Spherical Terrain Rendering using the hierarchical HEALPix grid

Authors Rolf Westerteiger, Andreas Gerndt, Bernd Hamann

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Rolf Westerteiger
Andreas Gerndt
Bernd Hamann

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Rolf Westerteiger, Andreas Gerndt, and Bernd Hamann. Spherical Terrain Rendering using the hierarchical HEALPix grid. In Visualization of Large and Unstructured Data Sets: Applications in Geospatial Planning, Modeling and Engineering - Proceedings of IRTG 1131 Workshop 2011. Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 27, pp. 13-23, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2012)


We present an interactive spherical terrain rendering system employing a hierarchical subdivision of the HEALPix coordinate system using quadtrees. Compared to other parameterizations, the scheme avoids singularities and allows for efficient fusion of mixed-resolution digital elevation models and imagery. A Level-of-Detail heuristic is used to guarantee both high performance and visual fidelity. Unified treatment of DEM and imagery data is achieved by performing the HEALPix projection within a GPU shader. The system is applied to the exploration of Mars, using both MOLA (NASA) and HRSC (German Aerospace Center) data sets.
  • terrain rendering


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