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

  1. #31
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    Ok, I'll try to describe, hoping not forget something, and hoping my dirty english is enought.
    1)GE setting as described in your tutorial
    2) I put a bookmark and save it
    3)I save the image from GE
    4) I open in transdem google image, and georeference it, by the saved bookmark
    5) I open my DEM file
    6) I crop boundaries of DEM file
    7) I try to export, with settings described in your tutorial
    8) I receive the error message
    9) I sadly drink another coffee and try again...
    Thank you for your patience
    Giuliano

  2. #32

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    Here's my process, which works perfectly for me.

    1. In Google Earth, double-check your settings. Then go to the location you want to work with (I just did this process with a location of Binghamton, NY).
    2. Zoom in to an eye altitude of 5.0 km (hold RMB and move mouse up/down). Notice this is 5 kilometers - not 5 meters, not 50 meters, not 500 meters... all of which are far too close. It's 5000 meters, which shows in Google Earth as '5.00 km' in the Status Bar.
    3. Press the 'R' key to reset any rotation or tilt.
    4. Add a placemark, giving it a name like 'Test5000-001'.
    5. Save the placemark as a KMZ file (right-click the placemark and select Save).
    6. Be sure not to disturb the Google Earth display.
    7. Save the image (File -> Save Image), calling it 'Test5000-001.jpg'.
    8. Close Google Earth and open TransDEM.
    9. Open the Google Earth .jpg Image (Raster Map -> Open Raster Map).
    10. Georeference the image (Raster Map -> Georeference Google Earth Image).
    11. Convert the image to UTM (Raster Map -> Convert to UTM).
    12. Save the georeferenced/UTM-converted image (Raster Map -> Save georef. raster map).
    13. Close the raster map.
    14. Open your DEM.
    15. Re-open the Google Earth raster map (Raster Map -> Open georef. raster map).
    16. Use the zoom tool to zoom in on the area where the Google Earth image appears.
    17. Draw a selection rectangle around the Google Earth image.
    18. On the Trainz menu, select 'Export & Create: DEM & Ground Textures'.
    19. The Trainz export dialog should appear with no warnings.

    I just did this exact series of steps and had no issues at all. If this sequence does not work for you, then I'm afraid I'm at a loss as to what other advice to offer. Having said that, even if you get the warning you can always go ahead and let TransDEM create the route anyway, and see what it looks like in Surveyor.

    Regards,
    -Mike
    606026:
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  3. #33
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    Thanks again for the tutorial, Mike.

    What I did last night; less than half an hours work to acquire the images, georeference in TransDEM, and export to Trainz.




    There are no excuses, people. If I can do it, then a blind 3 year old can do it, probably with better results.

    Matt.

  4. #34
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    hi matt

    what size km did you use in google?

    mine comes up like this




    thanks
    ron
    Last edited by misterchugg; September 24th, 2011 at 09:45 PM. Reason: no link
    Trainz 2010 build 44088
    Trainz 2006 build 3335


  5. #35
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    Ron,

    I used a 2.5km 'eye view', which was as low as i could get it, without the warning about texture size.

    What area are you trying to replicate? I'll give it a go myself, and see if I can get a better image.

    Matt.

  6. #36
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    hi matt

    i have tried several times to do what mike wrote

    never do any good

    this last one of 15 was the best resolution i can get

    its at 2.5 km

    the mini map shopws up great, but the main ground doesnt

    i have everything where it should be and its all linked as per mike's setup

    i hope somebody can figure out whats wrong

    thanks
    ron

    Trainz 2010 build 44088
    Trainz 2006 build 3335


  7. #37
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    Ron,

    I understand what you're saying now. You made the same mistake that I did, by reading slightly too much into the process and its benefits. The mini-map will be a near perfect representation of the GE images, while the ground shows up the way that you see, in my shots, Mikes' pics and indeed your own screnshots.

    Looking at your minimap, I think the 'white blob' effect is because you are in a built-up urban area; the white is because you are viewing buildings from overhead, and a lot of the roofs are plain white/grey, with some red and brown tiles, etc mixed among them.
    This example should explain better. The white area in the top right of the minimap is the commercial district of Picton; It is also the area shown on the baseboard. Looking at the area in GE, most of these buildings have whitish roofs, with some red and browns mixed in, and some grass, hence the odd splotches of colour mixed in.


    Even with this mish mash of colour, it should still be possible to work with. It may take some getting used to, and you may need GE open in the background, just in case.

    Hope that helps you.

    Matt.
    Last edited by mattm; September 25th, 2011 at 07:39 AM. Reason: Additional thoughts.

