Creating 3D models of roads on a terrain seems like it should be simple. Over the years, many efforts have been made to accurately model transportation features for use in simulation and gaming. As GIS data becomes more and more ubiquitous, it seems like creating geospecific models of features such as roads, bridges, and tunnels should be simple. But in the real world, roads are very complex, and building synthetic roads requires knowledge of the relationships between different roads as well as civil engineering practices used to construct roads in the real world.
A difficult problem when generating models of roads and bridges from GIS data is the lack of information about the vertical component of the road. Typically information that describes which road is above the other in a highway interchange is inadequate to build a detailed model from. Our approach uses civil engineering rules and an advanced genetic algorithm to create realistic models of complex interchanges, even when very little attribution exists.
SPAWN is the product of years of research and development. Originally funded through the SBIR program by the US Navy and adapted for use by the US Army, Cognitics has continued to refine and develop a cross-platform, toolkit.. This toolkit is designed to be used to enhance existing simulation products. Using SPAWN, a user can import GIS data and create synthetic representations of roads, bridges, tunnels, and more to enhance just about any simulation system through our software applicationa and C++ libraries. If you have a simulation system that needs better roads, contact us for more information.
Cognitics has created a plugin for the Diamond Visionics Genesis RTX image generator. This plugin enables runtime generation of road models powered by the SPAWN toolkit. With this plugin your terrain will get high quality road models with intersections. Currently in alpha testing. If you are interested in working with Cognitics to meet your transportation modeling needs in the Genesis RT environment, please contact us.
Cognitics has harnessed the power of the SPAWN procedural modeling toolkit to develop a plugin for the Terra Vista database generation system by Presagis. This plugin enables Terra Vista to use the cut and fill modifications to the terrain, and generates highly detailed models of transportation features. Our intersections support automatic generation of turn lanes, intersections between roads with different surface types, and more. Currently available for beta testing.
OpenDRIVE® is a specification that can be used as a data model and transmission format for very high fidelity roads. Because OpenDRIVE® is an XML format and simulation datasets can be very large, it is not well suited for runtime processing operations due to the large file size and the inefficiencies in parsing XML to find relationships. For use in runtime simulation systems, Cognitics created a binary storage format based on the SQLite database engine. We call the binary data an OpenDRIVE® Database (ODDB). The ODDB allows high performance indexing which is very important when developing the data processing tools. OpenDRIVE® data operates in a Cartesian coordinate system, so we added spatial reference frame tags to the OpenDRIVE® schema to support geo-referencing. Finally, we extended the OpenDRIVE data model to represent logical road states through s-based attribute tags. This allows the OpenDRIVE® data to encode logical relationships such as ‘passes over.’
Cognitics, Inc. developed this set of OpenDRIVE® functionality for use in simulation under the product name SPAWN. In order to provide greater access to this data and to ease integration, Cognitics has created an open source royalty free C++ library that can be used for reading and writing OpenDRIVE® data; both in the native XML form, and in the optimized binary SQLite form. Contact us if you would like to use the power of the Cognitics OpenDRIVE® SDK.
We didn't set out to create a terrain generation system. After all, many products already exist that can do that. In the course of developing SPAWN we needed the ability to debug and demonstrate terrain with integrated roads. Eventually we realized we had most of the components needed to produce geospecific terrain with integrated culture including roads, scattered point features, and more. We currently output OpenFlight format terrain, with more formats to be supported in the future.