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An integrated TIN and Grid method for constructing multi‐resolution digital terrain models

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Multi‐resolution terrain models are an efficient approach to improve the speed of three‐dimensional (3D) visualizations, especially for terrain visualization in Geographical Information Systems (GIS). As a further development to existing algorithms and models, a new model is proposed for the construction of multi‐resolution terrain models in a 3D GIS. The new model represents multi‐resolution terrains using two major methods for terrain representation: Triangulated Irregular Network (TIN) and regular grid (Grid). In this paper, first, the concepts and formal definitions of the new model are presented. Second, the methodology for constructing multi‐resolution terrain models based on the new model is proposed. Third, the error of multi‐resolution terrain models is analysed, and a set of rules is proposed to retain the important features (e.g. boundaries of man‐made objects) within the multi‐resolution terrain models. Finally, several experiments are undertaken to test the performance of the new model. The experimental results demonstrate that the new model can be applied to construct multi‐resolution terrain models with good performance in terms of time cost and maintenance of the important features. Furthermore, a comparison with previous algorithms/models shows that the speed of rendering for 3D walking/flying through has been greatly improved by applying the new model.
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Keywords: Grid; Multiā€resolution model; TIN; Visualization

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: State Key Lab of Information Engineering in Surveying, Mapping and Remote Sensing, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China 2: Advanced Research Centre for Spatial Information Technology, Department of Land Surveying and Geo‐Informatics, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

Publication date: 2005-11-01

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