News Column

Patent Issued for Display of Replicated Geographic Data Using a Hierarchical Data Structure

June 24, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- A patent by the inventors Strauss, Paul Steven (Sunnyvale, CA); Co, Christopher (San Jose, CA), filed on November 28, 2011, was published online on June 10, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.

Patent number 8749550 is assigned to Google Inc. (Mountain View, CA).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "This disclosure generally relates to geographic information systems (GIS) and in particular to displaying nodes in a three-dimensional environment.

"A GIS is a system for archiving, retrieving, displaying, or manipulating data indexed according to a data element's geographic coordinates. A data element may be a variety of data types such as, for example, satellite imagery, maps, models of buildings and terrain, and other geographic features. GIS applications communicate with a server to retrieve data that is requested for display on a client device.

"A client device may display unique objects in a geographic information environment. For example, the client may display the White House at its designated address. In contrast, some objects that are displayed in the geographic information environment are not unique. These objects may appear multiple times at different locations within the geographic information environment. For example, thousands of trees in a forest may be displayed in the geographic information environment. The client device may take a long time to display these trees in a view that satisfies the user. Usability of GIS applications depends on displaying content quickly and smoothly."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Embodiments relate to methods for displaying geographic data in a three-dimensional environment. An exemplary method for displaying replicated geographic data in a three-dimensional environment includes identifying a first node in a node tree including an instance set. The first node is located within a field of view of a virtual camera that defines a perspective to view content of the three-dimensional environment. The exemplary method also includes identifying a collection referenced by the instance set. The exemplary method farther includes identifying a second node in the node tree including the collection referenced by the instance set. A depth of the first node in the node tree is greater than a depth of the second node in the node tree. The exemplary method also includes identifying a model in the collection. The model is referenced by the instance set, and the instance set includes location data for replicated instances in the instance set. The exemplary method further includes displaying the first node. Displaying the first node includes displaying model data in the collection at the locations specified by the instance set.

"Another exemplary embodiment includes identifying a node in a node tree including an instance set. The node is located within a field of view of a virtual camera that defines a perspective to view content of the three-dimensional environment. The exemplary method also includes identifying a first level-of-detail and a second level-of-detail of a model referenced by the instance set in the node. The second level-of-detail has a higher resolution than the first level-of-detail. The exemplary method further includes identifying a maximum number of instances at the second level-of-detail to render in a frame period. The exemplary method also includes determining an estimated density of a scene. The scene includes nodes in the field of view of the virtual camera. Determining the estimated density of the scene may include determining an estimated density of the instance set in the node. The exemplary method further includes determining, for the frame period, an LOD distance from a location of the virtual camera to a boundary that separates an instance at the first level-of-detail from an instance at the second level-of-detail. The LOD distance is based at least on the maximum number of instances identified and the estimated density of the scene.

"Another exemplary embodiment includes ingesting instances. Each instance includes instance location and a reference to a geographic model to be displayed at the instance location. The exemplary method also includes determining levels of detail in the node tree for instances based at least on a size of a model referenced by the instances. The exemplary method further includes distributing the instances to a set of nodes in the node tree at the corresponding levels of detail. The exemplary method also includes determining an ancestor node in the node tree for one or more nodes in the set of nodes. The exemplary method further includes generating a collection to be referenced by the ancestor node in the node tree. The collection includes geographic models referenced by the one or more nodes, and instances in the one or more nodes reference one or more models in the collection. The exemplary method also includes publishing the node tree with the collection and the instances. The published node tree may enable retrieval of models at relatively coarser levels of the node tree and retrieval of replicated instances at relatively finer levels of the node tree.

"Other embodiments of these aspects include corresponding systems, apparatuses, and computer program products configured to perform the actions of these methods, encoded on computer storage devices.

"Further features and advantages of embodiments described herein, as well as the structure and operation of various embodiments, are described in detail below with reference to the accompanying drawings. It is noted that the embodiments described below are not limited to the specific embodiments described herein. Such embodiments are presented herein for illustrative purposes only. Additional embodiments will be apparent to persons skilled in the relevant art based on the teachings contained herein."

URL and more information on this patent, see: Strauss, Paul Steven; Co, Christopher. Display of Replicated Geographic Data Using a Hierarchical Data Structure. U.S. Patent Number 8749550, filed November 28, 2011, and published online on June 10, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8749550.PN.&OS=PN/8749550RS=PN/8749550

Keywords for this news article include: Google Inc., Information Technology, Information and Data Architecture.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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