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Elevation Map Tool

Manage import and configuration of digital elevation model (DEM) files

Description

The Elevation Map Tool manages the import and configuration of digital elevation model (DEM) files. RoadRunner can import elevation map data from a variety of file formats, such as DEM, IMG, JPEG 2000, and TIFF. Some of these formats support georeferencing and can be automatically positioned accordingly.

Refer to the Elevation Map Assets page for a list of the supported file types.

Multiple elevation maps can be imported for an area to provide full coverage. This can cause some of the imported maps to overlap in certain regions. You can adjust the priority of each map to determine which one takes priority in overlapping areas.

Open the Elevation Map Tool

On the RoadRunner toolbar, click the Elevation Map Tool button:

Elevation Map Tool button

Examples

Import a Georeferenced Elevation Map

  1. Click the Elevation Map Tool button.

  2. In the Library Browser, navigate to the directory containing the Elevation Map Assets you want to import.

  3. Right-click the assets and make sure that the Default Type is set to Elevation Map.

  4. Click and drag the assets from the Library Browser into the scene editing canvas.

    Note

    If the geographic position has not yet been set for this scene, the scene center is set to the latitudinal and longitudinal center of the image. You can change the scene center using the World Settings Tool.

    If the geographic position has already been set, but the imported image is outside of the maximum range of the scene, an error dialog box appears and cancels the import.

Import a Nongeoreferenced Elevation Map

To correctly display an elevation map in RoadRunner, the program must know how to position the map on the Earth. For best accuracy, obtaining elevation data that contains geolocation information (by using a format such as GeoTIFF or JPEG 2000) is strongly recommended. For links and examples about obtaining GIS data compatible with RoadRunner, see GIS Data Resources for RoadRunner.

If your elevation map does not have geolocation information, it is possible to manually set geolocation information using the following steps.

If You Already Know the Projection

If you already know the specific projection to be used (that is, you have a 'proj' or 'wkt' projection string), you can set it on the file as follows:

  1. Click the Elevation Map Tool button.

  2. In the Library Browser, navigate to the directory containing the elevation map file you want to import.

  3. Right-click the file asset and make sure that the Default Type is set to Elevation Map.

  4. Click the Set Custom Projection button in the Attributes pane.

  5. Paste your 'proj' or 'wkt' string into the text field.

  6. Click OK.

  7. Scale the data by adjusting the Resolution to match the meters per pixel of the elevation map.

  8. Click and drag the elevation map asset from the Library Browser into the 3D scene.

If You Do Not Know the Projection

The following steps enable you to use arbitrary grayscale images for elevation, such as a screenshot from a separate application. However, the result will not be highly accurate.

If you do not know the projection, you can experimentally try different projection values on the file. These instructions apply a Transverse Mercator projection to the file.

  1. Click the Elevation Map Tool button.

  2. In the Library Browser, navigate to the directory containing the image file you want to import.

  3. Right-click the file asset and make sure that the Default Type is set to Elevation Map.

  4. Click the Set Custom Projection button in the Attributes pane.

  5. Determine the latitude and longitude of the center point of your elevation data. Then, adjust the latitude and longitude values in the Custom Projection window to match.

  6. Click Use Transverse Mercator At. Then, click OK.

  7. Scale the data by adjusting the Resolution to match the meters per pixel of the image.

  8. Click and drag the elevation map asset from the Library Browser into the 3D scene.

Remove an Elevation Map

  1. Click the Elevation Map Tool button.

  2. Click the elevation map you want to delete.

  3. Press the Delete key or select Edit > Delete from the menu bar.

Adjust the Properties of an Elevation Map

  1. Click the Elevation Map Tool button.

  2. Click the elevation map you want to edit.

  3. Adjust the elevation map attributes as desired through the Attributes pane.

    Note

    When more than one elevation map overlaps at a location, the system needs to decide which one to use. Selecting an elevation map and clicking the Push to bottom or Bring to top buttons in the Attributes pane adjusts a map's priority to resolve overlaps.

Toggle the Display of Elevation Maps

Select View > Elevation from the menu bar, or press F5.

Project Roads and Other Objects to Elevation Maps

Many RoadRunner objects can be projected to an elevation map surface. The specific steps are documented in the appropriate tools. For example, the steps for projecting roads to elevation maps can be found here: Project Roads to Elevation Maps.

In most cases, the steps are the same:

  1. Select the appropriate tool.

  2. Select one more objects in the scene editing canvas.

  3. Click the appropriate projection button in the toolbar on the left.

Include Elevation Maps in Surface Triangulation

By default, the elevation maps are displayed as a white topographic surface. This surface is not included in the exported scene.

To include the visual influence of the elevation maps in the scene, you must create terrain surfaces covering the area, and then enable global elevation. For more details on terrain surfaces, see How Surfaces Work in RoadRunner.

For more information, refer to Control Whether a Surface Uses Elevation Samples .

Sample Global Elevation: Off Sample Global Elevation: On

Related Examples

Introduced in R2020a