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Visualizing Terrain and Navigation Data



Tsung-Ming Tsai, David Coombs, Billibon H. Yoshimi, Ernest Kent


Terrain and navigation data have been collected from sensors mounted on an autonomous offroad vehicle. Data include range images from scanning laser range imagers, position and orientation estimated from GPS and inertial devices, and terrain elevation maps estimated from these sensors. In some cases, color images registered with the laser range data are available. These data have been visualized as static models with interactive displays and as 3D movies (sequences of 3D range images) displayed nominally from the sensor's viewpoint but also with some interactive control of the vantage point. Display technologies have ranged from VRML alone to immersive stereo displays. Design choices in the display of the data and their effect on the visual impact are discussed. The ability to rapidly and interactively visualize these data has enabled critical insights into the data that would otherwise have been difficult to achieve.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 6720
Report Number


3D data visualization, data sequence visualization, range data visualization, terrain visualization, vehicle navigation data visualization


Tsai, T. , Coombs, D. , Yoshimi, B. and Kent, E. (2001), Visualizing Terrain and Navigation Data, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 20, 2024)


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Created March 1, 2001, Updated December 3, 2008