Terrain Visualization


Based on concepts for the efficient organization and processing of multi-resolution models developed in the late 90s, a high-quality realtime visualization of vast, highly detailed textured landscapes seemed to be within reach.

This hypothesis was verified in a diploma thesis in 2003 which demonstrated the first realtime rendering of the Turtmann Valley dataset: a high resolution digital surface model (DSM) of alpine terrain captured by the DLR as a test case for the HRSC in 2001 (total area 200km²; texture: 0.5m image raster with a radiometric resolution of 24 bits resulting in 2.4GB input data, terrain surface model: 1m raster heightmap with 0.1m height resolution coded in 16 bits, resulting in 2.4GB input mesh size; rendered on a GPU with 64MB memory).

Based on these research results the externSteinbeis Research Center Computer Graphics and Digitisation started the development of the ScarpedVis software in 2005. Since 2006 we have the license to use the ScarpedVis software as well as very high-resolution datasets from industrial partners of the Steinbeis Research Center for research and teaching purposes.

Completed Projects

This project aims at methods for view-dependent realtime visualisation of city models with details up to single cm close to the viewer. Apart from supporting the realtime visualisation the employed LoD hierarchies should also support accentuation and abstraction of semantic information.
In the scope of the Last-Mile Project we are carrying out research on interactive visualisation of potential tsunami hazards via networks.
The MERCW project focuses on the study of the dumpsites of chemical weapons from the Second World War located in the Baltic Sea and the assessment of the resulting potential threat to the marine environment and the population. Within the scope of this project, we are doing research on visualization techniques for suitable interactive exploration of the heterogeneous project relevant data.
Within the Research Training Group 437 "Landform - a structured and variable boundary layer" Ph.D. students of various scientific branches work together to help understand the role of the landform in geo-systems.
The tremendous amount of data acquired via remote sensing or airborne sensors provide the basis for a photorealistic rendering of ample landscapes, even from close-by viewpoints. This projects aims at a realtime exploration of such arbitrary-sized datasets without sacrificing visible detail.

Selected Publications

In: Photogrammetrie, Fernerkundung, Geoinformation (2008):3(207-215)
In: Computer Graphics Forum (Oct. 2008), 27:7(1853-1860)
V. Skala and R. Scopigno (Editors)
In: Journal of WSCG (Feb. 2004), 12:3(521-528)
A. Schilling (Editors)
Reinhard Klein and A. Schilling
In: Festschrift zum 60. Geburtstag von Wolfgang Straßer, pages 109-130, 2001