Knowledgebase:Height Field Modelling Programs and Utilities

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A listing of height field modelling program and utility sites in alphabetical order.

Terrain Visualization and Flyby animation

When rendering landscapes from maps with POV-Ray you often have an elevation matrix stored as an ASCII matrix. asc2tga converts such a file into a POV readable heightfield in TGA format. Smooth can magnify this heightfield using bicubic interpolation.

Generate 3D Digital Terrain Models and Digital Terrain Maps using free digital elevation model (DEM) data from the USGS, NIMA, ASTER and other sources. Learn to render them using POV-Ray, MicroDem, Terragen, 3DEM, Global Mapper, Arc Explorer, Multispec and other free or low cost applications. Convert data using GEOTIFF, BANDPASS, DEM2TGA7, DEM2POV2, MDEM2DEM, SDTS2DEM and other converters offered for free download.

DEM files (topographic data files) can be converted to POV-Ray with this simple Mac utility, supplied by Russell Towle: MacDEM2POV 1.2, converts 7.5 minute U.S.G.S. quadrangles to 24-bit Targa files, for use in the POV-Ray height_field function. It is a quick Mac port of a UNIX/DOS utility and is under active development. This is a direct download only - no site available.

NBOS software's fractal 3d relief map generator for windows.

Height Fields Gforge and HF Lab programs by John Beale

Basee on/around John Beale's Hf-Lab, HLA creates 'fractal forgery' landscape / skyscape/map height fields"" (Reference: The Science of Fractal Images, Peitgen, Saupe eds.) mainly for use with POV-Ray ray tracing software. Outputs TGA, GIF, PNG, POT, MAT, PGM, and OCT formats." by David Sharp.

We specialize in the development and use of landscape visualization and geographical software, with particular emphasis on its application in Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Mapping, Geography, Geology, Multimedia, 3D simulation, Professional Graphics, Education and Outdoor pursuits.

Comprehensive and Capable Height Field Modelling Environment by Daylon Graphics Ltd from 2004

MacDEM, by Jerry Farm, is an application for working with USGS DEM files and can convert them into POV-Ray format. MacDEM reads 1:250K and 7.5 minute DEMS in ASCII and SDTS format, and can also merge DEM files together.

Mapper is a visualization tool written to work with GIS data found on the internet. It can combine data from different sources and in varying formats to a single view. It is not an image processing tool but rather builds a 3dimensional model of the earth.

Displays and merges digital elevation models and satellite imagery

A quick Little Height Field Editing Utility for POV-Ray, It Includes INC file creation for Trees"" that you can have on your heightfields. Only 160k zipped, it includes C source, it is freeware."

FTP site containing an STDS geographical data file conversion program -Outputs to .TGA for height fields

Terraform is an open source interactive height field generation and manipulation program, giving you the ability to generate random terrain and transform it. Terraform runs under Linux and other UNIX systems under the X11 Windowing system. It uses the Gtk+ widget set and thus has a (more or less) consistent graphical user interface which doesn't require use of the command line.

Terragen is a scenery generator being developed for Windows 95, 98 and NT. At this stage of its development, Terragen is free for personal non-commercial use.

Landscape generator/editor for gif heightfields used by POV. It has a midpoint algorythm fractal landscape generator and a suite of tools for editing landscapes. Includes a colormap editor. Shareware- five bucks.

Mac Height Field editor with .pict support

Terrain and Visualzation Software by Martin D. Adamiker.

Multi dimensional data set viewer similar to that used in weather forecasting

VisAD provides access to data from GVAR and GOES (U.S.), GMS (Japanese) and Meteosat (European) weather satellites. This links VisAD's CoordinateSystem mechanism with McIDAS satellite navigation to geolocate the images so that they can be overlaid with data from numerical models and other sources

Converts .DEM elevat Maps to 8/16 bit Images for Height Field Work

It allows an individual to play with terrain data (height fields). It can import data from and export data to many popular file formats. In addition, it allows the data to be modified wth a number of image processing operations as well as height field painting tools.

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