Virtual Terrain
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Virtual Terrain
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The goal of VTP is to foster the creation of tools for easily constructing any part of the real world in interactive, 3D digital form. This goal will require a synergetic convergence of the fields of CAD, GIS, visual simulation, surveying and remote sensing. VTP gathers information and tracks progress in areas such as procedural scene construction, feature extraction, and realtime rendering algorithms. VTP writes and supports a set of software tools, including an interactive runtime environment (VTP Enviro).

Scaling the map in Virtual Terrain© Virtual Terrain, 2015

Virtual Terrain is used in:

  • Virtual tourism & travel planning
  • Education: geographical & general reference
  • Planning: land planning / land usage, urban planning
  • Civil engineering, telecommunications, utilities, and other infrastructure
  • Visualization of weather and other environmental attributes
  • Real Estate
  • Diplomacy
  • Games and entertainment
  • Communications: radio/TV/cellular transmitter placement and signal analysis

Uses of Virtual Terrain for Planning

The interface of Virtual Terrain © Virtual Terrain, 2015

  • Urban Planning, Regional Planning, Land Use Planning
  • One of the most useful applications of visualization of the real world is in the planning process.  Many of the first genuinely useful applications of the technology are in planning, for analysis, insight, and decision-making.
  • Forests – forest management and harvest planning
  • Civil engineering and landscape architecture

Virtual Tourism


  • Switzerland – for some reason, there are numerous 3D projects there
  • Flying Over Switzerland (Viewtec) – apparently discontinued around 2006
  • Lucerne / Switzerland in 3-D
  • tourism-oriented website with a few city walkthroughs
  • uses the Java-based Shout3D engine as a plugin
  • the 3D parts didn’t work for me when i tried it on 04.08.28, after “loading models” and “parsing scene”, only a empty black window
  • DORIS – interMAP
  • Austrian digital space imagery organization offering a 3D visualization of the Traunsee region of Austria (again, using the Geonova / G-Vista software)
  • In volo sull’Isola d’Elba (fly over the island of Elba, Italy) has nice high-res pan-sharpened orthophotos uses the 3DIMap viewer (Shockwave-based web viewer
  • Standalone Applications

    A virtual landmark created in Virtual Terrain © Virtual Terrain, 2015

  • Vizerra
  • Vizerra produces detailed 3D models of touristic areas – Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat etc.
  • The models are viewed with a free, Windows-only application, built on the Gamebryo game engine.
  • It is a somewhat heavy download (50MB, plus ~200MB per scene)
  • The company is based in Russia, launched 2008, apparently owned or in partnership with NVidia.
  • While indeed detailed and impressive, the models do exhibit some odd aesthetic choices, e.g. the hills and terraces of Machu Picchu look like vivid green styrofoam.
  • Installations Everglades


Still have questions?

9 April, 2015