Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I have to download GDAL separately?

GDAL (Geospatial Data Abstraction Library) is an Open Source project by the Open Source Geospatial Foundation. While the license permits its use in commercial software, we don't want to hide it in planlauf/TERRAIN. There are people putting a lot of their free time into GDAL and we believe they should get the credits

Tamas Szekeres maintains a website from which you can download the lastest GDAL builds. Go to 'Stable Releases' and click on one of the two last entries of the first table (win32 for 32-Bit- and x64 for 64-Bit-Windows). Look for the download with the description 'Generic installer for the GDAL core components'. As of June 2018, the appropriate files are 'gdal-203-1911-core.msi' (32-Bit) and 'gdal-203-1911-x64-core.msi' (64-Bit).

planlauf/TERRAIN will look for GDAL in the program folder every time you try to import a raster file via GDAL. You can also specify a folder in the Settings > GDAL.

Why do I have to download FFmpeg separately?

FFmpeg is an open-source, cross-platform solution to record, convert and stream audio and video. As well as GDAL, we don't want to hide it in planlauf/TERRAIN. You can download Windows binaries from Zeranoe's website. Select the current version (e.g., 4.0), your OS architecture (32- or 64 bit), Static Linking and download it. Unzip the file and copy ffmpeg.exe from the 'bin' directory either to the planlauf/TERRAIN program folder or to another location on your harddrive. In the latter case you'll have to specify the path to ffmpeg.exe in the Settings > Video.

Why is planlaufTERRAIN2018_Setup.exe only 5.3 MB?

The setup file is packed and planlauf/TERRAIN will need 18 MB on your drive. Compared to other GIS software this is still very lightweight and it makes it possible to run planlauf/TERRAIN even on the most basic Windows tablet. We put a lot of effort into developing the core functions from scratch instead of using a heavy game engine. Yet, there are things incorporated in planlauf/TERRAIN that other libraries can do much better:

  • Eyeshot by devDept Software S.a.s.: the best 3D graphics control available including great support
  • AForge.Video by Andrew Kirillov: easy-to-use DirectShow control for webcams
  • Bing Maps WPF control by Microsoft: with a Bing Maps key you can get access to worldwide maps
  • las2las by RapidLasso GmbH: uncompress LAZ files and convert LAS > 1.2 to LAS 1.2
  • cjpeg by the Independent JPEG Group: create JPG images with adjustable quality settings
  • EzLAS by Esri: uncompress zLAS files

Which other software is able to display DEMs?

You can get an extensive list of GIS software at Wikipedia. From our experience the following packages are most popular:

What are the system requirements for planlauf/TERRAIN?

planlauf/TERRAIN will run on almost any Windows device with OpenGL 4.0 and .NET-Framework 4.5. The number of vertices that can be processed depends largely on the amount of RAM that can be used. We recommend using a Desktop PC with 64-Bit Windows to import and decimate DEMs. The visualization of the decimated models should in most cases be possible on a Tablet PC with 32-Bit Windows (as long as the 32-Bit 1.2 GB memory limit for one process is not exceeded). The table shows the minimum and the recommended system requirements.

        

Minimum

Recommended

Operating System

Windows 7, 8, 10 / 32-Bit

Windows 7, 8, 10 / 64-Bit

CP

1 GHz

3 GHz

Memory

1 GB RAM

16 GB RAM

Hard drive

18 MB of free space

18 MB of free space

Resolution

1024x600

1920x1080

GPU

Intel(R) HD Graphics

Dedicated graphics card with 4 GB

OpenGL

4.0 or higher

4.0 or higher

.NET-Framework

4.5 or higher

4.5 or higher 

What is an XYZ-file?

An XYZ-file is a simple text file which contains X, Y and Z values (in geographic coordinates: easting, northing, elevation). Each line represents one vertex and the values can be separated by one of the following characters: space, tab, comma, semicolon. Please note that planlauf/TERRAIN works with raster data, so the X and Y values have to be on an even grid.

32290000.00 5628000.00 231.07

32290000.00 5628001.00 230.71

32290000.00 5628002.00 230.37

What is an Esri ASCII Grid- or ASC-file?

An Esri ASCII Grid-file is a text file with a simple raster format. Instead of explicit X and Y values, only the number of columns and rows, the lower left corner, the grid spacing and the elevation values are stored.

NCOLS 2000

NROWS 2000

XLLCORNER 2693000.000000000000

YLLCORNER 1256000.000000000000

CELLSIZE 0.500000000000

NODATA_VALUE -9999.0

583.72 583.78 583.78 583.75 583.76 583.63 583.69 583.68

583.64 583.48 583.47 583.61 583.62 583.62 583.62 583.65

583.53 583.52 583.44 583.40 583.37 583.32 583.28 583.25

How many vertices can planlauf/TERRAIN import?

