3D Virtual Cities, Twin Cities: Available File Formats

By Tony St-Pierre, Surveyor, F. Eng.

President of XEOS Imaging Inc.

March 4, 2022

The 3D twin cities produced by XEOS Imaging are available in a variety of file formats so they can be used with most software. The primary file formats currently offered by XEOS Imaging are::

.SLPK format (Esri Scene Layer Package)

.SLPK is a proprietary format created by Esri. .SLPK files open directly in Esri’s ArcGIS software (ArcScene module). 3D twin cities can be superimposed over the information layers available in ArcGIS.

ArcGIS Online publications are a simple and efficient way of sharing 3D maps that integrate XEOS Imaging’s highly realistic digital twin cities.

.OBJ format

.OBJ is a very widespread open-source file format that is used as an import/export format to exchange data between different 3D programs. Here are a few of the most common programs using the .OBJ format: AutoDesk 3ds Max, Maya, Blender, MeshLab, Matterport, Sketchup, Global Mapper, etc.

Most .OBJ files do not contain a projection system to georeference 3D data. However, .OBJ files generated by XEOS Imaging contain georeferenced coordinates to position twin cities correctly in space.

.FBX format

.FBX is a proprietary format created by AutoDesk. .FBX files contain the information needed to georeference the data. This format can contain 2D, 3D, audio, and video data.

.3D Tiles format

The .3D Tiles format is an open-source format created by the OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium). It is used to share on the Internet massive amounts of georeferenced 3D data with high-quality rendering. It is specifically used to share photogrammetric data, 3D buildings, BIMs/CADs, LiDAR point clouds, and more.

XEOS Imaging provides .3D Tiles files to developers who want to integrate digital twin cities or LiDAR data into their web applications.

.DAE format (Collada)

.DAE is a proprietary format created by AutoDesk. This 3D format is based on the COLLADA XML schema (COLLAborative Design Activity) and is used to exchange data among different graphic software.