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V3Geo: A platform for sharing virtual 3D geoscience models

V3Geo is a new cloud-based repository for virtual 3D models in geoscience. It allows storage, search and viewing of 3D models commonly collected using photogrammetry, lidar or other laboratory-based 3D modelling techniques. The platform is developed for storing 3D models at the range of scales and applications required by geoscientists – from microscopic, hand samples and fossils through to outcrops covering tens of kilometres. A 3D viewer allows exploring of the models and simple measurement from within the web browser. V3Geo differs from other services in that it allows very large models (with multiple sections), is designed to include additional interpretations and focusses on geoscience through a tagging and metadata schema. Although planned for full release later in 2020, the first part of the project has been released in response to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Models in the database (currently c. 150) are given Creative Commons licences and can be utilised for virtual teaching and field experience as physical courses and excursions move to digital formats. V3Geo allows increased accessibility to field localities when travel or mobility is restricted, as well as providing the base models for virtual field trips. V3Geo is now accepting contributions from the geoscience community. Contributions are subject to a technical review to ensure underlying quality and reliability for scientific and professional usage. The database will continue to develop and grow, aiming to become a valuable resource for the geoscience community.


Simon John Buckley (1), John Anthony Howell (2), Nicole Naumann (1), Kari Ringdal (1), Joris Vanbiervliet (1), Bowei Tong (1), Conor Lewis (1), Gail Maxwell (2) & Magda Chmielewska (2)
NORCE Norwegian Research Centre, Norway (1); University of Aberdeen, UK(2)
GeoUtrecht 2020