Digital Terrain

I must say from the outset of this little piece that I am currently a Google fan. They host my blog, my email, my calender, and have produced the best 3D application available. All for free.

I reserve the right to change my mind at any time as the shifting sands of the virtual world change with time, however, at present Google and Google earth in particular keep me occupied for any length of time i can spare them.

I have been dealing with terrain and terrain modeling throughout my short career. (1999- )
It started with pen and paper draughting classes and drawing contours on a page of point data. It moved to auto cad and branched into using the instruments of the trade such as levels, theodolites, infrared distance measurement, and even the old method of chaining! Projects so far have mainly been large civil works, stream works, and lots of roads. I was introduced to DTM (digital terrain modeling) while working for my current employer, Tonkin & Taylor.

While I’ve always loved thinking in 3D. Maybe something passed down, thanks to Dad and his African heritage, while making things such as wire cars. But when given the power of the tools that became available to me, I was truly happy and have found allot of satisfaction digitally manipulating terrain and objects on many projects.

Now allot of these tools, or the results of these tools are available to everyone. In my opinion, the best of these examples is Google Earth. When i found GE a year or two ago, it had just come out and was early to the party of the now many virtual globes available. I became a fan, and have been following the developments in this field for a while now.

I think this is all I will write for now on this, however, don’t expect it to be the last. I will leave you with a couple of links.

The first is to the GE homepage. Download it and give it a spin if you haven’t already. The second is to a model i created a while ago to give you a taste of the almost unlimited scope GE has by allowing user generated content. Model is the current site office I work in as we push the Auckland motorway further north… (you must have GE Installed to view) – yes the model is pretty rough but hey it gives you an idea and besides it was created in 5 min.. Want to see some of the new tools for sketching up these type of things? Check out this Sketchup video here. Anyway, enough. I should go to bed.


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