There is a limit of 1 billion vertices for a single tile file *.plftil (but you can use as many tile files as you wish in a terrain file *.plfter). The number of vertices on 32-Bit Windows will be much lower (6'000'000) because a single process can only use approximately 1.2 GB of RAM. On 64-Bit Windows the amount of available RAM will determine how many vertices you can import. The table below might give you an idea about what is currently possible. If you try to import huge models, planlauf/TERRAIN will offer the option to split the task in manageable chunks. Please let us know if you're able to import less or even more vertices on your device.

Device

OS

32 / 64 Bit

RAM

Successfully imported vertices

Dell Venue 8 Pro (2015)

Windows 8.1

32 Bit

1 GB

4'000'000

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 (2015)

Windows 8.1

32 Bit

2 GB

6'000'000

HP Pavilion Slimline (2011)

Windows 7

64 Bit

4 GB

30'000'000

Microsoft Surface Book (2018)

Windows 10

64 Bit

16 GB

120'000'000

Dell Precision M6800 (2015)

Windows 7

64 Bit

32 GB

240'000'000

How many Frames per Second (fps) can I expect?

Frames per Second depend largely on the GPU (graphics processing unit), the number of vertices and the display size. The table below shows some examples for the number of vertices for 60 fps (very smooth), 30 fps (smooth) and 15 fps (not so smooth) if our Level-Of-Detail (LOD) feature is turned off. With active LOD the fps will increase significantly (sometimes 5-10 times higher, depending on the ratio between vertices and screen pixels).

Device

Graphics

Display

Vertices @60 fps

Vertices @30 fps

Vertices @15 fps

Dell Venue 8 Pro (2015)

Intel(R) HD Graphics

1280x720

400'000

800'000

1'600'000

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 (2015)

Intel(R) HD Graphics

1920x1080

300'000

600'000

1'200'000

HP Pavilion Slimline (2011)

ATI Radeon HD4300 512MB

1366x768

1'000'000

2'000'0000

4'000'000

Microsoft Surface Book (2016)

NVidia Geforce 940M 1GB

3000x2000

7'000'000

14'000'000

28'000'000

Dell Precision M6800 (2015)

NVidia Quadro K5100M 8GB

1920x1080

20'000'000

40'000'000

80'000'000

Why does Anti-Aliasing affect rendering performance?

Anti-Aliasing enhances the quality of the rendering because jagged and pixelated edges are removed. To get this positive effect, planlauf/TERRAIN needs to draw the scene at a higher resolution than the display itself and this will put a much higher load on the GPU. Usually, low resolutions (1280x720) benefit more from Anti-Aliasing than high resolutions (3000x2000).

Which GPS receivers does planlauf/TERRAIN support?

planlauf/TERRAIN supports all Bluetooth GPS receivers that use the NMEA 0183 standard and that can be paired with the Windows device. The table below shows the receivers that we were able to test or that were confirmed by our users. If you have any other GPS receiver that does or does not work with planlauf/TERRAIN, please send us an email. We'd be happy to expand the list.

GPS Receiver

Works

Remarks

Dual XGPS150A

Yes


Garmin GLO Portable GPS and GLONASS Receiver

Yes


GlobalSat BT-821 Bluetooth GPS Receiver

Yes


GNS Navilock GPS/GLONASS 2000 BT

Yes


GT-750FL Bluetooth GPS Receiver

No

Bluetooth pairing is not reliable

Holux RCV-3000

Yes


NAVILOCK BT-821G Bluetooth GNSS

Yes


NAVILOCK NL-8002U u-blox 8 (USB)

Yes


Trimble R1

Yes


Qstarz BT-Q818XT

Yes


How can I display the on-screen keyboard in tablet mode?

The on-screen keyboard will automatically be shown if you tap on a textbox. If it doesn't, please make sure that the option 'Automatically show the touch keyboard in windowed apps when there's no keyboard attached to your device' is turned on. You can find this option under Windows > Settings > Devices > Typing > Touch Keyboard.

How can I disable the screen rotation on my tablet?

  • Windows 8/8.1: Right-click on the desktop and choose "Screen resolution", uncheck "Allow the screen to auto-rotate", hit "OK"
  • Windows 10: Open Action Center by swiping from the right and choose "Rotation lock"

Why does GPS logging stop when my tablet goes to sleep mode?

