In this article:
- Step 1: Starting a Project
- Step 2: Defining Project Settings
- Step 3: Inserting Layers
- Step 4: Creating Resolution Pyramids
- Step 5: Layer Manipulation
Step 1: Starting a Project
The first step to creating a terrain database is starting a new project. In this step you name the project, determine where to locate its files and folders, and decide on the project model; is it going to be a globe or a planar project.
If you already started a new project, you begin by opening the existing project. More about: Starting a project >
Step 2: Defining Project Settings
After you start a new project, the Project Settings dialog box opens automatically, so that you can define your project settings. At this stage you must define a coordinate system for the project. Once the coordinate system is defined it should not be changed. More about: Setting project coordinate system >
You can also define at this point project information, output format, the directories, the project ruler and minimum and maximum elevation values. These settings can be redefined at a later stage if the need arises. More about: Project settings >
Step 3: Inserting Layers
Layers are inserted in a project from:
- Files on your own computer or on your local network.
- A remote database that is served over a network by one of these GIS servers:
- SkylineGlobe Server
- Oracle Spatial Database
- TerraGate Server (Legacy support).
- ArcSDE Raster Server
- Web Map Server/Web Map Tile Service (WMS/WMTS)
- Web Coverage Service (WCS)
- ECW Image Web Server
- Google Earth Enterprise Server
Layers that have a coordinate system that differs from that used in the project must be reprojected. More about: Load imagery and elevation layers >
TerraBuilder has several tools that facilitate the conversion of files to formats that TerraBuilder can use. More about: TerraBuilder tools >
TerraBuilder plug-ins enable TerraBuilder to read an extensive range of formats. More about: File format plug-ins >
Step 4: Creating Resolution Pyramids
TerraBuilder requires sufficient multi-resolution levels for each layer to create the final 3D terrain output. The multi-resolution levels are known as a resolution pyramid. It is best to create the resolution pyramid when a source is inserted in a project, if it does not have one already. If resolution pyramids are not created, TerraBuilder creates them automatically before creating an MPT file. More about: Creating resolution pyramids > If the Oracle database is used for layer storage, layers can be uploaded to Oracle and then used as needed. More about: Loading from Oracle >
Step 5: Layer Manipulation
Numerous operations can be performed on your project layers in order to prepare them for inclusion in the final database. These include:
- Adjusting the layer’s dimensions and its visible extent.
- Adjusting the color of image layers and the elevation parameters of elevation layers.
- Adjusting the UPP and coordinates of layers relative to each other, by matching visible, physical, features in two different layers.
More about: Layer manipulation >
Step 6: Polygon Operations
Project layers can also be adjusted using polygon operations. The following polygon operations are available on the Polygons and Polygon Edit tabs:
- Create a polygon or rectangle of the following types:
- Clip - Cuts away the area outside the polygon.
- Exclusion - Cuts away the area inside the polygon.
- Fill Color/Elevation- Fills the polygon area. In image layers the filling is a color, in elevation layers the filling is an elevation value.
- Null Value - Erases a selected color or elevation value within the polygon area.
- Add and manage a polygon’s waypoints.
- Feather a polygon in order to produce a gradual fading of the edges of a shape.
More about: Polygon and rectangle operations >
Step 7: Creating a 3D Terrain Database File (MPT)
After all project layers have been modified as required, the completed TerraBuilder project can be processed into a single stream-optimized file (MPT) for loading directly in TerraExplorer or publishing to SkylineGlobe Server (SGS).
For projects whose source data is constantly being updated or modified, there is an alternative option - to skip the 3D terrain database file creation step, and instead publish the terrain database defined by the TerraBuilder project (TBP) to SkylineGlobe Server for serving by SGS DirectConnect Service (See step 8). This eliminates the need for time-consuming re-creation of a complete MPT file for the entire project. More about: Publishing an MPT project >
The project can be processed into a single stream-optimized terrain database file (MPT) in either of the following ways:
- Locally – More about: Creating an MPT >
- Over your network – More about: Creating MPT using network fusers >
Before creating an MPT, you can create a preview of part of the project, to see if any adjustments need to be made. Especially when working on a big project, it is worthwhile to preview potentially problematic areas so that the necessary corrections are made before the time and resource-intensive process of MPT file creation is initiated. More about: Preview mode >
Step 8: Publishing to SkylineGlobe Server (SGS)
Both MPT and TBP files can be published to SkylineGlobe Server for use by TerraExplorer desktop, mobile and Web clients and standard geospatial clients such as WMS/WMTS, or as layers for a TerraBuilder project.
To publish an MPT to the server, the MPT file must first be created and then published to SkylineGlobe Server. More about: Publishing a project's MPT to SkylineGlobe Server >
If no MPT file is being created for the project (e.g. for projects whose source data is constantly being updated or modified), the terrain database defined by the TerraBuilder project (TBP) can be published to SkylineGlobe Server. Before publishing the TBP project, TerraBuilder prepares it for serving by checking various project parameters for compatibility with the SGS DirectConnect Service, creating index files if missing, as well as optimizing it by creating MPT layer resolution pyramids that include the original source. More about: Publishing a DirectConnect project to SkylineGlobe Server >