Visualization of large terrains in resource-limited computing environments

Boris Rabinovich, Craig Gotsman

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

28 Scopus citations


We describe a software system supporting interactive visualization of large terrains in a resource-limited environment, i.e. a low-end client computer accessing a large terrain database server through a low-bandwidth network. By 'large', we mean that the size of the terrain database is orders of magnitude larger than the computer RAM. Superior performance is achieved by manipulating both geometric and texture data at a continuum of resolutions, and, at any given moment, using the best resolution dictated by the CPU and bandwidth constraints. The geometry is maintained as a Delaunay triangulation of a dynamic subset of the terrain data points, and the texture compressed by a progressive wavelet scheme. A careful blend of algorithmic techniques enables our system to achieve superior rendering performance on a low-end computer by optimizing the number of polygons and texture pixels sent to the graphics pipeline. It guarantees a frame depending only on the size and quality of the rendered image, independent of the viewing parameters and scene database size. An efficient paging scheme minimizes data I/O, thus enabling the use of our system in a low-bandwith client/server data-streaming scenario, such as on the Internet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1997 IEEE Visualization Conference - Phoenix, AZ, USA
Duration: Oct 19 1997Oct 24 1997


OtherProceedings of the 1997 IEEE Visualization Conference
CityPhoenix, AZ, USA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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