This tutorial takes you through the steps involved in downloading and installing TerraExplorer, and logging in to SkylineGlobe Server. It then introduces you to the TEP GUI and basic navigation, using the Hurricane Michael Damage Management dataset to showcase some of TerraExplorer's abilities.
- Download TerraExplorer. (More about: Downloading)
- Install: On your computer, browse to the setup.exe file and double-click. Then follow the steps in the installation wizard to install. (More about: Installation)
- Start TerraExplorer: Click Start > Skyline TerraExplorer Pro > TerraExplorer Pro.
- Log in to SkylineGlobe Server: We need to log in to the SkylineGlobe Server that stores the Hurricane Michael demo project. On the top right of the application's Start page, click . Then in the Login dialog, type https://cloud.skylineglobe.com/SG/Demos in the Server field, and click Log in. This is a public server, so there is no need to enter a user name and password. (More about: Logging in to SGS)
- Open Project: Then on the Start page, click Open Project from SGS. (More about: Creating and opening a project). The SkylineGlobe Layer dialog is displayed showing all projects on your SkylineGlobe server. Search for "mexico_beach_emergency_response", then select the project in the Search Results and click Open. (More about: Loading a Project from SGS)
Once you open the project, you will see in the "3D Window" a map of the world, zoomed in on Mexico Beach, a city in Florida that suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Michael in 2018. On the left hand side of the screen is a project tree, which provides quick access to TerraExplorer Pro elements. Clicking once on a Project Tree item selects the item, whereas double-clicking performs its activation action. Click the item's show/hide checkbox to toggle an item's display.
- You can view a demo presentation demonstrating many of TerraExplorer's capabilities: In the Project Tree, expand the Presentation group (folder) and double-click the Mexico Beach presentation - . TerraExplorer enables you to view a presentation that flies you through the 3D World, showing or hiding objects on the terrain, following dynamic objects, displaying messages and performing different operations. You can easily record your own presentations too. (More about: Presentations)
- Now let's try out some of TerraExplorer's capabilities on our own. Let's start with flying to Mexico Beach: In the Project Tree, expand the Objects and Layers group (folder) and then expand the Locations group (folder) under that, and double-click to fly to it. These Project Tree "locations" define the geographical coordinates of a point on the terrain as well as the position from which the point is to be viewed, so that you can fly back to this spot at any time. (More about: Using the Project Tree)
On October 10, 2018, Hurricane Michael, a Category 5 hurricane, slammed into the Florida Panhandle, of the United States, with 160 mile per hour winds and a 17-and-a-half-foot storm surge, one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the United States. One of the hardest hit locations was Mexico Beach. The hurricane was responsible for 25 deaths in Florida, and it destroyed or damaged over 300,000 homes and businesses, left more than 400,000 without power and even blew a train off its tracks. In the aftermath of the hurricane, Skyline's partner, WaldoAir, worked with aircrews to conduct multiple imagery flights of the affected areas with aircraft specially equipped with WaldoAir’s advanced aerial imaging systems. What you are viewing now is the high quality imagery that was collected at the time, which was then processed using Skyline's PhotoMesh into 2D True Orthophotos and 3D models of the affected areas. (More about: Mesh layers).
- If you zoom in and navigate around, you can see some of the damage that was caused. Use the mouse scroll wheel to zoom in and out of the view in the 3D Window. Click and hold the mouse button on a location in the terrain. Drag the mouse to the sides forward, and backward. The terrain location on which you clicked is dragged along with the cursor. (More about: Navigation options)
The scene is one of horrifying devastation: piles of rubble everywhere from buildings flattened to the ground. Among the wreckage, there are homes that seem to be somewhat intact but were ripped from their foundations, and blown in their entirety to different locations.
- Let's fly to one spot where we can see this: In the Project Tree, expand the Objects and Layers group, and select the House checkbox so that its objects will display in the 3D Window. Expand the House group, and double-click the Address Search location to fly to it. Zoom in and then hold down CTRL on the keyboard and click and hold the mouse button on the terrain and rotate it until you have the view in the screen capture below.
- If we want to know the coordinates of these houses, so that we can pass on this information to the correct disaster response personnel, in the 3D Window, zoom in to the location, and then on the Analysis tab, select Query, and click on the house. The query results give the precise coordinates of the house.
- There are piles of debris all over that need to be collected. We can make it easier to manage debris removal by creating Project Tree locations for each of them. First we'll create a Project Tree folder: Right-click in the Project Tree, and select Create Group. A new group is created in the Project Tree: . Type in the highlighted blue rectangle to rename the group. Then create a location: Navigate to a debris pile in the 3D Window and right-click on the Debris folder in the Project Tree > New > Location. Then type a name for the new location.
The comprehensive community wide view that this visualization provided was extremely valuable in identifying imminent dangers and overall damage assessment, to help emergency responders work faster and more efficiently to restore order.
- See the resources below for more information on getting started.
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