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3DEM Visualization Software

While the author of 3DEM has ceased development for the application, it is still available for download in its current form. There are no plans for updating the software and this site makes no warranties about the performance of the application. To learn more about the software and its capabilities, read on below.

3DEM for Win95/98/ME/2000/XP and Windows Vista has the capacity to produce 3D terrain images and flyby animations by leveraging data sources readily available including but not limited to:

  • LIDAR Point Cloud (LAS) files
  • USGS Digital Elevation Model (ASCII DEM) files
  • USGS Spatial Data Transfer Standard (SDTS DEM) files
  • NOAA Global Land One-km Base Elevation (GLOBE DEM) files
  • NASA Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) files
  • NASA Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) files
  • Any topographic data file that contains rows and columns of elevation data

Any data files for terrains can be saved in the following file formats for use by other GIS programs.

  • GeoTiff Digital Elevation Model (*.tif)
  • USGS ASCII Digital Elevation Model (*.dem)
  • Terragen terrain (*.ter)
  • GeoTiff Graphics File (*.tif)
  • Binary terrain matrix (*.bin)
  • VRML world (*.wrl)

The terrain visualization software offers the ability to merge multiple DEMs to provide high-resolution overhead maps and 3D projections of large areas. Latitude and longitude coordinates are shown on all overhead map displays. Both Lat/Lon and UTM coordinates are supported, allowing display and measurement of position to high accuracy. GPS receiver waypoints, routes, and tracks can be read via serial interface and displayed on 3D images and flybys of the terrain, allowing visualization of the path of a trek through the wilderness.

3DEM uses the SGI/Microsoft OpenGL libraries for high speed 3D rendering. 3DEM will render 24 bit color three dimensional projections or red-blue projections requiring red-blue 3D glasses for viewing. 3DEM scenes can be saved in the following formats.

  • Windows Bitmap (*.bmp)
  • Joint Photograhic Experts Group (*.jpg, *.jpeg)

This software produces low resolution flybys of DEM landscapes using OpenGL. The path through space is recorded in memory during flight, allowing subsequent creation of a full resolution mpeg animation along the flight path. Real-time flyby animations can be created in the following formats

  • Flyby animation AVI (*.avi)
  • Flyby animation MPEG (*.mpg, *.mpeg)

3DEM provides an intuitive user interface, high reliability, and detailed terrain images and flyby animations created from freely available terrain data.

3DEM is a product by Richard Horne. Maps, three-dimensional terrain images and animations, and GPS waypoints and routes produced by the 3DEM computer program are for general visualization purposes only. No warranty is expressed or implied regarding the use or the results of the use of the 3DEM computer programs in terms of correctness, accuracy, reliability, currency, fitness for a particular purpose, or otherwise.