Big Ben's terrain sets

Started by bigben, July 01, 2007, 09:27:30 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


Hi Ben, yes went up to the English Lakes a couple of weeks back. It strikes me that a vast amount could be learned about surfacing from a study or two of those fells. I've got a lot of ref images actually of the Lakes. I only wish I had a better camera- a *real* camera that is.



I have a couple of major database projects that will be slowing me down over the next few weeks, but I'll still be plugging away with something  ;)

Collecting some more data for another terrain set in the northwest US. I know there's a lot of terrains already available for this area, and some people have higher res data than is available to me but my approach is perhaps a little different.  As I also include the projection and coordinates for the terrains there is some scope for some collaborative terrain sets with higher res portions at a later date.

The terrain set will be centred between the 3 peaks in the test render below (2049 preview terrain produced from 30m NED, non-flattened terrain) and will extend to the west coast (and 90m SRTM3 for Canada of required)... longshot.jpg is Mt Rainier from the coast


Finally filled in the gaps in my data for my US 3 peaks terrain set. I still have some more files to make but there's enough there now to formally announce its availability. Filenames and locations should be stable now.

Any unlinked text is to remind me what I still need to prepare. There are no canopy/landcover images for the high res terrains because the 160km version is close enough to the full resolution of the data.

I've also been working on a terrain set for the Swiss Alps but I've just encountered another limitiation to my data conversion process.  I'm currently exporting geotiffs from GlobalMapper 4.78 and then loading them into 3DEM to convert to TER. This gets past GM's 2049 TER export limit with only some minor data degradation. 

3DEM, unfortunately is a little sensitive about just how big an area of data it loads. It doesn't like corner coordinates to stray too far out of a UTM zone, or too far into the negative. For the latter you can get more terrain by choosing a UTM zone to the left of centre, but go too far left and it eventually doesn't like the coordinates that are too far to the right. I have a bit more exploring of the limits of these restrictions, but it looks like my 820km terrains will be as big as I can go for now. For the Alps, I'm trying to create larger terrains around the Matterhorn, but it's a long way from my central reference point (from which I can cover the full length of the Alps).

I'm saving for a new version of GM but it's pretty hefty for something that's just a hobby.


So this is Disney World.  Can we live here?


Formally announcing the availability of my Swiss Alps terrain set. There are still a few gaps in the supporting data and additional files, but the terrains are done. This is by far my biggest yet in terms of coverage. The widest terrain is a 2049x2049 terrain covering about 2,050km i.e. most of Europe. This set is broken up into two substes, one centred on the Alps and another centred on the Matterhorn in the east.

I guess I should also formally announce the completion of terrains sets as well  ;)



Awesome.  For whatever reason, I didn't realize you were doing this.  Maybe I've been too busy.  Thanks!    :o
So this is Disney World.  Can we live here?

Volker Harun

Thanks a lot ... I really appreciate your effort, results and share.


You're welcome guys.  It's easy sharing when your the server admin.  ;)  ;D

Preparing them is relatively easy now that I've made some extra data management tools.  Almost finished adding a clip file generator to my database to simplify the process of compiling TGDs.

Collecting the data is the most time consuming part, but it's not really hard work. I have about 1/3 of the globe as SRTM3 and Landsat now and am slowly chipping away at the USGS downloads. Luckily external hard drives are cheap  :)

Now all I need is a new version of GlobalMapper to make use of some data I have the GM4 doesn't support... bathymetric data will make for some really cool orbital renders when water transparency is available.


you certainly want to upgrade Global Mapper to the most recent version, to quote Mike at Global Mapper on the yahoo mailing list
" The latest release of Global Mapper should include support for
generating custom sized .TER files. We also have a build available that adds
world and PRJ file export for Terragen .TER export if that is useful to you."

  Add that to the ability to easily export properly format and georeferenced World Wind format tiles for imagery, which one could whip up with with orthographic renders in TG, and you have the ability to texture the whole globe( if you have the time and disk space) for 3d viewing in World Wind.
Here is a link to some testing we have done at using custom imagery overlaid on custom terrain of Middle Earth's Anduin Vale,,,com_fireboard/Itemid,43/func,view/id,2396/catid,8/

and this is a link to a blog I have on the easy way (so far) to get custom terrain, as in  terrain you create in TG , GeoControl,L3DT, WM and so on in to World Wind

Imagine a complete fantasy world heightfield custom textured inplace of the Earth in World Wind, in time it could be done. SeerBlue
;) if the idea of custom texturing the World Wind Globe, even a small section, pushes you over the edge and you go for upgrading Global Mapper, tell Mike me-dem sent you ;D


Nice pitch but it wasn't really needed  ;) 

While there were some minor drawbacks to my TER creation process, I was relatively happy with the end result and couldn't really justify the hefty price given that I had acceptable workarounds for everything I was trying to do.. With the latest update to TG2 removing the biggest obstacle to my large terrain sets I've now reached the point where my TER creation software is now the limiting factor... to the point where I can't complete some of the projects that have been waiting for this to happen.

I spent most of the weekend reorganising my data storage before going to rework some old data for a flyover of the Great Dividing Range (east coast of Australia, north to south)... a basic repeat of my very first TG0.9 animation. Unfortunately I couldn't get a 4097 TER out of my data as 3DEM didn't like the coordinate range.  After a bit more rearranging I'll be updating GM very soon...  ;D

This may also mean that some of the terrains I've already posted may get updated if there are significant differences in the flatter portions of the final terrains.


Things are a bit chaotic at the moment, but I have a new terrain set available for download on a preview of a new, new site (clarifying any potential conflict of interest issues at work ;)) The design of the site is still very much under development so bear with me...

Monument Valley and Goosenecks... yes that's right, two terrain sets for the price of one.

Downloading the roads for this area, and will post them when they're ready ... although there aren't that many of them here ;)

Ho, Ho, Ho and all that sorta stuff  ;D (it is still OK to use that phrase here??.... the political correctness madness has struck Australia and Santa's not supposed to say that anymore)

Harvey Birdman

Quote from: bigben on December 08, 2007, 09:21:02 PM
Ho, Ho, Ho and all that sorta stuff  ;D (it is still OK to use that phrase here??.... the political correctness madness has struck Australia and Santa's not supposed to say that anymore)

Say what now?   :o   ???   ::)  And I suppose PETA bitches about the reindeer, too...   :)


Ho, Ho, Ho... while kids used to use "hoe" for a variety of gardening-based santa jokes, it seems that a derogatory piece of american slang is supposedly so prevalent here that kids might think that santa is being demeaning to women rather than just being jolly...   so to be politically correct, store santas have been advised not to use the phrase... go figure???

Harvey Birdman

Oh, my freaking god. (Or spaghetti monster - take your pick.) You'd think that if that were to be an actual problem anywhere, it'd be in the States, but I haven't heard of that particular sort of lunacy here yet. So this wasn't just one HR/Marketing idiot, you say? More than one place is doing this? What a bunch of spineless sheep.   ::)


Unfortunately so. The recent case that's spread across the internet was following a news story on this, and it has been taken out of context as the sacked santa in question also did other bad things, like sing christmas carols and give people personal compliments...   

and back on track, I've also been cleaning up my clip files a bit to reduce the clutter. My new terrain blending mask has just the inputs and outputs showing in the group with all of the processing nodes moved to the internal network of the group... a bit easier to maintain than moving all of the processing nodes to one spot. I'll produce a help page for it and include links to both with each terrain set rather than create a tgd loading all of the terrains in a set.