Virtual Terrain Media Notes


Digital Representations of the Real World: How to Capture, Model, and Render Visual Reality (2015)
A very general textbook giving an overview of a large number of fields relating to 3D capture (mostly from imagery) and modeling (largely of humans).  Given the broad title, I would have liked to have seen more emphasis on terrain.
3D Engine Design for Virtual Globes 3D Engine Design for Virtual Globes (2011)
A book by two senior developers from Analytical Graphics, Inc. on how to build a "very nice, modern, usable OpenGL rendering engine" that deals with the issues, like coordinate systems and precision, involved in rendering the whole earth.
d_city Digital Earth – Virtual Nations – Data Cities (e-book, 2012)
From Australian think-tank D_City, a glossy, colorful overview of a few 'digital earth' efforts worldwide.  It's heavy on abstract theory and buzzwords, and full of spotty history, fuzzy thinking, impractical concepts, greenwashing and inaccuracies, but nonetheless covers a lot of interesting ground in 180 pages.
book cover Visualization in Landscape and Environmental Planning, Ian D. Bishop and Eckart Lange eds., 2005 Trends in Real-Time Landscape Visualization and Participation, Proceedings at Anhalt University of Applied Sciences 2005
3rd ed. cover image Real-Time Rendering, by Tomas Akenine-Möller, Eric Haines, and Naty Hoffman
3rd edition, 2008, 1045 pages!
Much of the book is relevant to terrain rendering, especially chapter 12, 'Polygonal Techniques'
See also the book's website, Real-Time Rendering Resources
click see whole photo! Geo-Information Science and Digital Earth (地球信息科学与数字地球), Chen Shupeng, 2004
Reportedly, the book contains "an almost complete history and overview of developments in earth observation and geo-information science in China. However, this book on digital earth is much more global in its perspective and not limited to Chinese applications."
Real-Time 3D Terrain Engines Using C++ and DirectX 9 (Game Development Series) (Charles River Media Game Development) Real-Time 3D Terrain Engines Using C++ and DirectX 9 (2003)
Mixed reviews, and by now potentially quite dated, but it reportedly does "discuss texturing, quadtrees, a few CLOD algorithms, sky and water rendering, Perlin noise, and a few other things as they relate to terrain".
book cover Focus on 3D Terrain Programming, Trent Polack, 2003
book cover Landscape Modeling: Digital Techniques for Landscape Visualization, Stephen Ervin and Hope Hasbrouck, 2001
cover of Constructing the Future: nD Modelling Constructing the Future: nD Modelling, Edited by: Ghassan Aouad, Angela Lee and Song Wu, 2006
Although it focuses only on the 'built environment' and only partly about visualization, chapter 22. 'Modelling Cities' has a good history of that subject, esp. for European cities.
book cover Level of Detail for 3D Graphics, D. Luebke, M. Reddy, J. Cohen, A. Varshney, B. Watson, and R. Huebner, 2002.  Although it's a general book on LOD, chapter 7 is about terrain.  The site includes course material with excellent presentations.

Non-English language:

Modelli virtuali Modelli virtuali per la progettazione ambientale e territoriale, Empler, Bianconi, Bagagli 2006

Press Coverage





Physical OutputSolid Terrain Model