19 June 2001




M. Abdelguerfi
Computer Science Department
University of New Orleans, LA USA
R. Ladner    K. Shaw
Naval Research Laboratory
Stennis Space Center, MS 39529-5004


Applications requiring highly accurate and detailed Terrain Databases (TDBs) have developed beyond military modeling, simulation and training into such areas as rainfall-runoff models, transportation network development, and utility automated mapping facilities management (AM/FM). These TDBs incorporate digital terrain data with various natural and man-made features (in 2 and 3 dimensions) to ensure a seamless and consistent view of the area being modeled. A single or multiple resolution grid or Triangulated Irregular Networks (TINs) are common ways of storing the initial terrain representation. Two different approaches to integrating terrain and features in a consistent manner may be appropriate. One drapes features over the terrain with or without modifying the underlying terrain TIN. The other stores terrain and feature data as a single collection of primitives and features. Levels of Detail (LODs) allow the user to access varying resolutions of detail of the area being modeled depending on the "viewing" distance. These processes by which the real world is modeled by TDBs and of the types and sources of data so used are overviewed in this paper.

Sponsored by the Defense Modeling Simulation Office and the National Imagery and Mapping Agency s Terrain Modeling Office.

Presented at the 1998 American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Annual Conference in April 1998.
Conference Proceedings