This research thesis presents an organisational framework for the management of virtual cities for hosts to adopt when seeking to produce and maintain a virtual city for use as a tool for urban planning related activities. The framework functions as an over-arching business model or structure, a general methodology for defining the organisational processes of virtual city enterprises. In achieving this aim, the research outlines standards and protocols for its creation, legal issues for its distribution and suggested processes for the update of 3D data. The diverse issues and needs of various stakeholders are addressed (Horne et al., 2006) in order to challenge the organisational issues and common concepts involved in creating, hosting and managing a city model (Voigt et al., 2004). Preliminary investigations showed that extensive research has been carried out on 3D and virtual city modelling techniques and their application, but the theoretical organisational and management issues for hosting 3D virtual city models needs to be addressed (Hamilton et al., 2005; Dokonal and Martens, 2001) through a ‘guiding source book’ for the creation and use of 3D city models(Bourdakis, 2004). This thesis explores the current state of virtual city modelling and its origins through literature research as well as an investigation into suitable business modelling practice. Pilot studies and an interview process with current virtual city hosts informed the research of current practice in the field. An organisational framework is subsequently put forward that combines elements from each of these investigations using a business model ‘canvas’ that can be adopted by current or prospective hosts and adapted to suit their circumstances, applications and users. The framework addresses the technical aspects of establishing a virtual city model, such as 3D data capture methods, spatial data infrastructure and modelling protocols in order to present a roadmap for virtual city enterprises. This correspondingly outlines a development from traditional and static datasets of geometry in ‘3D city models’ to more serviceable and user-centric ‘virtual city enterprises’. The organisational framework introduces 7 key areas that virtual city hosts should address for sustaining their enterprise that encompasses the technologies and expertise. Hence, this research makes significant contribution to knowledge by bringing together the many considerations that virtual city hosts must consider when creating a sustainable process to support urban planning.
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - Mar 2013|