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PostPosted: 29 Dec 2015 15:45 

Joined: 05 Jan 2011 16:45
Posts: 1057
TransDEM 2.6 has been released.

Version 2.6 brings full compatibility with T:ANE including SP1.

Some of the map processing features added in this version (see release notes for more details):
  • New DEM merge function “Fill up” to better combine high and low resolution data.
  • More flexible map tile server configuration, to allow an arbitrary number of servers per provider and overlapping requests.
  • Supports HTTPS for WMS (on Windows 7 and up).
  • ”Snap to nearest” function in Simple Route Editor for easy sketching of junctions.

What is TransDEM about?

TransDEM Trainz Edition is a helper tool for building prototypical routes in Trainz. It processes geo-data, in particular DEMs (Digital Elevation Model = height data) and cartographic map images and creates Trainz terrain from it.

New Users: How much does it cost?

TransDEM Trainz Edition is Payware. The fee for a personal non-commercial license is €23.90 including applicable VAT and PayPal fees.

(This is about GBP 20.00, USD 28.00, CAD 39.00, AUD 39, NZD 41.00, PLN 110 or CZK 670, including VAT and PayPal fees. Currency conversion rates as of 29 December 2015.)

New Users: How can it be ordered?

You can order TransDEM or request more information with a simple email: I will send you an info letter with further details of the purchasing and downloading process. When ordering please indicate your full name and address.

Current Users: Update Policy

There will be a free update for current TransDEM users who purchased their license within the last 12 months. These users should receive an email from me with further details within the next couple of days.

All other users can obtain an upgrade license for a fee of €8.90, including applicable VAT and PayPal charges. Please email me at if you are interested, including enough information to find you in my database: your full name and current address plus original order ID.


Updated TransDEM configuration samples for WMS and map tiles can be downloaded here (without any warranty!).

What kind of features does TransDEM offer?

Geo-Data: Digital Elevation Models (DEMs)

  • Direct support for SRTM 3 and 1 arc sec, USGS NED and ASTER GDEM (GeoTIFF), Canadian CDED DEMs, various ESRI formats and ERDAS Imagine, many including projected coordinate systems, plus MicroDEM format for other DEM types.
  • DEM Editing capabilities: adjustment of elevations (Triangulated Irregular Network algorithm - TIN), hole filling, smoothing, clipping, re-sampling, horizontal and vertical shifting, plus contour tracing for DEM refinement.
  • DEM shading, DEM based contour lines to ease to enhance DEM visualisation.

Geo-Data: Raster Maps, Orthophotos

  • Georeferencing of topographic raster maps with coordinates, dedicated functions for easy-handling of this often error-prone task.
  • Easy-handling of maps from on-line geo-servers (conventional browser interface).
  • Automatic georeferencing of GeoTIFF and GeoPDF images (GDAL required for GeoPDF).
  • Function to create transparent margins to avoid occlusion with overlapping maps and plans.
  • WMS client (“Web Mapping Services” standard) for automating the cartographic map image acquisition.
  • Map Tile client, similar to WMS client, for raster maps in Mercator projection and organised as a quadtree structure. Examples are the (road-)map and orthophoto services by Google, Microsoft or Open Street Map.
  • Semi-automatic georeferencing of Google Earth™ images, using “placemarks”.
  • Support for UTM, geographic coordinates (lat/long) and a number of national coordinate systems in use in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Geo-Data: Vector Data

  • Vector overlays and polyline editor, read and write support for various file formats, shp, dxf, kml/kmz and others.
  • Data exchange with GPS devices via .gpx data.
  • Import conversion for data in national coordinate systems.

Trainz Map Creation

  • Direct creation of all files making a Trainz route map.
  • Fully compatible with all versions of Trainz from TRS2004 to T:ANE.
  • Baseboard alignment with the UTM grid. Allows for a modular route building approach.
  • DEM shaped terrain.
  • Ground texture and minimap based on raster map (limited resolution). Optional 5m grid for TS2009 and above.
  • Support for custom ground texture set, including removal. Custom textures for ortho-imagery included.
  • Automatic placement of UTM tiles (2D or 3D texture carrier objects with higher raster map or orthophoto resolution), 1000m and 500m. 3D tiles require N3V Trainz Mesh Importer.
  • Direct creation of Trainz spline objects from 2D and 3D vector data, allows to “lay track” in TransDEM.
  • Usage of the Trainz World Origin object for maintaining an absolute coordinate reference which allows adding of UTM tiles or spline objects at a later stage.
  • Lowering or raising a conventionally built Trainz route to merge it it with a DEM based route.

Support for GPS devices

  • Import: Live track log option for GPS devices via NMEA1083 protocol to record GPS positions as vector data, COM or USB (USB needs 3rd party converter).
  • Export: Option to save georeferenced raster maps as a .kmz package with geographic coordinates and automatic tiling for Garmin® GPS devices (and Google Earth™).


TransDEM comes with extensive English documentation in pdf format, about 280 pages in two manuals. Tutorials make up a major part. They cover various aspects of TransDEM's capabilities including the mainstream functions of generating terrain for Trainz quickly.

