3.3. Definition of the CRS for a 3D City Database instance

The definition of the CRS of a 3D City Database instance consists of two components: 1) a valid Spatial Reference Identifier (SRID, typically the EPSG code) and 2) an OGC GML conformant definition identifier for the CRS. Both components are defined during the database setup (see Section 1.3) and are further stored in the table DATABASE_SRS (see Fig. 3.55).

The SRID is an integer value key pointing to spatial reference information within the SPATIAL_REF_SYS table (PostGIS) or the MDSYS.CS_SRS table (Oracle). Both DBMSs are shipped with a large number of predefined spatial reference systems.


When defining the default SRID during setup of the 3D City Database instance, the chosen value must already exist in the mentioned tables.

The GML conformant CRS definition identifier should follow the OGC recommendation for the Universal Resource Name (URN) encoding of CRSs given in the OGC Best Practice Paper Definition identifier URNs in OGC namespace [Whit2009]. At setup time, please make sure to provide a URN value which corresponds to the spatial reference system identified by the default SRID of the database instance. Since CityGML is a 3D standard, the URN encoding should always represent a three-dimensional CRS.


The CRS definition identifier is used as value for the gml:srsName attribute on GML geometry elements when exporting data in CityGML format. Software consuming the exported data will rely on this information to be able to automatically apply the correct spatial reference. So please make sure that the CRS identifier is correct. The identifier is, however, neither required nor evaluated when executing spatial operations inside the 3DCityDB itself.

An identifier for a three-dimensional CRS can, for example, be denoted as compound coordinate reference systems according to [Whit2009]. The general syntax of a URN encoding for a compound reference system is as follows:


Authority, version, and code depend on the information authority providing the CRS definition (e.g. EPSG or OGC). The following example shows a possible combination of an SRID (here referring to a 2D CRS) and CRS URN encoding (3D) to set up an instance of the 3D City Database:

SRID: 31466
URN: urn:ogc:def:crs,crs:EPSG:7.7:31466,crs:EPSG:7.7:5783

The example SRID is referencing a Projected CRS defined by EPSG (DHDN / 3-degree Gauss-Krüger zone 2; used in the western part of Germany; EPSG-Code: 31466). The URN encodes a compound coordinate reference system which adds a Vertical CRS as height reference (DHHN92 height, EPSG-Code: 5783).


The 3DCityDB is shipped with a database script that allows you to change the SRID and/or the CRS definition identifier at any time for a given 3DCityDB instance (see Section 3.5.5). This functionality is helpful, for instance, in case the 3DCityDB was set up with a wrong SRID by mistake that does not match the imported data. You can quickly change the SRID so that spatial functions of the database work correctly. Or you can even use this functionality to reproject an entire 3DCityDB instance to a new CRS.

The Importer/Exporter also offers a convenient way to execute this script via its graphical user interface (see Section 4.3.4).