3-D MODELS IN APPLIED GEOSCIENCE – SOME EXAMPLES OF VISUALIZATION FOR ANALYSIS AND REPORTING
Computer programs like ArcGIS, AutoCAD®, and Google SketchUp, along with advances in computer processing power have made three-dimensional data management and data visualization more accessible and efficient than ever before. Borehole and geologic data can be effectively managed in ArcGIS databases and surfaces such as geologic strata and groundwater levels can be created with a wide range of interpolation techniques. Ground surface data such as LIDAR and aerial photography are becoming more easily accessible and can be integrated into 3-D geologic models to add a sense of scale and realism. The combination of these advances has led to some interesting new tools for geologists to analyze data and communicate findings and interpretations to those that don’t think quite like geologists. Several examples of 3-D data management and visualization for applied geoscience and engineering projects will be presented.