Puffing Billy - 3D video map

John Cleverdon <johnc@...>

Hello all,
(apologies if this is the second time you get this message; I've had some minor hiccups with Yahoo email lists this week)
Back in 2015 and 2016 I mentioned the Memory Map software/maps (http://memory-map.com.au/digital-maps/topographic-maps-australia.html) on this email list, and it having both 2D and 3D maps.

When updating the software earlier in the year, I noted something that I had previously overlooked or ignored - it can also produce 3D 'video maps'. I created such maps (the end result being MPG files) using GPS tracks from a handheld or kit-build GPS.
After a visit to Daylesford over Easter, I had a further think about this, and wondered if I could create a GPX file using Vicmap digital map data (rather than just from a GPS device). This turned out to be possible, and so among the examples, I've created one of Puffing Billy, running from Belgrave to Gembrook.
This video map can be found at: https://www.dropbox.com/s/6fbmnqbk9c7x9sp/PuffingBilly.mpg?dl=0
Note that I've kept it to 480*640 resolution to keep the file size down.

For those interested, the procedure is below:
  • I already had the rail network (for this example) in GIS format, and opened it using open-source GIS (Geographic Information System) software¬† - QGIS (https://www.qgis.org/en/site/). The data was from the Vicmap digital data download at: http://services.land.vic.gov.au/SpatialDatamart/
  • There relevant rail network segments were selected and then saved as a DXF file (on WGS84 coordinates).
  • In Draft Sight (freeware CAD software - https://www.3ds.com/products-services/draftsight-cad-software/free-download/), these rail segments were 'welded' (joined) in to one segment.
  • This single segment was saved as a new DXF file, and then then opened in QGIS software.
  • In QGIS, this was converted to GPX format (keeping it on WGS84 coordinates), and then opened in Memory Map, where the 3D video map was created.
  • Memory Map produces an AVI file (very big!), it was converted to MPG format using the free software at: https://www.videoconverterfactory.com/free-hd-video-converter/
  • I've noted that the AVI file has a limit of around 4GB file-size when created, this works out to around 35km distance.

Of course, if you have commercial CAD software, you can do the work in that instead of freeware CAD software.

John Cleverdon
Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
John's web page: http://users.cdi.com.au/~johnc/
LinkedIn: http://au.linkedin.com/pub/john-cleverdon/a/a81/2b