Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML)

Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) is an ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standard file format for describing interactive 3D scenes that can be browsed over the Web. Its relevance to the GIS field lies in its ability to represent landscapes and urban environments in 3D, and also in the GeoVRML extension that supports geographic applications.


The first version of VRML (pronounced “vermal”) was released in November 1994 and was heavily based upon the Open Inventor file format from Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI). This was superseded in 1996 by VRML2, which ultimately became the VRML97 international standard (ISO/IEC 14772–1:1997) in December 1997. In 2002, an amendment to the standard was published incorporating support for geographic applications (GeoVRML), among other new features.

VRML files are often referred to as ...

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