image 3d city coll3D city models are now becoming the norm rather than the exception. The uptake of building information modeling (BIM) is helping to create this growing change. What looks good in 2D on a drawing is often not easily understood in a 3D context. As design professionals, contractors and builders begin to sort out the pieces of large infrastructure projects, the need for coordination, communication and collaboration expands and becomes more important. A primary objective of these projects involves connecting the dots between the pieces to ensure all are on the same page, and that projects meet schedules for completion.

Earlier 3D city models were content with creating 3D structures from 2D images. This immediately created the impression of 3D and enabled people to view large regional expanses from alternative perspectives. Some software were content with moving large chunks of cities around blocks, seemingly adjusting them to personal, visual and other reasons - as if all structures or blocks were owned by the same person. 

The reality is: 3D city modeling is the extension of individual owners, contractors and builders whose work is manifested in different buildings and infrastructure across these areas have different motivations and often unique reasons for developing projects. Accordingly, they use different 3D software products to construct and operate the projects.

Realizing that different software and services are involved in 3D city modeling, thse pieces need to inter-operate and connect with other.  Capturing the right data that meets interoperablility challenges and using software products that can link with others forms a large part of the collaboration challenge.

Other key considerations include the ability to work with automation practices, having backward compatibility in software sources and being able to inject analytics into the process workflows. Afterall, building the infrastructure is only one part of the complete process that also includes operation and maintenance, therefore, performance operations and data analysis in the software and services paths is also critical. 

As augmented reality, 3d sensor technology and predictive analytics become more involved in the infrastructure lifecycle, we are seeing more contractors and contributors involved in these projects, each relying upon the same data to maintain integrity. These participants must also become aware of interoperability and the need to coordinate their practices and end realizations into a stream of other collaborators.