“NUMERICAL MASSANE” : A 3D VIRTUAL TOUR IN A NATIONAL PARK FOREST
The “Massane's Forest” National Natural Park (Réserve Naturelle Nationale de la Forêt de la Massane) is a beech forest located near Perpignan (South of France). The park has two main objectives : first is to assure the protection and the conservation of the forest, second is to inform a large public about the forest and its richness. Because it could be detrimental for the natural park conservation, the presence of the public in the forest is “not solicited”, thus making difficult education and information.
Looking for a solution that can serve both objectives (conservation and information), the idea of a virtual visit appeared as one of the best possibilities, since improvements of technologies in the field of virtual reality and graphics rendering, have made possible to have interactive real-time rendering of large landscape on an ordinary computer.
The aim of this project is to offer a virtual visit of the natural park, based on a 3D model built from data extracted of a geographic information systems (GIS) using GDAL's open-source solutions. The terrain's relief, the first layer is based on an elevation DEM file, which is then draped with a set of textures adding more realism to the scene. At the end, a virtual vegetation cover is added to the terrain model based on a landcover map. Some specific points of interest, are defined offering a predefined visit path.
The specific viewer application based on OpenSceneGraph will render in real-time the final numerical model of the natural park, allowing a free exploration of the terrain, as well as guided tour. A first motion model will allow the user to fly over the terrain while another walk motion model will offer a more detailed forest exploration. The viewer will allow the rendering of the simulation in stereo 3D, using OpenGL QuadBuffer.
Pierre Bourdin - IMERIR