GPS logging requires an active Bluetooth connection between tablet and external GPS receiver. When your tablet goes to sleep, Windows will end this connection and no further data can be recorded. You can change the time until the tablet goes to sleep mode:

  • Windows 8/8.1: Click the taskbars' battery symbol in desktop mode, choose "More power options", click on "Change when the computer sleeps" on the left and choose an appropriate time under "Put the computer to sleep" (e.g., "30 minutes" or "Never")
  • Windows 10: Click on the taskbars' battery symbol in desktop mode, choose "Power & Sleep settings", choose an appropriate time under "On battery power, PC goes to sleep after" (e.g., "30 minutes" or "Never")

Windows goes to sleep when I accidentally press the power button on my tablet and GPS logging stops. What can I do?

You can disable the power button (holding the power button will still shut down the PC):

  • Windows 8/8.1: Click the taskbars' battery symbol in desktop mode, choose "More power options", click on "Choose what the power button does" on the left and choose "Do nothing" for "When I press the power button", hit "Save changes"
  • Windows 10: Click on the taskbars' battery symbol in desktop mode, choose "Power & Sleep settings", go to "Additional power settings" on the bottom of the page, click on "Choose what the power button does" on the left and choose "Do nothing" for "When I press the power button", hit "Save changes"

Which projections does planlauf/TERRAIN support?

There are thousands of projections worldwide (see EPSG.io or Spatial Reference), many are outdated and only a few are actually used for DEM datasets. planlauf/TERRAIN supports projections for which we got our hands on test data and were able to implement and verify the forward and backward transformation. At the moment, the projections listed in the table are supported directly. GeoTIFFs or IMGs with other projections might be reprojected to UTM with our GDAL-interface. Please send us an email if you'd like to see an additional projection in the next release of planlauf/TERRAIN.

Country

EPSG

Name

All

32601-32660

UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator)

Antarctica

3294

WGS 84 / USGS Transantarctic Mountains

Australia

28348-28358

GDA94 / MGA

Australia

3112

GDA94 / Geoscience Australia Lambert

Austria

31254

MGI / Austria GK West

Austria

31255

MGI / Austria GK Central

Austria

31256

MGI / Austria GK East

Austria

31257

MGI / Austria GK M28

Austria

31258

MGI / Austria GK M31

Austria

31259

MGI / Austria GK M34

Austria

31287

MGI / Austria Lambert

Belgium

31370

Belgian Lambert 72

Belgium

3812

Belgian Lambert 2008

France

2154

RGF93 / Lambert-93

Germany

31466

Gauss Krueger Potsdam Zone 2

Germany

31467

Gauss Krueger Potsdam Zone 3

Germany

31468

Gauss Krueger Potsdam Zone 4

Germany

31469

Gauss Krueger Potsdam Zone 5

Ireland

2157

Irish Transverse Mercator

Ireland

29903

Irish Grid

Italy

3003

Monte Mario Zone 1

Italy

3004

Monte Mario Zone 2

Italy

23032

UTM 32 North ED50

Luxembourg

2169

Luxembourg 1930 / Gauss

Malta

23033

UTM 33 North ED50

Netherlands

28992

Amersfoort / RD New

New Zealand

2193

NZGD2000

Poland

2180

CS92

Slovenia

3794

D96TM

Slovenia

3912

D48GK

Switzerland

21781

LV03

Switzerland

2056

LV95

United Kingdom

7405

OSGB36, ODN height

United Kingdom

27700

OSGB36

USA

3559

NAD83(NSRS2007) / Maryland

Which projections are available for reprojection during point cloud import?

The following projections are available for a reprojection during point cloud import. Please send us an email if you'd like to see an additional projection in the next release of planlauf/TERRAIN.

Country

EPSG

Name

USA

2231

NAD83 / Colorado North (ftUS)

USA

2232

NAD83 / Colorado Central (ftUS)

USA

2233

NAD83 / Colorado South (ftUS)

USA

3529

NAD83 (NSRS2007) / Illinois East (ftUS)

USA

3531

NAD83 (NSRS2007) / Illinois West (ftUS)

USA

3089

NAD83 / Kentucky Single Zone (ftUS)

USA

3753

NAD83 (HARN) / Ohio North (ftUS)

USA

3754

NAD83 (HARN) / Ohio South (ftUS)

USA

2274

NAD83 / Tennessee (ftUS)

USA

2278

NAD83 / Texas South Central (ftUS)

USA

2919

NAD83 (HARN) / Texas South Central (ftUS)

USA

2285

NAD83 / Washington North (ftUS)

USA

2286

NAD83 / Washington South (ftUS)

USA

2926

NAD83 (HARN) / Washington North (ftUS)

USA

2927

NAD83 (HARN) / Washington South (ftUS)

USA

26862

NAD83 (HARN) / West Virginia South (ftUS)