DepthSpace3D is a digital tool for ‘Space Syntax’ analysis in 3D spaces, for Windows computers.

DepthSpace3D  is similar to 2D software applications like DepthMapX (from SSLab). It can deal with the analysis of 3D spatial configuration, visibility and accessibility.

The 'Group of Formal Methods in Architecture' of LIA - Research Laboratory of Architecture of CESAP has been devoted in recent years to R&D work in the area of methods for architecture involving the use of scientific acquisitions of the mathematical.

Particularly relevant group of its production is a computer application on 'space syntaxes' in 3D space. This digital tool has the name of DepthSpace3D.


3D analysis seems to bring better results in rough topography of the urban spaces; dynamic volumetric geometry: size, configuration, elevation and interpenetration; joint analysis of the interior of each building and its urban environment, in particular when there are high-rise buildings.

Due to operational constraints (time and memory) the use of DepthSpace3D should not be extended to large scale case studies, and is addressed to be used in fast computers.


Many quantified concepts may be calculated – isovists, visibility, integration, depth and so on. DepthSpace3D integrates an editor for a generative grammar that can expand the Space Syntax lexicon to be used. The primitive quantities are visibility, distance and depth. But it's possible to declare how to produce new quantities.

This is done through SQL queries, a very well-known and widespread query language for SQL databases.

Those quantified concepts can be presented in full 3D graphics with standard blue-to-red or shades-of-grey colours, over the paths, the geometry surfaces or the entire volume (by point or slice techiques).


Several paths may be defined allowing the study of different scenarios of human distribution and movement.

DepthSpace3D accepts degrees of opacity of the surfaces and volume, allowing the study of several environmental conditions or the changing visual permeability of trees.

Users may use and create geometry generators, parametric shapes that facilitate the modelling of their case studies.

DepthSpace3D implements separation of data and algorithm. A SQL database stores all the information of the case studies. The structure of the database is provided and can be used outside the DepthSpace3D application, by everyone interested in other developments.

'Space syntaxes' are a set of methods in use in the architecture for over 30 years, and as they require a large amount of calculations, they need to be treated by ICT instruments.

So far, only 2D analysis was currently available, developed mainly in the original school - the University College London.

The availability of 3D software tools opens up new perspectives to the advancement of these technologies, and corresponds to a need for scientific and technological development of these methodologies.

The new fields of application can be very important. CESAP intends now to carry out the dissemination of the results of its R&D to society in general and particularly to regional business. This is the project called OPO'ArchFormalMethods. The aim of the project is not only to make an 'educational' passage of academic research results, through the usual conferences, articles and books. But the objectives are also to support the creation of a cluster of institutions and regional companies with interests in the use of this product, that provides new business opportunities.