(Now fixed for Chrome, Firefox, and IE8.... does not work in IE7 or below...)
After answering some questions that came in from some non-GIS Galileo trial users, I started thiniking about basic gaps in the Galileo workflow for users without access to huge amounts of GIS data.
One of the basic workflows that many users would like to do is:
- Create a new empty model in Galileo with a dummy terrain representing the place on the Earth where their project will take place
- Texture the terrain with a Google Maps image
- Add in some 3D model content and start sketching roads, buidlings, trees, and other features to end up with something like this:
We don't have any Google Maps integration in Galileo, however, I was able to create a test tool that allows you to make some of this workflow happen with a little hopping between your browser, a text editor, and Project Galileo.
1. Click to open the demonstration At Lands End AOI Generator (CLICK HERE).
2. Zoom into an area on the map.
3. Click to pick one corner of the desired area.
4. Click to pick the 2nd corner of the desired area (box must be less than 1 degree or about 100 mi. in height and width). The box should turn green.
5. Click "Calculate terrain", click once in the terrain textbox, copy and paste in a text browser then Save as an .ASC file.
I see this:
6. Click "Calculate worldfile", click once in the worldfile textbox, copy and paste in a text browser then Save as an .TFW file.
7. Make a screencapture of the Google Map image and save as a TIF file with the same name as the TFW file. Make sure that you are complying with the Google TOS for data when you use your screen capture.
Here's my screen capture:
8. Launch Project Galileo
9. Click the link to create a new city.
10. In the new city dialog, click the "Define city extent" checkbox.
11. Click the "Load Extent from File" button and navigate to the .ASC file you created.
Be sure to use the Coordinate System LL84, when you use the saved files in Project Galileo. I see this:
You should see a blank terrain created. I get this:
13. File-->Import from file your TIF as a terrain texture not a terrain surface. I see this:
It's not going to be super pretty, but it'll work from a distance.
14. At this point, for fun, I zoomed way in to try to take a screen cap of a map image that would look a bit better. I'll use the initial terrain for context, but I want to work close up on a little project. I zoomed in, then repeated steps 6 and 13. Here's what I see:
15. From there, I sketched some buildings on top of existing images in the aerial, dropped in an FBX of a pharmacy, sketched some trees, and improved the scene a bit.
Clearly, this workflow is a hack that works well for small areas (especially in flat places like Florida), but hopefully it gives you some idea for what can be done with a little bit of basic information available on the web and some elbow grease.
Download LandsEndTerrainToolExample files by clicking on this link.
Let us know how it goes!
(Some notes from Chris:
Coordinate system: I know that the real coordinate system for Google Maps images is WGS84.PseudoMercator... but there is a bug in Galileo that prevents that from working. LL84 is close enough for now.
ASC as a true terrain: It should be possible to use the ASC as a true terrain file, not just as an extent... but there's another bug in Galileo that makes this not look so pretty. We're working on this.