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The Sandworm tool is used to generate georeferenced terrain of any form using the provided data sources. This tool helps to quickly re-create portions of the real world by projecting them onto a flat Landscape Terrain Object or Object Terrain Global that supports Curved mode and natively works with geo-coordinates. The maximum terrain size depends on the available memory and data density, but typically, it's enough to create a big city or country landscape.
The list of Sandworm features currently includes the following:
- Support for multiple georeferenced sources: raster (elevation, imagery, and masks) and vector (roads, buildings, etc.)
- Advanced data filtering options: via attributes (vector sources), via indexed, color, and channel masks (raster sources)
- Support for online TMS (Mapbox, OSM) and offline data sources
- Mask-based generation of vegetation
- Generation of additional details (sand, rocks, etc.) based on landcover data for more realistic landscape surfaces
- Procedural generation of objects (roads, powerlines, buildings, landmarks, etc.)
- Advanced control and fine-tuning of placement parameters
- Support for most of the widely used Coordinate Reference Systems (CRS) for input as well as output projections
- Ability to combine sources with different projection types within a single project
- Export to Landscape Terrain and Terrain Global
- Coherent and user-friendly interface with dockable windows
Sandworm generates a terrain using height map (elevation) and albedo (imagery) data provided. You can use the following types of data sources:
- Offline — locally stored tilesets: raster (elevation, imagery, and masks) and vector data sources from your local storage device
- Online — Tile Map Services (TMS): you can connect to both open services (such as OpenStreetMap or various state/municipal databases) or private tile servers created and supported by users based on services similar to QGIS (currently supported data from online sources: imagery and elevation).
Georeferenced imagery and elevation data are processed using GDAL — Geospatial Data Abstraction Library. It supports various raster formats with different map projections for input data. It is also possible to combine different projection types and data sources to generate a terrain.
These data sources usually contain a lot of information that can be filtered using Attribute filters and accumulated into a Slot.
Slots are designed to organize source data into individual chunks of information using filters. Each slot is then used to distribute a specific object along the terrain. For example, by using Slots, you can:
- Generate grass or trees for areas marked with specific colors of the landcover texture.
- Generate only highways ignoring small roads using a road type Attribute in a vector data file.
- Generate buildings of a particular type only (e.g., apartments, garages, single- or multi-story buildings, depending on the data stored in the vector data source).
Sandworm supports multiple data layers aligned by geo or raster coordinates: you can easily create high-resolution insets by adding a high-detailed landscape area over a low-detailed one. This can be useful for flight simulators, where a high level of detail is required only for areas around airports. The quality of generated terrain is determined by the density of the data sources used.