  8. #38

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    @misterchugg: From what I can see in your example, and now also given mattm's input, I think it's actually working fine for you. mattm is right, the benefits of this process primarily apply to satellite view. Certainly as you zoom in closer to the ground things are going to 'pixelate' in a hurry. As I said in my tutorial, what I do is zoom out (TS12), find the area I want to work on, center there, then zoom in to do what I need to -- zooming back out as needed to check my work every now and then.

    The process meets my needs because I developed it primarily to deal with landscape features... I have another process that I use to achieve accurate placement of tracks and roads that does not rely on the ground texture in Surveyor at all (nor does it require UTM tiles or basemaps).

    Regards,
    -Mike
    606026:
    T:ANE SP2 HF1 (90945), TS12 SP1 HF4 (61388) / Win7HP SP1 64 bit / i5-2400 3.1GHz, 16GB, NVidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti

  9. #39

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    @Matt: Very nice! Thanks for posting and showing your results; seeing that it is in fact working for others makes it entirely worth the time & effort.

    Regards,
    -Mike
    606026:
    T:ANE SP2 HF1 (90945), TS12 SP1 HF4 (61388) / Win7HP SP1 64 bit / i5-2400 3.1GHz, 16GB, NVidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti

  10. #40
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    Default ...no geophil...

    I notice an absence of geophil-posts in this thread....he is there however...

    The application of GE .kml will always appear blurry applied to the baseboards. Your applying a 3D map to a 2D visual object. TransDEM was not designed to do that, and Trainz does not support that.

    Your collection of .kml maps is the old way of doing it. Using Map Tile Server, you can download large sections of .kml quickly by learning the tutorial on Map Tiles Servers (MTS)...I ignored this until the latest version of TransDEM, because you can only get Topo maps through Web Mapping Servers (WMS).

    TransDEM allows creation of UTM-Map Tiles for the purpose of displaying a 3D map perfectly.

    The creation of the "Mini-map" is different from the display on baseboards, because the Mini-Map can project a 3D image. The creation of UTM-Tiles brings this into Surveyor, on height adjustable objects that can be imported to open just below the baseboard, in grid-view. That is useful for scenery objects that are needed to re-create the feel of the area.

    I use Topo maps for the baseboard, because it gives the actual location of the track & roads (it is a surveyor based map). If the Topo does not have the track added after 1991, as in the BNSF Dutch Subdivision, Orin Subdivision or Sand Hills Subdivision, I create UTM-Tiles. They must be viewed directly overhead for accurate placement of assets.

    Your homework: Read the information in the Help file for UTM-Map Tiles to learn how to apply .kml apps using TransDEM; exporting Map Tiles into Trainz.

    Provide screenshots here for critique and questions.

    I'm moving everything into TS12 for the reason that Surveyor now allows you to back off the map into the Sattelite view. This removes the need to use the mini-map in Surveyor.

    Remember that updates for Google Earth, USGS elevation maps (you should be able to find 1/3-arcsec maps for all of the Continental US-America), Topo maps, TransDEM, etc are always subject to happen, so check for updates regularly.
    Last edited by backyard; September 25th, 2011 at 09:26 AM. Reason: ...updates...
    Allen/Backyard's Download Station Content

  11. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by backyard View Post
    I notice an absence of geophil-posts in this thread....he is there however...

    The application of GE .kml will always appear blurry applied to the baseboards. Your applying a 3D map to a 2D visual object. TransDEM was not designed to do that, and Trainz does not support that.

    Your collection of .kml maps is the old way of doing it. Using Map Tile Server, you can download large sections of .kml quickly by learning the tutorial on Map Tiles Servers (MTS)...I ignored this until the latest version of TransDEM, because you can only get Topo maps through Web Mapping Servers (WMS).

    TransDEM allows creation of UTM-Map Tiles for the purpose of displaying a 3D map perfectly.

    The creation of the "Mini-map" is different from the display on baseboards, because the Mini-Map can project a 3D image. The creation of UTM-Tiles brings this into Surveyor, on height adjustable objects that can be imported to open just below the baseboard, in grid-view. That is useful for scenery objects that are needed to re-create the feel of the area.

    I use Topo maps for the baseboard, because it gives the actual location of the track & roads (it is a surveyor based map). If the Topo does not have the track added after 1991, as in the BNSF Dutch Subdivision, Orin Subdivision or Sand Hills Subdivision, I create UTM-Tiles. They must be viewed directly overhead for accurate placement of assets.

    Your homework: Read the information in the Help file for UTM-Map Tiles to learn how to apply .kml apps using TransDEM; exporting Map Tiles into Trainz.

    Provide screenshots here for critique and questions.

    I'm moving everything into TS12 for the reason that Surveyor now allows you to back off the map into the Sattelite view. This removes the need to use the mini-map in Surveyor.