System Environment

  • TransDEM 32 bit variant: Windows XP SP3 and higher, 32 bit or 64 bit (x64)
  • TransDEM 64 bit variant: Windows XP SP3 and higher, 64 bit (x64)
Recommend hardware: Quad-core CPU. 8GB of main memory for 64bit, 4GB for 32bit.

Example: Large scale geo data in England

This example combines high resolution 2m DEM data (LIDAR) with the historic Ordnance Survey large scale 25 inch map (1:2500). We are looking at the River Avon valley in Somerset/Wiltshire between Bath and Bradford.

The new free 2m LIDAR DEM (Environment Agency) is complemented with 50m data, using the new “Fill up” function. Railway, canal, river and roads can be clearly distinguished.


Overlaid with the historic 25inch map, acquired with overlapping requests from two server addresses.


Initial total view in T:ANE Surveyor, historic 1:25,000 O/S map used for ground texturing.


3D UTM tiles that carry the 25 inch map:


Ground textures only (1:25,000 map):


And finally bare bones terrain, with the TransDEM ground textures by the respective TransDEM function. It's not as crisp as in the TransDEM screenshot, but Trainz terrain here is only 5m vs 2m for the LIDAR DEM:


Example: Orthophoto ground textures in T:ANE

Brenner route in South Tyrol. 2.5m DEM, re-sampled for Trainz to 5m, with TransDEM orthoimage ground texturing. Larger viewing distance in T:ANE, but still below 15000m. No editing in Surveyor at all.


Enjoy TransDEM 2.6

Roland Ziegler (geophil)

 Post subject: Update Version
PostPosted: 13 Feb 2016 23:35 

Joined: 05 Jan 2011 16:45
Posts: 1057
A TransDEM update is available on my homepage. The new version is

This update is free for all TransDEM 2.6 users.

It addresses a single issue, georeferencing with Google Earth placemarks. I tweaked the placemark processing somewhat for 2.6. Unfortunately a new bug found its way in, preventing placemark georeferencing altogether in most cases. It should be fixed now.

The problem was reported by TransDEM users, thanks a lot.

 Post subject: Update Version
PostPosted: 03 Jul 2016 15:20 

Joined: 05 Jan 2011 16:45
Posts: 1057
Another TransDEM update is available on my homepage. The new version is

This update is free for all TransDEM 2.6 users.

It addresses three "micro" issues:
  • When a WMS offers version 1.3, but does not completely fulfil the promise, manual overriding the version in TransDEM may have had no effect.
  • In the Subrange dialog which TransDEM opens when loading a huge DEM, the dialog now takes into account the limited address range for a single DEM.
  • A zoom setting in the map tile client could go wrong and crash TransDEM the next time the map tile client was opened. Such an erroneous setting will now be intercepted.

I would like to mention again that TransDEM 2.6 comes with a crash dump function. In the (rare) event of a fatal error, such a crash dump can help me to locate the cause of the problem. The zoom setting issue was found that way.

 Post subject: Update Version 2.6.1
PostPosted: 15 Oct 2016 22:25 

Joined: 05 Jan 2011 16:45
Posts: 1057
Another TransDEM update is available on my homepage. The new version is 2.6.1

This update is free for all TransDEM 2.6 users.

It brings a few new features:
  • Support for certain map tile services, e.g. Google and Microsoft Bing, that require an API key for access. See here for some background information.

    The Google service will bring back Google Maps ortho-images, the automatic alternative to the semi-manual procedure with Google Earth.

    The Microsoft service will bring back UK Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 "Landranger" and 1:25,000 "Explorer" topographic maps.

    The latest edition of the preconfigured map tile sample settings has all the necessary parameters to get these services running.

    Please note: Keys are not provided. Visit the tutorial section for instructions how to obtain such keys.

  • The Simple Route Editor now requires to press the Shift key when moving a polyline. This is to prevent accidental shifting of the entire polyline, when only a single point was targeted. (Previous behaviour without the Shift key can be restored by unchecking this option in the global settings.)

  • A few additional message boxes have been added when closing map images or DEMs and there is unsaved vector data, hopefully the last loopholes here.

Again, many thanks to the users who made these suggestions.

The new preconfigured map tile settings include:
  • Google and Microsoft Bing services for API keys.
  • More English counties for the historical 25 inch (1:2500) Ordnance Survey map, digitized by the National Library of Scotland.
  • Ordnance Survey "Open Data" map tiles, again provided by the National Library of Scotland.
  • OpenTopoMap and, as previously pictured in the forums, now integrated into the list.

Here are a couple of screenshots with new and rediscovered map/image sources with a motif from my other hobby, the predecessor of railways: canals.

The location is Foxton Locks, near Market Harborough, Leicestershire, England. Foxton Locks is one of the engineering marvels of English canal history, built 200 years ago. It comprises ten locks, split into two "Staircases" of five chambers each. It's not only enjoyed by boaters but also an attraction for normal tourists ("Gongoozlers").

Foxton may not be as impressive as the Bingley Five Rise or as daunting as Caen Hill, but nonetheless a lovely gem in the canal network.

