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About: Visualization efforts at the LAL

The Land Analysis Lab has been experimenting with various visualization tools including Visual Nature Studio, Site Building 3d/ communityViz, Vue and SketchUp to visualize GIS data.

We have worked on a variety of projects in areas including:

How It Works

Visualization projects are based on GIS data.

  • All projects begin with the DEM (digital elevation model) which provides base terrain.
  • Planimetric and raster data are used to place components such as ecosystems, 3d models and more.
  • Sophisticated atmostpheric and light effects then bring the scene to life!

The Tools

boatA variety of 3d modeling and landscape visualization tools are used to create photorealistic visualization graphics. 3d Nature's Visual Nature Studio is the primary package that is used to work with and render landscapes. 3d modeling packages such as Poser, 3d Studio Max, Xfrog and others are also used to create objects.

The Land Analysis Lab is also experimenting with the application of Google SketchUp as both a modeling tool and an extension to 3d Analyst ArcScene creating objects. Vue is another package that is currently being used.

The Sky’s the Limit!

Visualizations were created using a mix of county planimetric data, county contour data (converted into DEMs) and various 3d models to represent objects such as lights, vehicles and power lines.