MapInfo Pro

 View Only

MapInfo Monday: Creating a Local Elevation Source for the 3D Map

  • 1.  MapInfo Monday: Creating a Local Elevation Source for the 3D Map

    Posted 09-25-2023 04:12

    Happy #MapInfoMonday

    In this article, I will go through the steps of creating a new local elevation source that you can use in the 3D map we added to MapInfo Pro v2023.

    As we discussed in an earlier article, MapInfo Pro v2023 comes with a global elevation source, MapZen Terrarium, but it's not kept up to date and the resolution may also not always be as good as you need. No worries, you can create your own using your own local data.

    I'll use a digital elevation model in the form of an MRR covering a 2 by 2 km area. This DTM has a resolution of 40 cm. In the map below, you can see a larger elevation model that I clipped out my 2 by 2 km DTM.

    Creating an Elevation Source

    The first step is to open up the elevation model you want to use for your elevation source.
    Then open the Elevation Sources dialog via the Elevation Sources control on the 3D tab.
    In the Elevation Sources dialog, click on the Add... button.
    In the Add Elevation Source dialog, select Local Raster Image
    Now the Elevation Source dialog will open for you to specify the new elevation source.
    First, make sure that it's the right elevation model selected in the Table list. You can also add an Attribution that will be visible in the 3D Layers list.
    You can use the Elevation Scale to scale the height of your elevation source. That will make the difference in height more clear if you set it to say 2 or 5.
    An important setting is Tile Locale Image. If you are using a large elevation model, we recommend tiling the elevation source. We consider an elevation model with more than 20,000 pixels in one or both directions to be large.
    The processing of the Elevation Source can take a while depending on the size of your raster.
    In my example, I created a virtual raster, an MVR from the original elevation model where I reprojected that elevation model into Popular Visualization (EPSG:3857). The elevation needs to be in this coordinate system and if it isn't already, the process to create the elevation source will reproject the input file. You can save some time by creating a virtual raster and using this as input for the process.
    Once the elevation source has been created, it will appear in the Elevation Sources dialog allowing you to use it in your 3D maps.
    And the resulting 3D Map with an aerial image draped on top of the local elevation source.


    The elevation source will be cached in your local AppData folder: %localappdata%\MapInfo\MapInfo\Professional\2300\elev_Cache.
    If you use the WorkGgroup option with MapInfo Pro, the elevation cache folder will be in the same folder as the Elevation Source file, ElevationSources.json. This file is otherwise stored in the AppData folder: %AppData%\MapInfo\MapInfo\Professional\2300.
    As mentioned above, you can speed up the Elevation Source processing by creating a reprojected MVR file as your input file.
    As this is the first release of our new 3D Visualization, we are looking for feedback from our users. So please let us know what you think: the good, the bad and the ugly. Use the community here, the MapInfo Lab (if you are a member) and/or Precisely Ideas.

    Peter Horsbøll Møller
    Principal Presales Consultant | Distinguished Engineer
    Precisely | Trust in Data