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Creating Airport Runways in Terrain Tools

Creating Airport Runways in Terrain Tools


MetaVR Terrain Tools for Esri ArcGIS has the ability to compile 2D textured runway models into round-earth 3D terrain. Starting with Terrain Tools version 1.5, when a runway model is compiled with the terrain, the runway conforms to the earth curvature and terrain profile. The underlying terrain is cut out from the full compiled terrain.

MetaVR VRSG real-time renderings of the runway on the virtual Buckley Air Force Base, in textured and wireframe views. The runway was built with the Terrain Tools runway feature.

A runway model, which is typically generated in a third-party software tool as a flat (2D) mesh, can be converted to MetaVR’s model format (using MetaVR’s FBX or OpenFlight conversion utility), and then incorporated into a 3D terrain project as a runway feature. The runway model is represented in an ArcMap document as a point feature class; the position of the feature is the geolocation of the origin of the model.

The 2D model of the runway on virtual Kelly Field, Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, TX, displayed in MetaVR's Model Viewer.

During compilation of the round-earth terrain tile, the model is conformed to the terrain by draping the model geometry onto the terrain using the source elevation data. The terrain of the runway area is cut out and removed, and the projected model is inserted in the resulting hole. Additionally, the model geometry is modified to become part of the terrain tile so that VRSG will render the runway as terrain.

The examples in the slide show above are of MetaVR's virtual Kelly Field, Lackland Force Base, built in Terrain Tools, with the runway created by the Runway feature. (The dense urban culture of Greater San Antonio in the distance was generated by Esri CityEngine and placed on the terrain.)



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