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Using Geodata for terrain

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I think it would be interesting to use real world topology data for a game instead of randomly generated data. However, only after implementing terrain imaging do I realize a subtle problem. The heights are typically recorded from some aerial vehicle, which means the recorded sample is going to be the highest object on the floor. In other words geo-data is a composite of: height of geology + object such as trees, buildings The best data I was able to acquire is 10 meter spacing which is in general not enough resolution to determine if the height is terrain or an objeect on terrain. The result is nasty gradients and unrealistic terrain that can change by as much as 100 meters over 10 meters. It appears that one would have to run some preprocessing algorithm, a noise reduction algorithm of some sort to remove the effects from objects on terrain. I am interested in hearing solutions to this problem.

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