Full OGC CDB support

For the 8.0, VirtualGeo now supports officially the OGC CDB standard which allows high level of realism of a 3D environment, mainly used in the military simulation domain.

The CDB standard defines a representation of the natural environment including external features such as man-made structures and systems. A CDB data store can include terrain relief, terrain imagery, three-dimensional (3D) models of natural and man-made cultural features, 3D models of dynamic vehicles, the ocean surface, and the ocean bottom, including features (bothnatural and man-made) on the ocean floor.

Thanks to VirtualGeo parallel loading and high performance cache management, a CDB is visualized in real-time without any pre-processing, directly from the disk storage.

VirtualGeo can also produce a simple CDB from geographic sources: raster, elevation and features. The CDB produced do not include 3d models for cultural features but is usable as input data in Trian3DBuilder tool to complete the 3D environment.

Related to CDB support, OpenFlight import has been greatly improved in terms of both compatibility and performance

Performance improvements

Like its predecessors, this new version brings a number of performance improvements:

  • Photogrammetry (textured layer): VirtualGeo supports visualization of textured mesh for many years, such as data produced from photogrammetry software such as Bentley Context or AGISoft Photosan. With recent advancement in drone technology and maturity in production process, such data is much common and dataset size is increasing. For 8.0 rendering has been totally refactored to give much better performance (up to x2) and reduce memory consumption (up to 30% reduction). Also, the new rendering path is also applicable for rendering similar dense data such as CDB GSModel datasets
  • Ray intersection: to pick features or terrain information at a cursor or to handle generic inter-visibility computation, VirtualGeo uses ray intersection technique with the environment which has been greatly improved, up to x3 on terrain and features layers, and especially on CDB layers
  • Display of 3D model attached to dynamic entities is now accelerated through instanced rendering, which better use the GPU, and allows to display hundred of thousands of entities in real-time
  • Modification of terrain elevation has been enhanced to give better performance and also simplify its usage, performance is now real-time for any modification
  • MGRS graticule has been greatly improved, especially memory usage with multiple views

Multi-dimensional arrays

Multidimensional arrays (also known as hypercubes) are a way of mоdelling spatio-temporal (time series of 2D raster) or spatio-vertical-temporal (2D + Z dimension + time dimension) data which are becoming increasingly more available.

In previous version, VirtualGeo supports this data through generic raster access, using raster bands to expose multiple 2D slices. A new API is available for 8.0 which simplify the manipulation of the various dimensions and variables contained in Grib and NetCDF files.

New 2D and 3D Intervisibility tools

In addition to the existing interactive intervisibility tool, 2 new tools have been added to have a better interpretation of inter-visibility issues:

  • 3D inter-visibility volume that indicates which parts of its surrounding an observer can see
  • 2D inter-visibility that indicates at different planes of altitudes what can be seen from an observer

Other improvements and new features

  • Feature intersection is now possible with any input geometry, not just rectangle and circle
  • Rugosity computation on terrain
  • A new tessellation mode for surface style to follow dynamically terrain at vertex level
  • Ellipsoid parameters for globe is now configurable, with WGGS84 by default
  • A new style to display dynamic history of an entity in real-time
  • Ground control point can now be defined on a genuine raster or elevation layer
  • A new vertical view to display entities on a vertical profile
  • Full support for arc specification in pattern style
  • Custom configuration of graticule layer