Research Papers

Augmented and Virtual Reality for Underground Facilities Management

[+] Author and Article Information
Gregorio Soria

Depto de Informática,
University of Jaén,
Jaén 23071, Spain
e-mail: gsoria@ujaen.es

L. M. Ortega Alvarado

Depto de Informática,
Campus Las Lagunillas,
University of Jaén,
Jaén 23071, Spain
e-mail: lidia@ujaen.es

Francisco R. Feito

Full Professor
Depto de Informática,
University of Jaén,
Jaén 23071, Spain
e-mail: ffeito@ujaen.es

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received December 11, 2017; final manuscript received May 22, 2018; published online July 13, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Francesco Ferrise.

J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng 18(4), 041008 (Jul 13, 2018) (9 pages) Paper No: JCISE-17-1299; doi: 10.1115/1.4040460 History: Received December 11, 2017; Revised May 22, 2018

Augmented reality (AR) has experienced a breakthrough in many areas of application thanks to cheaper hardware and a strong industry commitment. In the field of management of urban facilities, this technology allows virtual access and interaction with hidden underground elements. This paper presents a new approach to enable AR in mobile devices such as Google Tango, which has specific capabilities to be used outdoors. The first objective is to provide full functionality in the life-cycle management of subsoil infrastructures through this technology. This implies not only visualization, interaction, and free navigation, but also editing, deleting, and inserting elements ubiquitously. For this, a topological data model for three-dimensional (3D) data has been designed. Another important contribution of the paper is getting exact location and orientation performed in only a few minutes, using no additional markers or hardware. This accuracy in the initial positioning, together with the device sensing, avoids the usual errors during the navigation process in AR. Similar functionality has also been implemented in a nonubiquitous way to be supported by any other device through virtual reality (VR). The tests have been performed using real data of the city of Jaén (Spain).

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Fig. 1

Client–server architecture

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Fig. 2

The Google Tango device

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Fig. 3

Input data example

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Fig. 4

Database entity-relationship model

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Fig. 5

Manual selection of the location

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Fig. 6

Virtual representation just on the actual well position

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Fig. 7

Original visualization of geometry in Unity

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Fig. 8

Match-up process to bring virtual buildings closer to the real ones: (a) arbitrary disposition of buildings in the scene, (b) the figure is rotated to match the buildings, and (c) the buildings are lowered to ground level

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Fig. 9

Visualization of facilities during the navigation process: (a) pipes into the box, (b) well into the box, and (c) no box for visualizing facilities

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Fig. 10

Examples of virtual reality: (a) camera located under facilities with the up-down function and (b) terrain orography and facilities visualization

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Fig. 11

Editing network geometry: (a) geometry editing in (X,Y,Z) and (b) zenithal visualization for navigation or editing

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Fig. 12

Deleting a pipe section: (a) interface once a section of pipe has been selected and (b) result after deleting the selected pipe



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