I originally wrote this email response to an internal query, but I thought to post it publicly so many may benefit. The article has been modified with minor revisions for the public audience.
Check out Mapzen Vector Tile Service which can be queried as GeoJSON, and transformed into other vector formats that OpenLayers, D3.js, etc. can understand. There are also increasingly more and more vector tile containers, for instance Mapbox, Mapzen, Terria, Cesium, and Leaflet has a plugin.
Just like the recent announcement of deck.gl v4.0 being released, these mapping services are native to the web, accelerated by WebGL. The amount of visualisation power through computation has a high potential.
There are borderline interaction papers, but some interesting ones may be what came out of the W4A Accessibility Hack. The delegate winner, Kieran Mesquita, created a Docker container for TAO (Sam would be proud). Normally, it takes 1-2 hours of setting TAO up just to get it working, but now you can do it in 15 minutes.
TAO is an open source program that can assess WCAG accessibility conformance, and as all government agency websites have strict accessibility requirements, this will be real handy down the line.
Terry Crowley wrote an excellent article called Education of a Programmer and refers to Joel Spolsky's "Law of Leaky Abstractions", and managing software complexity. Both are long reads but totally worth the time.
Frederick Brooks Jr. wrote a journal article titled No Silver Bullet---Essence and Accident in Sofware Engineering in 1995. He listed the essences (fundamentals to creating software) and accidents (side effects of using software), and talked about how different solutions may only solve a small set of a general problem, and he defines them well. The 22 years old article stands well against the test of time, I think.
Here are the factors to consider:
What does it mean to browse a 3D/VR website vs a normal flatscreen website? Does that mean people will start strapping phones to their faces? I doubt it.
People will start using phones in ways we haven't designed the phones for ever before, because there will be incentives to repurpose a WebVR/WebAR enabled phone to do specific tasks. If there is a need to be filled, be it attending a social event care for animal welfare or sharing digital worlds they have already begun.
The next big adjacent idea, borrowing the term from James McQuivey, will be contributing to the 3D Web ecosystem, while being fit for purpose. It could be tools creation, enhancing rendering pipeline, or a platform for publishing. Whatever it is, we're at the right moment for it.