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RandallR

Using Tigerline Data with Terrascene-Help

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I wanted to try and render some areas with the tigerline data using Terrascene. I just wondered if anyone knew exactly how to do this? I mean, basically which layers do I need to download and which ones are a waste of time? Do you still have to use the landuse data and all that stuff or can you do a terrascene project using only the new tigerline data?Thankskristian

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Kristian,I can help you with this - have to wait until I'm home late tonight to give you some info.I would recommend against strictly creating scenery with Tiger Census data alone. Your scenery will come out much, much, much better with USGS data - it is far more detailed in Land Use info, plus you get the added benefit of that great 3D shading from elevation data, etc.However, I have found Tiger Shapefiles to be very detailed for some items - they are handy to use in concert with your USGS info, as the data is much newer, allowing you to add details that may not have existed at the time of the USGS surveys.

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Hello again, KristianSorry it took so long to get back to you on this - had to work some late hours.For augmenting USGS data, I would recommend adding only the following Tiger data:1. Landmark Polygons - These shapefiles really can add some magic in TS scenery in that they contain some details not necessarily included in the wonderful USGS land use surveys. The Landmark Polygons allow you to add very specific items, such as parks, graveyards, schools, hospitals, golf courses and airport (transportation) areas2. Line Features - Roads - On average, this data is 6 years or more newer than the USGS, so this helps you pick up new roads and highways around cities and towns. I would only add a few of them, such as highways, parkways, expressways, bypasses, etc., so as to not end up with too many line graphics in your scenery - the point is to enhance the already good USGS road data. You could also add Line Features - Rails to pick up new railways, but that would be a very rare occurrance.3. Water Polygons - Now here's some good stuff! Outside of new roads, new lakes and reservoirs are common, and can really add some extra "splash" to your scenery. This takes care of that "I downloaded your scenery, but the large lake next to my town isn't even there!" response.Now, if you just don't have good USGS data for an area (very, very rare for the continental U.S., but it does happen in some locations), then using more Tiger data to build a scenery region may be necessary. However, be warned - Tiger Data only contains some specific land use info, such as a golf course or airport area. There is no general land use data, such crops, swamp, mountains, forest, desert, beaches, etc. You will have to designate large areas of land by downloading DCW shapefile data for land, then fill all the land with the same texture, then put the Tiger details over the top - not too pretty, eh?You can always learn to use Colin's TerraShape program to create custom areas - really helpful for such situations but a lot of work with a big learning curve!If you use Tiger Data for such details, I would recommend the following layers and in this order:1. Urban Areas 20002. Landmark Polygons3. Line Features - Hydrography4. Line Features - Rails5. Line Features - Roads6. Water PolygonsHere is an example of the detail those layers will provide from the Hilton Head, South Carolina area - note the detail on specific features is excellent, but there is nothing for most land areas - yoiu would have to underlay with DCW and put in one texture, etc.

This can certainly solve some problems for areas with little or no USGS data, but the USGS will give you much better results when available - the Tiger shapes can be used to update and augment.

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Thanks Randall, I think this would be a good post for someone to put in the FLY tips and TRICKS section.kristian

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Could be - this is much more a scenery and development post than an average "Fly! Tip". It may be a good idea to add a similar tips area to the top of the Development forum and place this and other recommendations in it.

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