Seeing the whole geospatial picture in 3D – without VR reports on 3D PluraView in GEO applications

Carla Lauter /

What can geospatial professionals learn when they are able to view their 3D assets in a new way?

We all understand that the Earth is not two-dimensional. Thanks to advances in surveying, measurement and modeling, we can now create detailed 3D recreations of our environment and built structures – getting closer to a true digital representation of the real world. Broadening use cases for 3D scanning, modeling and visualization have helped professionals across myriad industries better see and comprehend their assets, surroundings and interactions with the natural world. However, viewing 3D assets on a flat computer or tablet screen may not reveal the whole picture.

While augmented and virtual reality (VR) have shown promise for viewing some 3D assets (such as a digital ‘walkthrough’ for a client design review), there is still an unmet need for GIS, CAD, BIM and other professionals to work all day on detailed models in 3D, instead of just popping in and out for a virtual tour. The current reality, however, is that working and focusing for a full workday with a heavy VR headset is impractical and potentially detrimental to the wearer, and is unlikely to become the industry standard solution any time soon.

Schneider Digital’s line of 3D PluraView monitors offers an alternative, enabling the ability to see 3D data in high resolution, flicker-free for hours. Built as a monitor that can be used in regular office/daylight conditions, the 3D PluraView monitors are compatible with a massive list of supported applications, which can make their entry into existing 3D workflows simple and straightforward.


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Putting lidar and mapping data back into 3D

The use of stereoscopic visualization is helpful for many geospatial applications, including viewing point clouds and maps generated from lidar collection. When working with massive 3D datasets, PluraView monitors can be a powerful tool to help bring work to new levels of detail and clarity – without the fatigue and short working times offered by virtual and augmented reality devices.

When viewing point clouds, the 4K resolution of the monitors enables single points to be viewed with ease, as well as providing depth and context when flying through collected point clouds. This clarity can also help point cloud processing and clean-up workflows take less time and effort compared to working on traditional screens. The wide viewing area can also make more of a model visible at once, reducing the amount of motion and movement needed to investigate an area of interest. The ability to edit spatial structures in a 3D stereo environment is a key benefit to working in 3D. 

Because the applications PluraView supports are “plug and play”, no special graphics drivers or additional software needs to be installed to use these workstations. So users who work heavily in applications like ArcGIS Pro, FARO Scene, Bentley ContextCapture, Hexagon and Leica’s mapping products, and others will have no problem bringing their work into stereoscopic 3D.

Streamlining photogrammetry workflows and applications

When visualizing photogrammetry, especially airborne and UAV-captured scenes, the addition of 3D stereo viewing can bring more spatial understanding to the process. The ability to perform comparisons from stereo to mono is also highly valuable. The precise, pixel-accurate calibration of the 3D PluraView systems enables the simultaneous display of stereoscopic and monoscopic applications in full-screen resolution.

Case Study:

When precision work is required, high resolution and true stereo imagery is paramount to success. In the heavily bombarded area of Hamburg Germany, discovering where unexploded ordinance may lay is an important precursor to any land management or construction project. The challenge of working out what are suspected locations of unexploded bombs, and what are tree crowns or open manhole covers is a huge ask, and was faced by the Hamburg Fire Service’s Unexploded Ordinance Survey Department. With the utmost meticulousness, the Hamburg Fire Service interprets wartime aerial photographs to clarify whether or not there might be unexploded ordnance present. 3D stereoscopy helps to differentiate between small craters and mounds.

“A very important element of our work is spatial 3D-stereo representation, because that lets us see whether a black spot on the image is a subsidence or an elevation: A subsidence can be an indication of an unexploded bomb that entered the ground, but did not detonate”, explains aerial photograph interpreter Matthias Otto.

“Stereoscopy makes it easier to see, whether or not the intermediate floors were present in damaged buildings. If they were still there, that part of the site is no longer under suspicion, but if none of the floors remained, it most definitely is.”

Read the full case study…

How does it work?

Drawing on beam-splitting technology, 3D PluraView monitors offer a view of 3D assets via a stereoscopic display. The 28-inch screen displays outputs of 3D software in 4K resolution and up to 10 bit color depth. With two high-resolution screens, the stereoscopic image pairs for the left and the right eye are combined by the beam splitter (a specially coated transflective mirror) to form a very bright and high-contrast holographic stereo image. Due to the different polarization angle of the PluraView glasses, both stereo channels are separated for the left and the right eye, resulting in a perfect 3D-stereo display for the professional desktop.

More about the 3D PluraView
Case Study Feuerwehr Hamburg

By the way: If you want to learn more about our 3D stereo, VR/AR and 4K/8K solutions or professional hardware components (high-end monitors, professional graphics cards, high-end workstations, smart VR wall, peripheral solutions, etc.), please just call us directly, phone +49 (8025) 99 300, or email us at

News & Events

News from the world of 3D & high-end hardware

3D PluraView and 3D GlobeView: New 3rd dimension for Tebis CAD/CAM

Tebis presented the latest version of its software at the Tebis in-house exhibition 2024 on 12 and 13 June in Martinsried (Bavaria): Tebis 4.1, now with impressive stereoscopy on the 3D PluraView desktop monitor and the 3D GlobeView big-screen monitor. Schneider Digital's stereoscopic monitors enable precise and immersive 3D visualisation and provide realistic depth perception and detailed visualisation. Discover the perfect symbiosis of Tebis 4.1 and 3D PluraView as well as 3D GlobeView.

Schneider Digital has moved!

We have moved! New location, new address! After careful consideration, we have decided to relocate our offices to expand our capacity and better serve our customer base. Our current location has restricted us in our growth due to limited space and resources. The new location will provide us with more space to expand our workstation and monitor production, increase our warehouse and improve our customer service with larger office space.

LidarNews customer interview with Towill about 3D technology

Questions and answers in LidarNews' interview with George Maalouli, Chief Photogrammetrist at Towill, Inc, a leading international company in geomatics services and technologies and geographic information systems (GIS): Maalouli describes the benefits of years of cooperation with KELYN Technologies, authorized distributor of PluraView 3D monitors in the USA and Canada, and the positive experience of using Scheider Digital's PluraView 3D monitors:

Ambit at the Hong Kong 3D Geospatial Summit 2024

On April 29, 2024, the 3D Geospatial Summit 2024 will take place in Hong Kong under the motto "The Synergy of City Big Data and Geo-AI for Smart Government". As one of the 10 industry leaders for geodata solutions, Ambit will be there to showcase relevant, future-oriented technologies in this industry with the 3D Pluraview and 3D GlobeView.

Review ISE 2024 in Barcelona: Schneider Digital in cooperation with VNS Inc.

Schneider Digital and VNS Inc. presented an impressive demonstration of their products at ISE 2024 that redefine the boundaries of visual technology. The seamless integration of the passive 3D stereo monitor 3D PluraView with VNS Inc.'s GeoBox opens up fascinating possibilities for high-quality edge blending and the conversion of various 3D formats.

Review GeoWeek 2024 in Denver, CO: 3D stereo geo-visualization in focus

Innovative 3D visualization with the PluraView & GlobeView. This year's GeoWeek took place from February 10-12 in Denver, Colorado. Schneider Digital demonstrated live onsite with its partners KELYN3D and Cardinal Systems with VrThree what the future of geoscience looks like.

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