Right format for a public 3D building reposity


I’m comming from the http://www.openstreetmap.org community, that creates a free wiki worldmap and offers even it’s datas under a CreativeCommons license. Currently we have a growing number of buildings and of course already some tools doing simple 3D presentations out of it.

But of course we want more details and so we thinking about a spin-off project that implements a 3D model reposity.

Even if I used Blender3D for years I have not much experience in 3D file formats and we have currently the problem on deciding which format to use. Google Sketchup uses Collada and so why we should reinvent the wheel?

Honestly, to me COLLADA looks pretty complex and I’m not sure if it fits for our usecase:
-allow every user it’s fav. editing tool
-make georeference easy, idealy embedded in the file
-be flexible to let other projects use our resources, too (e.g. for flightsims,…)
-let model any kind of buildings (houses, bridges, towers, …)
-let model even Points of interests (fountains, wind generators, power poles,…)

What might be useful in later steps:
-flexible align/position relative to other things (e.g. traffic light looks along a road)
-generalisation (common objects e.g. a common bus stop for New York)
-state depended (day,night, details basing upon attributes)

So what does professionals say, is it the right task for COLLADA?

Please, is this question to easy or to detailed?

COLLADA 1.5 supports everything on your list. COLLADA 1.4 lacks only georeference support.


I asked this over at CG Talk, but didn’t get any answers so far. Since the topic is simliar to the one in this thread, I post this here:

[i]I am trying to find out which 3D exchange format is better to use in a 3D library. The format has to support textures with alpha channel, shader and animation. I researched the possibilities and my favorites are FBX and DAE. I tried Google to find out, which one is used more widely and preferred by artists and programmers, but the stuff I found is at least a couple of years old (mostly forums and blog posts).

So what is the status today?[/i]

I hope you guys can give me some insight on this and good reasons for choosing Collada over FBX (since this is the Collada forum I guess this is what most people will say anyway :wink: ).

It’s not really an either/or choice. COLLADA is about having content in XML documents that you can use in all of your applications and use-cases.

FBX is but one implementation of COLLADA. The FBX product has not (yet) passed the COLLADA conformance test suite however so your mileage will vary. I believe Autodesk is working on COLLADA conformance and I encourage FBX users to demand it to ensure the quality of their content. :slight_smile: