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Thread: Detailed Google Earth Image as Ground Texture (image slightly over 800x600)

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    Default Detailed Google Earth Image as Ground Texture (image slightly over 800x600)

    Hello all,

    I've been using TransDEM to create the map for my prototypical route. Like many, I have Google Earth images that I would like to use to help me place items with some degree of accuracy. I was not, however, impressed with the way UTM tiles work in TS12. What I really wanted was a way to put a fairly decent representation of my Google Earth images directly on the terrain, and after quite a bit of experimentation I think have finally found a way to do so.

    The following cutout from my TS12 screen shows what I have been able to achieve. What you're seeing is 100% ground texture -- there are no UTM tiles or basemaps being used, the image is applied right on top of the DEM terrain. Also, please note that this only shows one small part of my route that I have cut out to use for these experiments.

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    For comparison, here is the original in TransDEM:

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    This is what it looks like in Surveyor, placing some highways at the south end. (Normally I don't place roads free-form like this. Instead I use the Simple Route Editor in TransDEM to trace them first; then emit object splines, such as fences, that accurately define those paths; then position the road by placing its spline points directly on top of the 'fence' spline points in Surveyor). Anyway, I really just wanted to show what it looks like when you are closer to the image, at a range where you can actually do some work.

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    Without going into tremendous detail, I achieved this by using the 5m grid, the custom color mapping feature in TransDEM (thanks to geoPhil for explaining how that works, on the TransDEM forums), and a set of 140 custom textures (all solid colors) that I created to provide a richer palette for TransDEM to use in creating the terrain image.

    I don't claim that this is a perfect solution, and indeed my methods still need quite a bit more refinement; but I thought I might share my experiment with the group at this stage and see if it sparks any interest.

    Last edited by ModelerMJ; September 16th, 2011 at 10:13 PM.
    T:ANE SP3 (94916), TS12 SP1 HF4 (61388) / Win7HP SP1 64 bit / i5-2400 3.1GHz, 16GB, NVidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti

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