Automatically calculating DEM vertical offset

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    Firstly, just wanted to say I love the project, and really appreciate all the work that went into it.

    The sandbox I’m working on is ultimately going to go into my mom’s classroom to be used by kids. However, my mom isn’t the most technologically literate, so I’m trying to make pulling in a real-world heightmap as quick and user friendly as possible.

    So far, I’m using Google’s APIs to let the user select a rectangular area on the planet. Given two corner lat/lng’s, the program then gets 640*480 elevation points from Google, to create a full heightmap of the area, and then converts it into the .grid format.

    The problem is that after the .grid file is created, there’s a lot of fiddling with the vertical offset, in order to make sure that there’s the right amount of sand to actually build it. I’ve been looking through the VRUI toolkits, but I’m basically lost, since I only have a very basic understanding of C++. I was wondering if there’s a way to get the overall average depth read by the kinect, so that, along with the BoxLayout.txt file, you could automatically set the average height of the DEM to the average height of the sand.

    Oliver Kreylos

    That’s something I want to implement, but haven’t gotten around to yet.


    Have you considered avoiding Google all together and using GeoMapApp ( You may find that it provides more resources for what you mom is doing. What grade level does she teach? I’m a middle and high school earth science teacher and I have found that using GeoMapApp has a wide ranging benefits (beyond those of Sandbox). I also use it for 3D printing landscapes.

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