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

  1. #91
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    Thanks much appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Sharpey.

    Quote Originally Posted by ModelerMJ View Post

  2. #92
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    I followed these instructions:
    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 am using a distance of 4.87k, the misalignment is pretty bad.

    I followed the instructions up to step 12. I can't save the georeferenced/UTM-converted image to a file.

    Also, the WebColors.cpd file has errors in a few web colors - solid colors and one web color (WebRoyalBlue) may have a missing file. I have TANE SP2. How can I fix the problems?

  3. #93
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    Hi Jeff, I was wondering how to get images to georeference in transdem so thanks for those steps. I only had a problem with one webcolor - the webroyalblue. In the texture.txt files I noticed that the tga file was called webRoyalBlue, but in the folder it is webroyalblue.tga I corrected the texture.txt files to exactly match the name of the tga file. This worked for me, though my apologies if it does not work for you.

  4. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmorris View Post
    ...
    I followed the instructions up to step 12. I can't save the georeferenced/UTM-converted image to a file.
    ...
    Please note, I have no intention of thread stealing here, but there are at least two very TransDEM-specific aspects in jeffmorris' posting that I would like to comment on as a more or less direct reply.

    Google Earth vs Map Tiles

    The Google Earth placemark method for TransDEM is straightforward and easy to understand. I guess that's the reason why quite a few users go for it. Unfortunately, it is also error prone and, if you go for a larger number of images, rather tedious.

    One type of error TransDEM cannot detect is an out-of-center placemark. It happens quickly and will definitely lead to misalignment. I always recommend to avoid this method once you have learned the basic ropes of processing geo data with TransDEM.

    If you follow the Quick Start Guide in TransDEM you may notice that you will not be taken to the Google Earth tutorial at all, but instead to the Map Tiles tutorial. Map tiles may seem something very different at first glance as they appear to deal with maps, not ortho photos. That would be a misconception.

    TransDEM comes with a collection of pre-set map tile configurations which you need to install first. After that you have access to numerous providers and map tile tiles, including some ortho-photos, in particular from Microsoft Bing and Google Maps. Unfortunately, ortho-photos from Google Map no longer allow anonymous access. In a second step, you have to set up a Google account and obtain a key, which is “free” (you pay with your data). Detailed instructions in the TransDEM forum. It looks like a bit of a hassle, but will only take a few minutes. And if you are happy with Microsoft Bing images, forget about the Google key.

    The are are number of threads or postings on this topic, I've picked these links:

    Google Earth (“placemark”) and Google Maps (“map tiles”) ortho-images side by side:
    https://forums.auran.com/trainz/show...50#post1550250

    Google Maps with API key:
    https://forums.auran.com/trainz/show...-access-by-key

    Getting a key:
    https://forum.transdem.de/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=465


    Ortho-images as Ground Textures

    For reasons in the Trainz baseboard internal structure design, resolution/sharpness of geo data sources as ground textures is limited. It is 1 pixel per ground vertex, 10m or 5m baseboard terrain grid.

    This means that you are limited to geo data sources with a sufficiently low scale, but typical topo maps will work fine. Maximum scale for 10m baseboards is about 1:50,000 to 1:63,000, for 5m baseboards 1:24,000 or 1:25,000. However, other than topo maps, ortho-photos at the same scale will show surprisingly little detail. (It can be easily explained: a map is much more abstract reproduction of the landscape than a photo, it's preprocessed and eliminates a lot of clutter).

    1:25,000 means something like an eye altitude of 5km with Google Earth or zoom level 15 with the TransDEM Map Tile client for Google Maps or Microsoft Bing. That's not good enough as a building aid but may be sufficient for background texturing, for route projects where you want the ground textures to stay, at least on baseboards further away from the railway track.

    The standard ground texture used by TransDEM is optimized for topo maps. It only has 20 colours to leave plenty of room for proper textures (texture limit is 250 per baseboard). It's definitely not suitable for ortho-images. When 3D UTM tiles were introduced with TransDEM 2.5 I also added a new custom texture set of 128 colours, with no grid lines, optimized for ortho-images, to allow this kind of ortho-image textures usage and still have some room for other textures. In a way, it competes with ModelerMJ's generic texture set discussed in this thread.

    Have a look at the first few postings in this thread which are about the new texture set:
    https://forums.auran.com/trainz/show...02#post1234602

  5. #95

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    @jeffmorris: Please go to my web site at http://www.dhobh.net/trainz/TransDEM/GroundTextures.htm and download the PDF tutorial there. It explains the method I used in much more detail. Please also note that I cannot provide support for TransDEM itself; my document only explains what I did to make this method work.

