Virtual Planet Builder

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VirtualPlanetBuilder (VPB) is an OSG tool that generates native OSG data to represent terrain, usually by draping a GEO-TIFF over an elevation model.

Building VirtualPlanetBuilder

The VPB project and code can be found here:

If you've got an existing FlightGear build, there are some additional dependencies:

  • OSG
    • Including NVTT. ('sudo apt-get install libnvtt-dev' - oddly VPB builds without it but then checks for the shared library at runtime...)
  • GDAL (, Note that this needs to 2.4.X
    • ... which requires PROJ 6 or above (
      • ... which requires the sqlite3.11 or above development package (on linux - 'sudo apt-get install libsqlite3-dev')

Note that GDAL and PROJ do not use cmake, so it builds in the source directory as follows:

./configure -prefix=/path/to/install

VPB is built using cmake e.g.

cmake -DOSG_DIR=/path/to/OSG/install /path/to/VPB/src

Getting Landcover Data

For CORINE data covering Europe, try here:

Choose RASTER data, which will download a geo-referenced TIF image.

Getting DEM data.

For SRTM, try here:

Again, Raster data is fine.

Running VPB

Here are the options I've used to generate some scenery of the UK:

./bin/osgdem --TERRAIN \
--compressor-nvtt \
--compression-quality-highest \
--geocentric \
-t /home/stuart/FlightGear/VPB/data/CORINE/u2018_clc2018_v2020_20u1_raster100m/DATA/U2018_CLC2018_V2020_20u1.tif \
-d /home/stuart/FlightGear/VPB/data/SRTM90/srtm_34_02.tif \
-d /home/stuart/FlightGear/VPB/data/SRTM90/srtm_35_01.tif \
-d /home/stuart/FlightGear/VPB/data/SRTM90/srtm_35_02.tif \
-d /home/stuart/FlightGear/VPB/data/SRTM90/srtm_36_01.tif \
-d /home/stuart/FlightGear/VPB/data/SRTM90/srtm_36_02.tif \
-b -4 50 -3 51 \
--PagedLOD \
-l 8 \
-o WS_W4N50.osgb
  • --TERRAIN to use osgTerrain::Terrain database
  • --compressor-nvtt --compression-quality-highest to generate native mipmaps
  • --geocentric because that's what FG uses
  • -t the texture to drape (in this case CORINE)
  • -d the DEM to use (in this case pieces of SRTM90)
  • -b is the extents in decimal degrees: LON1 LAT1 LON2 LAT2
  • --PagedLOD to generate PagedLOD nodes
  • -l 8 the number of LOD levels to generate
  • -o is the output file, in this case native OSG binary format.