    Remember that updates for Google Earth, USGS elevation maps (you should be able to find 1/3-arcsec maps for all of the Continental US-America), Topo maps, TransDEM, etc are always subject to happen, so check for updates regularly.
    Hi backyard,

    I'm not sure I get the point of your post. First, Dr. Ziegler reviewed my tutorial and he is the one hosting the files (as I noted earlier), so I'd say that qualifies as him being aware of this process. Second, at the start of this thread I did say very clearly that I tried UTM tiles and basemaps and it was my personal opinion that they did not meet my expectations. Also, I am apply a 2D 'image' (JPG) which is basically a screen capture from Google Earth, not a KML file - so there is no 3D involved here. All I'm doing is laying an aerial photo on the DEM terrain, which is (I think) exactly like laying a topo map on the DEM terrain.

    I'm glad that UTM tiles and other methods work well for you and wish you nothing but the best in your route construction efforts. I am aware of the tile mapping service but even so I still prefer to use Google Earth as it allows me to manipulate the images in more ways than I can with just e.g. Google Maps, and I am comfortable with the work flow involved even though it takes more time and effort.

    I don't believe I have said that my process is a be-all/end-all nor am I saying to anyone that they must use it. Anyone who likes may try my process, and if it doesn't work for them or they find another reason to dislike it then they are free to go in any other direction they choose.

    Regards,
    -Mike
    Last edited by ModelerMJ; September 25th, 2011 at 09:46 AM.
    606026:
    T:ANE SP2 HF1 (90945), TS12 SP1 HF4 (61388) / Win7HP SP1 64 bit / i5-2400 3.1GHz, 16GB, NVidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti

  12. #42
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    Default ...waves of miss-understanding....

    O.K..
    Last edited by backyard; September 25th, 2011 at 10:31 AM. Reason: ...o.k....
    Allen/Backyard's Download Station Content

  13. #43

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    Sorry if I misunderstood you.

    By "manipulate in other ways" I mean that I have access to Historical imagery in GE that is often much clearer in my area of interest than the present-day images, which are all you get from Google Maps. For example I can look at an area in winter, and be able to see tracks and other features that are totally obscured by foliage in 'summertime' views. Also I like the ability to turn on or off the various layers in GE, many of which, again, are not available in Google Maps.

    I won't debate your wisdom on the subject any further as your points are entirely valid. In my case it's a matter of personal choice as to which way I go about gathering my images, and also which way I go about using those images once I have gathered them. Odd as it may seem, I very much enjoy doing this manually -- to me, it is every bit as much 'part of building the route' as anything else.

    Regards,
    -Mike
    606026:
    T:ANE SP2 HF1 (90945), TS12 SP1 HF4 (61388) / Win7HP SP1 64 bit / i5-2400 3.1GHz, 16GB, NVidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti

  14. #44
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    G'day ModelerMJ,

    I finally got the chance to download and read through your excellent tutorial over this last weekend, Mike and I really must congratulate you on an excellent tome. I had actually been thinking of this process myself for some years now but the 'work' involved in creating the Custom Texture Set would always 'put me off' when the 'project' popped into my head. You have my admiration for doing that part of the process, alone...

    ...despite this and in conjugation with the information that I have read above, I am wondering if it wouldn't be easier if you suggested to people to use the "Google Earth" setting of the Map Tile Server to automatically obtain the Google Earth Orthophoto-imagery instead of doing it 'manually'. I suspect a 'Zoom' setting of around 15,16 or 17 should reproduce the required degree of 'resolution' for an 'eye altitude' of about 5 Km...

    ...it has also occurred to me that it wouldn't do any harm to use your new Texture Set for 'placing' regular Colour Topographic Maps onto the terrain - the 'additional' colours would give a much 'closer' reproduction of the original maps - something I have noticed in my own 'travels' with the standard Texture Set. Toward this end, I was wondering if you (and Dr. Ziegler, I guess) would mind if I 'hosted' the *.cdp Texture Set file on the Victrainz Forum website, so that I may direct people to it's download (directly - I can always link to your original *.zip download if you prefer, of course), for those occasions where I might use the texture set in my own TransDEM creations (and for those who use them who don't have the Texture Set installed on their system)...

    Jerker {}

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by ModelerMJ View Post
    @Matt: Very nice! Thanks for posting and showing your results; seeing that it is in fact working for others makes it entirely worth the time & effort.

    Regards,
    -Mike
    No problems, Mike.

    Your tutorial was a big part in the ease in which I was able to understand the process, so thanks again for that.

    As noted, this process is not a 'be all, end all' process, and there may well be better ways to do things, but it suits my purpose just fine. It's quicker, and it helps a big way in texturing routes, an area where I always struggle.

    Matt.

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