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Overlay Images and Vectors on Your Voxler Project to Create Meaningful Models

Voxler HeightField - High Resolution Imagery and Shapfile Combined

High resolution imagery and a shapefile draped over a HeightField in Voxler.

Voxler mapping software is Golden Software’s premier 3D volumetric modeling program. Voxler mapping software does an excellent job generating detailed 3D models by seamlessly combining your XYZC point data, Surfer grids, DEMS, and well data in true 3D space. With the latest release of Voxler, there is now a way to incorporate GIS imagery and vector files into the 3D context of your project. You can now add image overlays and vector overlays that drape over any 3D surface or HeightField.

You might ask, “Why is this important?” It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Adding high resolution imagery and vector data to a Voxler project can be a key component of model building where these types of data can associate what we commonly see on the Earth’s surface, from the natural or built environment, to what you are visualizing in the subsurface portion of the project. Overlaying GIS data can give your project a sense of spatial context, realism, detail, and scale. Displaying GIS imagery and vector data in 3 dimensions gives you a better understanding of what is going on at both the surface and the subsurface locations simultaneously; adding to the overall effectiveness of a project generated in Voxler.

In the following example, I am going to show you how to easily integrate a vector file and an image file into a Voxler project where both files will be draped over an elevation grid that was created in Surfer data mapping software. The area of interest for this example is Winter Park, Colorado; where I have downloaded a parcels shapefile from the Grand County, Colorado public GIS database. I also used Surfer’s Download online maps from server functionality to acquire a high resolution NAIP image of the area.

The first step to generating my example is to import the Surfer grid and attach a HeightField to the grid. To import the grid and attach a HeightField:

  1. Open Voxler 4 and click File | Import.
  2. In the Import dialog, navigate to the Winter Park Elevation.grd and click Open.
  3. In the Lattice Import Options dialog, select Import as a curvilinear lattice and click OK.
  4. In the Network Manager, select the Winter Park Elevation.grd and click Network |Graphics Output | HeightField.
Voxler Elevation - Surfer Grid Imported

A Surfer grid imported into Voxler and visualized using a HeightField.

The next step for this example is to import the NAIP image and use it as an image overlay on the HeightField. To do so:

  1. Click File | Import.
  2. In the Import dialog, navigate to the NAIP image and click Open.
  3. In the Network Manager, select the NAIP.tif and drag the connector from the right connector pad to the left connector pad of the HeightField.
  4. In the context menu, click Connect Input Image Overlay.
Voxler Image Overlay

A NAIP image has been added to the Voxler project and draped over the HeightField.

As you can see in the image above, the NAIP image has been draped over the HeightField as an image overlay. This gives the project more context, scale, and real-world detail. The final portion of my example is to drape the parcels GIS vector data over the HeightField which will add some additional information about the built environment. To import and overlay the vector data:

  1. Click File | Import.
  2. In the Import dialog, navigate to the Subdivisions_UTMPoly.shp and click Open.
  3. In the Network Manager, select the Subdivisions_UTMPoly.shp and drag the connector from the right connector pad to the left connector pad of the HeightField.
  4. In the context menu, click Connect Input Image Overlay.
Voxler Vector Overlay

Vector lines and imagery incorporated into the Voxler project.

Pro Tip:

Voxler's mapping software allows for a single vector file and a single image file to be draped on a HeightField. If you want to incorporate multiple vector files as overlays into your project, you can simply attach an additional HeightField module to the source grid and then connect another vector file to the new HeightField as a vector overlay. The image below shows a roads shapefile draping over an additional HeightField.

Voxler Image and Vector Overlay - Road Shapfile and HeightField

This project is using multiple HeightFields attached to the same source grid
to allow for multiple vector files to be draped.

To sum things up, draping vector data and imagery over HeightFields is a very quick and easy tool that will incorporate meaningful GIS data into your project. With a few mouse clicks, your project can come to life with a plethora of information that will add spatial context, scale, and detail; all of which should give anyone viewing the project a good sense of what is happening on the surface.

New copies of Voxler 4 and upgrades from previous versions are available for purchase from our shopping page. Contact voxlersupport@goldensoftware.com with any suggestions or questions you may have!

 

Comments 4

Guest - Ökmen on Wednesday, 21 June 2017 04:54

Hi,
I want to ask you that,
how can I manage my shapefile data on voxler v4
I can view my data in property manager in general section, but I cant managed?
so my Z value in visible "Zero" value in shape data sheet?

Hi, I want to ask you that, how can I manage my shapefile data on voxler v4 I can view my data in property manager in general section, but I cant managed? so my Z value in visible "Zero" value in shape data sheet?
Andrew Dudley on Tuesday, 27 June 2017 15:49

Hi, Voxler does not support the associated attribute data that is with SHPs; it only supports the line geometry associated with the file. I have added a vote to our suggestion file for future version of Voxler to support attribute data. All 2D SHP will load into Voxler with Z = 0. The only way to have a vector plot in 3D is to use a 3D DXF file or drape it over a 3D surface (HeightField) as in the article.

I hope this helps!
Drew

Hi, Voxler does not support the associated attribute data that is with SHPs; it only supports the line geometry associated with the file. I have added a vote to our suggestion file for future version of Voxler to support attribute data. All 2D SHP will load into Voxler with Z = 0. The only way to have a vector plot in 3D is to use a 3D DXF file or drape it over a 3D surface (HeightField) as in the article. I hope this helps! Drew
Guest - james on Monday, 08 May 2017 20:03

Hi,
Im currently evaluating the Demo version of Voxler v5 and we are handling detailed LiDAR data sets of a mining activity , and was just wondering are you able to export the project with the texture or image data intact to be able to view on a 3D platform from the example above?
I have a high resolution texture map of a terrain and I have LiDAR files that I want to open view in Voxler then apply image and export to an external 3D software, whats the possible workflow for this.

Thanks for your prompt reply.

Hi, Im currently evaluating the Demo version of Voxler v5 and we are handling detailed LiDAR data sets of a mining activity , and was just wondering are you able to export the project with the texture or image data intact to be able to view on a 3D platform from the example above? I have a high resolution texture map of a terrain and I have LiDAR files that I want to open view in Voxler then apply image and export to an external 3D software, whats the possible workflow for this. Thanks for your prompt reply.
Andrew Dudley on Tuesday, 27 June 2017 16:00

Hi James,

Thanks for posting your question. The only file format that is 3D in nature that will be of the entire scene (other exports are done from individual modules) is IV format. If you can use this format, great. If not, you will need to find a converter that will convert to 3D DXF (like NuGraf, http://www.okino.com/nrs/nrs.htm). I have added a vote to our feature request database for future versions of Voxler to support the texture mapping/overlay when exporting to 3D DXF.

Thanks!
Drew

Hi James, Thanks for posting your question. The only file format that is 3D in nature that will be of the entire scene (other exports are done from individual modules) is IV format. If you can use this format, great. If not, you will need to find a converter that will convert to 3D DXF (like NuGraf, http://www.okino.com/nrs/nrs.htm). I have added a vote to our feature request database for future versions of Voxler to support the texture mapping/overlay when exporting to 3D DXF. Thanks! Drew
Guest
Saturday, 18 November 2017

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