    Regards,
    Mike

  6. #96
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    I found out that I had to crop the Google Earth images to get rid of Google Earth's stuff on the bottom and right side of images. There's a problem with WebRoyalBlue web color. Please fix it.

  7. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmorris View Post
    I found out that I had to crop the Google Earth images to get rid of Google Earth's stuff on the bottom and right side of images.
    Again, I can only recommend to invest a bit of time to learn using map tiles. And I promise you that you will never feel the need to come back to Google Earth.

  8. #98
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    geophil, you suggested zoom level 15 with the TransDEM Map Tile client for Google Maps or Microsoft Bing but it's hard for me to see separate tracks in yards. Someone created a complete and geographically accurate track map for NYC subway system at http://www.vanshnookenraggen.com/_in...way-track-map/ but I don't know the scale that the map was created at.

  9. #99
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    I found a website called OpenRailwayMap at http://www.openrailwaymap.org/ that has the best track maps. I want to use the images from that website in Basemapz program but the program only create model train layouts in different model train scales and not 1:1 or 1:50 or 1:100. The closest model train scale is 1:48. How can I use Basemapz program with images from OpenRailwayMap website?

  10. #100

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    All offtopic for this thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmorris View Post
    geophil, you suggested zoom level 15 with the TransDEM Map Tile client for Google Maps or Microsoft Bing but it's hard for me to see separate tracks in yards..
    Yes. There is a contradiction. Both statements are correct. Zoom level 15 is about the maximum you can apply to ground textures and it's really hard to make out individual tracks at that scale. If you look at the second part of my longish earlier posting it gives you the explanation: For technical reasons in the Trainz file structure, ground textures cannot be used for large scale geo data. But there is an alternative: Extra texture carrier objects, called UTM tiles in TransDEM. Originally those were flat objects, but with TransDEM 2.5 I added a 3D variant, where each UTM tile will be individually modeled after the underlying terrain shape. Theoretically, textures for UTM tiles can be as detailed as 1 pixel per 10cm. (Compare with ground textures: 1 Pixel per 10 or 5m.) So, for large scale ortho-images where the intention for them is to serve as a building aid, export them in TransDEM as UTM tiles. See the "Muengsten" tutorial in the TransDEM Trainz manual for the basic procedure.


    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmorris View Post
    Someone created a complete and geographically accurate track map for NYC subway system at http://www.vanshnookenraggen.com/_in...way-track-map/ but I don't know the scale that the map was created at.
    Open Street Map would be one of the map sources that has the New York subway lines. They may not stick out that distinctively in the default rendering, but you'll find them. Available in TransDEM via the Map Tile client.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmorris View Post
    I found a website called OpenRailwayMap at http://www.openrailwaymap.org/ that has the best track maps.
    Open Railway Map uses a variation the the map tile de-facto standard, not yet compatible with TransDEM. Underlying data is Open Street Map again. It's on my todo list for the next major revision of TransDEM.

  11. #101
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    Is there a limit on how many UTM tiles that TransDEM can generate? I always get two UTM tiles no matter how many "baseboard" squares I select in TransDEM.

  12. #102

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    Offtopic again. This should really be in another thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmorris View Post
    Is there a limit on how many UTM tiles that TransDEM can generate? I always get two UTM tiles no matter how many "baseboard" squares I select in TransDEM.
    You should load your vector route. Without a route, the limit is something between 20 and 25 tiles, not to waste memory for tiles you'll never need. With a route in place, the limit is nearly 1000. The route polylines will act as a filter, tiles close to the route only. You also need to draw a rectangular mask as the outer bound. No UTM tile can exceed it. And the baseboard for each UTM tile anchor (SW corner) must be present, too.

  13. #103
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    How do I flatten the DEM data for NYC area in TransDEM? HOG software can do this but TANE won't accept the files created by HOG.

  14. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmorris View Post
    How do I flatten the DEM data for NYC area in TransDEM? HOG software can do this but TANE won't accept the files created by HOG.
    Can I ask you to start a separate thread for your TransDEM-specific questions? They have little to do any more with the topic of this thread and discussing a different topic is not very friendly to ModelerMJ.

    TransDEM has a number of DEM editing capabilities and tools. One of them is a smoothing filter. Perhaps that is what you mean. Best thing is to look into the manual where they are all listed and explained. But why do want to flatten your DEM anyway? Are you using SRTM, ASTER or other satellite DEM data. In that case you may see a "digital surface model" that includes buildings (subject to scale), and not a "digital terrain model". I recommend to go for USGS terrestrial data, downloadable via the National Map Viewer. Select 1/3 arc sec.

  15. #105
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    Anyone know why I get the error: Error writing file [Map files export] Error reading exisiting kuids?

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