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Estierra is a program for modeling the terrain of the earth. It reads standard USGS Digital Elevation Model files (DEMs) and converts them into three-dimensional models of the earth's surface. These models can be colored, shaded, highlighted and overlaid with topographic maps or aerial photographs. This creates extremely realistic 3D images of the terrain. In addition, Estierra uses OpenGL technology that gives it the ability to do high-speed animations of the terrains. This means the terrains can be zoomed, panned and rotated in real-time. You can even fly over and through the terrain using your mouse.
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Estierra Terrain Modeling - Topographic Editor DEM Files.  Estierra creates terrain models by reading Digital Elevation Model (DEM) files that contain grids elevation points for a particular area. DEM files are readily available for all the United States from the USGS and several commercial sites. DEM files are available in 7.5 minute and one degree versions that correspond to standard topographic maps.

More Info: How Estierra Works.
Estierra Terrain Modeling - 3D Modeling Display 3D Models. Information in the DEM files are converted to smooth models of the surface that show every detail of the terrain . You have complete control over the appears of the model surface including color, texture, smoothness, highlight, shadows, and background color. You can even control the position of the sun and its angle in the sky.

More Info: Building Terrains.

Estierra Terrain Modeling - Topograph Overlay Uses for Estierra. Estierra has many uses. Outdoor enthusiast such as hikers, mountain climbers, cave explorers, horse back riders, skiers and mountain bike riders can use Estierra to plan routes and tofamiliarize themselves with the terrain. Geologist, hydrologists and other earth scientist can use Estierra to analyze rock  formation and various surface features. Civil engineers can use itfor planning roads, bridges, parks and buildings. Land Managers can use it to locate wet lands, estuaries, locate flood planes, avalanche course and many other land features.

More Info: Uses For Estierra

Estierra Terrain Modeling - Topographic Overlay Real-time Fly-Over. The terrain models can be moved, rotated and manipulated in real-time. Because of the high animation speed, you can turn move, tilt, spin, and zoom the terrain instantly using the mouse. You can also fly over the terrain as if you were in an airplane using the mouse or a joystick. In other words, you can fly down canyons, over peaks and along rivers, instantly changing direction to get a better view of a particular aspect of the terrain.

More Info: Animations.

Estierra Terrain Modeling - Aerial Photo overlay Photographic Overlays. The terrains can overlaid with bitmap images of topo maps, geological, and aerial photographs. Overlaying with an aerial photograph creates an extremely realistic image of the terrain. Flying over this kind of terrain is so realistic that it seems like you are actually seeing the earth from an airplane.

More Info: Overylaying Terrains.

Estierra Terrain Modeling - Aerial Photo Overlay High Resolution Photo Overlays. On of the big advantages of Estierra is that you can overlay scanned images of photographs that are normally not available in digital format. Here is an image created from a low level aerial photograph of the White River Plateau in western Colorado.

More Info: Photo Overlays.

Estierra Terrain Modeling - Topographic Map Overlay Map Overlays. Terrain models can also be overlaid with topographic and geologic maps. This makes it very easy to find locations and landmarks.  It is also much easier to visualize subtle features in the terrain. If you are working with geologic maps, it very easy to see where the various formations intersect the surface and how the effect the terrain. Since all overlays are bitmaps, you can easily draw labels, routes, paths or notations on the terrain surface.

More Info: Map Overlays.

Estierra Terrain Modeling - Overlay Editor Editing Tools. Estierra allows you to edit and cut the terrain models down to smaller size pieces so you can focus on your particular area of interest. Also, smaller images are faster and the smaller files size means that the images can be more easily manipulated over the internet. Estierra has special editing tools that allow you easily overlay and align nonstandard  maps and images on top of the terrain models. This means that with a scanner you can overlay virtually any type of map or photograph.

More Info: Editing Tools.

Estierra Terrain Modeling - Saint Hellen's Reconstruction color by elevation Special Color Options. Estierra has special coloring tools that allow you to color by depth using predefined palletes of colors or colors of your own choosing. The colors can be set to irregular or nonlinear spacings. The program will also color according to the slope of the terrain, placing light rocky colors on the cliffs and steep mountains sides and greens and yellows on more level terrain where there is more vegitation.

More Info: Color Options.

Estierra Terrain Modeling - Special Effects - Fog Special Effects. In addition to all the other features, Estierra supports a number of special effects that add extra realism to the terrain models. For example, you can add fog to the scene which fills the canyons and gets thicker as you look at object further away. This increases the realism and 3D effect of the terrain.

More Info: Special Effects.

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