This paper introduces a practical approach to constructing a hybrid 3D metrical-topological model of a university campus or other extended urban region from labeled 2D floor plan geometry. An exhaustive classification of adjacency types is provided for a typical infrastructure, including roads, walkways, green-space, and detailed indoor spaces. We extend traditional lineal techniques to 2D open spaces, incorporating changes in elevation. We demonstrate our technique on a dataset of approximately 160 buildings, 800 floors, and 44,000 spaces spanning indoor and outdoor areas. Finally, we describe MITquest, a web application that generates efficient walking routes.


Paper PDF (0.5 MB)


  author    = {Emily Whiting and Jonathan Battat and Seth Teller},
  title     = {Topology of Urban Environments},
  booktitle = {Computer-Aided Architectural Design Futures (CAADFutures)},
  year      = {2007},
  location  = {Sydney, Australia},
  pages     = {114--128},
  publisher = {Springer}


July 2007: Awarded Best Paper Presentation at the CAAD Futures '07 Conference.

Emily Whiting
Last modified: Fri Jan 25 2013