We start with the recaptured O/S 1:25,000 Explorer map, acquired with Microsoft Bing Maps (API key), zoom level 15, the largest you can use for Trainz ground textures (5 m raster):


At zoom level 16 we have new O/S Open Data, I think it's called the "District Map" (which is also available directly from O/S for some years, but there you need to geo-reference it semi-manually):


Now the over 100 year old 25 inch map, zoom level 17. Leicestershire was added only recently, thanks to the work of the people at the NLS. At that time the locks were not operational, instead traffic used the inclined plane, visible to the right.


At zoom level 18 the recaptured Google Maps ortho-images (API key). We see the lower locks, the side ponds, acting as reservoir for lock water management, and the remains of the inclined plane, now part of the museum.


All combined in the TransDEM main window:


What I find fascinating is the exact match of that 100 year old cartography with the modern day map and ortho-photo.

Finally two impressions from ground level:


 Post subject: Update Version 2.6.2
PostPosted: 23 Jul 2017 12:49 

Joined: 05 Jan 2011 16:45
Posts: 1057
The next TransDEM update is available on my homepage. The new version is 2.6.2

This update is free for all TransDEM 2.6 users.

TransDEM 2.6.2 enhancements concentrate on DEM data processing and new DEM data resources.

Most of the new DEM resources were pointed out to me by TransDEM users. Thanks a lot for the feedback.

Version 2.6.2 07/2017
  • New internal structure for DEM data which allows unlimited DEM size on 64bit and slightly better memory usage on 32bit, Makes it possible to open very large DEMs on 64bit without defining subranges, if sufficient physical memory is installed.
  • Optimized memory usage for DEM data processing when reading non-native DEM file formats, compacting and saving DEMs. Allows larger DEMs on 32bit.
  • xyz import, multiple file selection no longer limited to very small number of files.
  • xyz import supports UTM coordinates with UTM zone number as leading digits in eastings
  • GeoTIFF DEM reader supports all projected coordinate systems known in TransDEM.
  • GeoTIFF DEM reader supports zip compression (in addition to LZW).
  • GeoTIFF DEM writer now writes TIFF tiles and applies LZW compression (more efficient for larger DEMs).
  • ERDAS Imagine reader supports spacing in metres (projected coordinate systems).
  • ESRI Bin Grid (AIGrid) reader now correctly addresses multiple tiles.
  • ESRI Bin Grid (AIGrid) reader allows for missing tiles and blocks.
  • Support for vertical measurement units (elevation) other than metre for some DEM file formats.
  • DEM subrange can now also be defined as percentage in addition existing coordinate selection when opening large DEMs.
  • Most of the features above were added to allow access to several new DEM data sources in TransDEM:
    • Germany, North Rhine Westphalia: 1m data in xyz notation, UTM
    • Luxembourg, 5m data, ESRI ASCII and Bin Grids, with elevations in cm, LuRef
    • Austria, 10m data, GeoTIFF in Lambert projection, custom (non-EPSG) specification
    • USGS NED 1m data, ERDAS Imagine format, UTM
    • Australia, Victoria: 10 and 20m data, ESRI Bin Grid, Vic Lambert
  • Parallel loops are now executed with slightly lower thread priority to improve Desktop responsiveness.
  • 64bit variant for Zusi 3.
  • Crash Reporter no longer intercepts memory allocation errors, lets TransDEM handle them again (relevant for 32bit only),
  • Some minor enhancements and a memory leak fix.


A few images to illustrate the new DEM data resources unlocked with TransDEM 2.6.2.

Result of processing the entire collection of xyz files that comprise the 25m data for German state of Rhineland-Palatinate from a single read command (new extended multiple selection):

Similar procedure with 1m data for German state North Rhine-Westphalia, city of Arnsberg:

Enlargement for Arnsberg (You can even make out some remaining WW2 bomb craters on untouched forest ground):

USGS 1m data, foothills of the Rockies near Denver, Co. Moffat Route, “Big 10 Curve” near the bottom edge of image:

Luxembourg in 5m resolution:

Enlargement with WMS 1:5000 overlay:

Austria in 10m resolution:

Enlargement with Open Topo Map overlay:

Eastern part of Australian state Victoria in 10m resolution:

Enlargement with Open Topo Map overlay:

 Post subject: Update Version
PostPosted: 08 Nov 2017 19:54 

Joined: 05 Jan 2011 16:45
Posts: 1057
Another TransDEM update is available on my homepage. The new version is
This update is free for all TransDEM 2.6 users.

It addresses one small issue:
  • Both the TransDEM WMS and the map tile client use HTTP to communicate with the web server hosting the maps. In the HTTP response header a meta data entry normally tags the image with the the associated data format, like jpeg or png, the so-called MIME type. If a web server does not do that and instead marks the image as being generic binary data, TransDEM would not have recognized the data as an image. With the new version, TransDEM attempts to interpret the generic binary data as an image nonetheless and enumerates possible formats.

This affects ortho-photos by Yandex.

Thank you very much to the user who reported the problem.

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