4.1. Launching the Importer/ExporterΒΆ

The 3D City Database Importer/Exporter offers both a graphical user interface (GUI) and a command-line interface (CLI). The CLI allows for embedding the tool in batch processing workflows and third-party applications. The usage of the CLI is documented in Section 4.9.

To launch the GUI, simply use the starter script located in the installation directory of the Importer/Exporter. A desktop icon as well as shortcuts in the start menu of your operating system will additionally be available in case you chose to create shortcuts during setup. Depending on your platform, one of the following starter scripts is provided in the installation directory:

  • 3DCityDB-Importer-Exporter.bat (Microsoft Windows family)
  • 3DCityDB-Importer-Exporter (UNIX/Linux/Mac OS family)

On most platforms, double-clicking the starter script or its shortcut runs the Importer/Exporter.

For some UNIX/Linux distributions, you will have to run the starter script from within a shell environment though. Please open your favourite shell and first check whether execution rights are correctly set on the starter script. If not, change to the installation folder and enter the following command to make the starter script executable for the owner of the file:

$ chmod u+x 3DCityDB-Importer-Exporter

Afterwards, simply run the software by issuing the following command:

$ ./3DCityDB-Importer-Exporter


With every release, the README.txt file in the installation folder provides version-specific information on how to run the Importer/Exporter.

Using environment variables in the launch process

The Importer/Exporter is launched with default options for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) that runs the application. You can override these default options in the launch process by using the environment variable JAVA_OPTS.

For example, JAVA_OPTS can be used to control the amount of main memory that the Importer/Exporter can use. By default, the tool runs with at minimum 1 GB of main memory. The maximum available main memory depends on your Java version. When running on Java 11, for instance, the Importer/Exporter can use 25% of the available physical main memory of your machine with an upper limit of 25 GB. This value should be reasonable on most platforms and for most import/export processes. However, when working with very large large CityGML top-level features or CityJSON input files, you might need to increase the memory limits to avoid out-of-memory exceptions. This can be done with the JVM parameters -Xms for the initial memory size and -Xmx for the maximum memory size (please check the documentation of your Java installation for more details).

The following snippet shows how to use JAVA_OPTS to set the memory limits to an initial size of 1 GB and a maximum size of 8 GB under Windows.

set JAVA_OPTS="-Xms1G -Xmx8GB"

For UNIX/Linux, it looks almost the same:

export JAVA_OPTS="-Xms1G -Xmx8GB"

Simply copy this line into the start script 3DCityDB-Importer-Exporter and make sure to put it before the last line in this script. Note that you can set any other JVM option as well.

Instead of JAVA_OPTS you can also use IMPEXP_OPTS as environment variable. Both are supported by the Importer/Exporter and evaluated in the launch process.

Adapting the CLI start script

The start script 3DCityDB-Importer-Exporter is only a wrapper and invokes the CLI script impexp of the Importer/Exporter, which is located in the bin folder of the installation directory. To get more fine-grained control over the launch process, you can also edit this CLI start script directly. Good knowledge in shell scripting is required when doing so.