Propagation of positional error in 3D GIS: estimation of the solar irradiation of building roofs

Filip Biljecki*, Gerard B.M. Heuvelink, Hugo Ledoux, Jantien Stoter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

While error propagation in GIS is a topic that has received a lot of attention, it has not been researched with 3D GIS data. We extend error propagation to 3D city models using a Monte Carlo simulation on a use case of annual solar irradiation estimation of building rooftops for assessing the efficiency of installing solar panels. Besides investigating the extension of the theory of error propagation in GIS from 2D to 3D, this paper presents the following contributions. We (1) introduce varying XY/Z accuracy levels of the geometry to reflect actual acquisition outcomes; (2) run experiments on multiple accuracy classes (121 in total); (3) implement an uncertainty engine for simulating acquisition positional errors to procedurally modelled (synthetic) buildings; (4) perform the uncertainty propagation analysis on multiple levels of detail (LODs); and (5) implement Solar3Dcity – a CityGML-compliant software for estimating the solar irradiation of roofs, which we use in our experiments. The results show that in the case of the city of Delft in the Netherlands, a 0.3/0.6 m positional uncertainty yields an error of 68 kWh/m2/year (10%) in solar irradiation estimation. Furthermore, the results indicate that the planar and vertical uncertainties have a different influence on the estimations, and that the results are comparable between LODs. In the experiments we use procedural models, implying that analyses are carried out in a controlled environment where results can be validated. Our uncertainty propagation method and the framework are applicable to other 3D GIS operations and/or use cases. We released Solar3Dcity as open-source software to support related research efforts in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2269-2294
JournalInternational Journal of Geographical Information Science
Volume29
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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Keywords

  • 3D GIS
  • CityGML
  • error propagation
  • photovoltaic potential
  • uncertainty

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