Geotiffs for mapping of imaginary worlds

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Geotiffs for mapping of imaginary worlds

Mike Parkes

This will probably seem like a very weird request…

 

What I am interested in doing is using GIS software to map an imaginary planet.

 

My starting point is a number of raster images in different projections that cover parts of the planet (e.g. Robinson projection for a world map, different projection for larger-scale maps). I want to be able to integrate and overlay these images, then create vector shapefiles. I’m only concerned with surface mapping (no elevation modeling), at least for now.

 

The imaginary world is perfectly spherical, but a different size from Earth. Hence, to georeference my images, I need a GIS program that allows user-defined datums.

 

I have been investigating the GeoTiff file format, and (through the Listgeo and geotifcp utilities), it has all the machinery that I need to create an imaginary datum, a map projection and to attach the datum and projection to an image. However, I haven’t been able to find a software package that can actually interpret and make use of this specialized GeoTiff information.

 

Which free or low-cost GIS software packages can utilize Geotiff's capability for user-defined datums?

 

Thanks for any help!


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Re: Geotiffs for mapping of imaginary worlds

Frank Warmerdam
On 11/24/05, Mike Parkes <[hidden email]> wrote:

> What I am interested in doing is using GIS software to map an imaginary
> planet.
>
> My starting point is a number of raster images in different projections that
> cover parts of the planet (e.g. Robinson projection for a world map,
> different projection for larger-scale maps). I want to be able to integrate
> and overlay these images, then create vector shapefiles. I'm only concerned
> with surface mapping (no elevation modeling), at least for now.
>
> The imaginary world is perfectly spherical, but a different size from Earth.
> Hence, to georeference my images, I need a GIS program that allows
> user-defined datums.
>
> I have been investigating the GeoTiff file format, and (through the Listgeo
> and geotifcp utilities), it has all the machinery that I need to create an
> imaginary datum, a map projection and to attach the datum and projection to
> an image. However, I haven't been able to find a software package that can
> actually interpret and make use of this specialized GeoTiff information.
>
>
>
> Which free or low-cost GIS software packages can utilize Geotiff's
> capability for user-defined datums?

Mike,

What exactly do you want these packages to do?
The GDAL software, and OpenEV should support
arbitrary user-defined ellipsoids just fine.

  http://www.gdal.org/
  http://openev.sf.net/

I would add, unless you want to "simulate" geoid
variation and survey area you don't really need to
fully define a datum.  You essentially want to map
on a perfectly spherical world with but with an
radius different than the earth.   That should be
straight forward.

Best regards,
--
---------------------------------------+--------------------------------------
I set the clouds in motion - turn up   | Frank Warmerdam, [hidden email]
light and sound - activate the windows | http://pobox.com/~warmerdam
and watch the world go round - Rush    | Geospatial Programmer for Rent

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Re: Geotiffs for mapping of imaginary worlds

danieldenk
In reply to this post by Mike Parkes
I'm actually investigating this right now. There's a particular project that myself and a couple friends have involvement in which already has a uniquely created world, which we're looking to take to that next level.
 
For practicality's sake, if you wish to use or edit a unique world - means that although you perceive the world as a different size, a 'work-around' would be to work with the data with the same structure as Earth. This will at least produce the results you're after in the work-flow with existing GIS software. If, on the other hand, and like I'm experiencing as well - if you have a preconfigured coordinate system in this virtual world, then it will require additional conversion after the editing process. The goal would be though to be able to import it into a program that understands and allows for capabilities - and adjustments or conversions may have to be made as a final step.
 
There are a variety of Open Source and free tools available for these tasks, namely Frank Warmerdam's FWTools with Open EV. It's an incredibly powerful tool-set once you dig in and get yourself familiarized. Frank may have better answers toward the specifics of operating with FWTools and how the work-flow chain can be organized for your needs. (Actually, I've yet to bend Frank's ear about this one.)
 
One of the primary goals with this pet project was to implement 'season change' based on a variety of my techniques to produce such imagery in Photoshop, and to incorporate actual realism using satellite or aerial imagery as the source for the landscapes.
 
So I suppose my suggestion would be: Convert your datum to Earth's so that it will view properly in existing programs and lend itself to being able to be updated/edited.
 
I'm also curious... Would you mind discussing/devulging what your project is for? If not, I'd understand.
 
Take care,
Daniel Denk
 


 
On 11/24/05, Mike Parkes <[hidden email]> wrote:

This will probably seem like a very weird request…

 

What I am interested in doing is using GIS software to map an imaginary planet.

 

My starting point is a number of raster images in different projections that cover parts of the planet (e.g. Robinson projection for a world map, different projection for larger-scale maps). I want to be able to integrate and overlay these images, then create vector shapefiles. I'm only concerned with surface mapping (no elevation modeling), at least for now.

 

The imaginary world is perfectly spherical, but a different size from Earth. Hence, to georeference my images, I need a GIS program that allows user-defined datums.

 

I have been investigating the GeoTiff file format, and (through the Listgeo and geotifcp utilities), it has all the machinery that I need to create an imaginary datum, a map projection and to attach the datum and projection to an image. However, I haven't been able to find a software package that can actually interpret and make use of this specialized GeoTiff information.

 

Which free or low-cost GIS software packages can utilize Geotiff's capability for user-defined datums?

 

Thanks for any help!


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