3DEM Software for Terrain Visualization and Flyby Animation

The original web site of 3DEM was closed at end of May 2009
This page shows only partial information about 3DEM

Generously made available by the author Richard Horne


3DEM  for Win95/98/ME/2000/XP and Windows Vista will produce three dimensional terrain scenes and flyby animations from a wide variety of freely available data sources including:
  • USGS Digital Elevation Model (ASCII DEM) files
  • USGS Spatial Data Transfer Standard (SDTS DEM) files
  • NASA Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) files
  • LIDAR Point Cloud (LAS) files
  • USGS Global 30 Arc Second Elevation Data Set (GTOPO30 DEM) files
  • NOAA  Global Land One-km Base Elevation (GLOBE DEM) files
  • NASA Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) files
  • Any topographic data file organized by rows and columns of elevation data
  • XYZ scattered point topographic data files

Terrain data files can be saved in the following formats for use by other GIS programs

  • USGS ASCII Digital Elevation Model (*.dem)
  • GeoTiff Graphics File (*.tif)
  • GeoTiff Digital Elevation Model (*.tif)
  • Binary terrain matrix (*.bin)
  • VRML world (*.wrl)
  • Terragen terrain (*.ter)

3DEM can merge multiple DEMs to provide high-resolution overhead maps and 3D projections of large surface areas, limited only by the computer's memory. Geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) are shown on all overhead map displays. Both Lat-Lon and UTM coordinates are supported, allowing display and measurement of position to high accuracy. Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver waypoints, routes, and tracks can be read via serial interface and displayed on 3D images and flybys of the terrain, allowing visualization of the path of a trek through the wilderness.

3DEM uses the SGI/Microsoft OpenGL libraries for high speed 3D rendering.  3DEM will render 24 bit color three dimensional projections or red-blue projections requiring red-blue 3D glasses for viewing.  3DEM scenes can be saved in the following formats.

  • Windows Bitmap (*.bmp)
  • Joint Photograhic Experts Group (*.jpg, *.jpeg)

3DEM allows low resolution flyby of DEM landscapes using OpenGL.  The path through space is recorded in memory during flight, allowing subsequent creation of a full resolution mpeg animation along the flight path.  Real-time flyby animations can be created in the following formats

  • Flyby animation AVI (*.avi)
  • Flyby animation MPEG (*.mpg, *.mpeg)

3DEM provides an intuitive user interface, high reliability, and detailed terrain images and flyby animations created from freely available terrain data.

3DEM is a product of Visualization Software LLC by Richard Horne. Maps, three-dimensional terrain images and animations, and GPS waypoints and routes produced by the 3DEM computer program are for general visualization purposes only.  No warranty is expressed or implied regarding the use or the results of the use of the 3DEM computer programs in terms of correctness, accuracy, reliability, currency, fitness for a particular purpose, or otherwise.

3DEM Download and Links

3DEM is a freeware program and can be downloaded at no cost.  Click the button below to download the 3DEM setup program.  Download size is 4.2 megabytes.  Run 3dem_setup.exe to install 3DEM on your computer.

Digital Elevation Model and Overlay Links

 3DEM was created by Richard Horne