contributor II

In the DoD reconnaissance/surveillance world quite often an analyst is tasked to get the intel out to the end user in some format that's easy & quick to evaluate. If that intel is in the form of geo-located imagery & terrain it can be in the form of very large files that require an ELT to view & manipulate. The 2D/3D GeoPDF format is an ideal solution for getting that intel pushed forward to end users or other analysts. This audience doesn't necessarily have the tools that provide the means for gathering intelligence from the data but they do typically have Adobe Reader.

Currently the only means to export a 3D scene to a vrml is from ArcScene. While ArcScene is a nice tool it's a bit wonky & is only 32 bit. The 3D scene content has to be just right to make the export succeed. ArcGIS Pro does a very nice job of displaying 3D scenes rapidly & flawlessly, w/o having to mess around w/ adjusting base heights, resolution or defining the base layer. However Pro does not provide the same export 2D/3D functionality. It should. There are two companies that specialize in the 2D/3D PDF/GeoPDF genre: TerraGo & Tetra4D. Both provide add-ins to Adobe Acrobat & Reader that allow for creation of as well as measurement & manipulation of 3D PDFs. TerraGo also provides one of their GeoPDF plugins for ArcMap & are currently considering the same for Pro.

The largest stumbling block to getting your 3D data from ArcGIS is the current platform from which to do it. Currently there are only two solutions, 1) as a vrml from ArcScene which is in turn utilized by the Tetra4D plugin in Acrobat to generate a 3D scene, or 2) directly in Acrobat by utilizing the TerraGo 3D GeoPDF Creator plugin to import the raw image & terrain files. Given that ArcGIS Pro is becoming more widely accepted and that it does a great job of displaying 3D it seems the most logical solution would be to incorporate the vrml export directly from Pro. The alternative would be to provide the interface for the TerraGo 3D GeoPDF Creator plugin to generate the output directly from the raw imagery.