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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2011 18:37 

Joined: 05 Jan 2011 16:45
Posts: 1303
TransDEM 2.2 is available.

Version 2.2 brings full compatibility with TS12, in particular the re-import functionality.

Other new features in brief:
  • Support for DEMs in ESRI .bil format.
  • Semi-automatic georeferencing of raster map images with accompanying World File.
  • Automatic detection of .kml/.kmz placemark file for Google Earth™ screenshots.
  • More custom parameters for WMS to override erroneous metadata.
    • Option to set WMS protocol version explicitly. Enables access to the Mexican INEGI WMS
    • Option to bypass server list of coordinate systems. Enables access to the USGS National Map WMS
  • More user friendly handling of custom ground textures.
  • Enhancements to UTM tile replacement.
  • Documentation: New short “Quick Start Guide” for the first time user.

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 €22.90 including PayPal fees.

(This is about GBP 20.00, USD 32.00, CAD 33.00, AUD 32.00, NZD 43.00 or JPY 2500, including PayPal fees. Currency conversion rates as of 15 Nov 2011)

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.

Current Users: Update Policy

There will be a free update for current TransDEM users who purchased their license within the last year (Nov 15th, 2010 and later). These users should receive an email from me with further details within the next two weeks.

All other users can obtain an upgrade license for a fee of €7.90, including PayPal charges. Please email me at if you are interested, including enough information to find you in my database: your full name and original order ID.


Updated TransDEM configuration samples for WMS and map tiles can be downloaded here (without any warranty!). Some servers will only work with TransDEM 2.2 or higher!

What kind of features does TransDEM offer?

Geo-Data: Digital Elevation Models (DEMs)

  • Direct support for SRTM, USGS NED and ASTER GDEM (version 1 and 2, GeoTIFF), Canadian CDED DEMs, ESRI Grid and ESRI BIL including projected coordinate systems, plus MicroDEM format for a lot of other DEM types. (SRTM support includes US 1 arc sec data and “Viewfinder-Panorama” 1 and 3 arc sec DEMs.)
  • DEM Editing capabilities: adjustment of elevations (Triangular 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 images.
  • Function to create transparent margins to avoid occlusion with overlapping maps and plans.
  • WMS client (“Web Mapping Services”) for automating the cartographic map image acquisition. Compatible servers exist in several countries, e.g. USA, Australia, New Zealand.
  • Map Tile client, similar to WMS client, for raster maps in Mercator projection and organised as a quadtree structure, as offered by certain Web servers. 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 TRS2004, TRS2006 family (including TRS2007 and Trainz Classics), TS2009 (SP2), TS2010 (SP3) and TS12 (SP1).
  • 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.
  • Automatic placement of UTM tiles (texture carrier objects with higher raster map or orthophoto resolution), 1000m and 500m
  • 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.
  • Optional horizontal baseboard grid offset for TransDEM-generated terrain to achieve better matching with existing conventionally-built Trainz route modules.


TransDEM comes with extensive English documentation in pdf format, about 240 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.

Example: DEMs in BIL format, Mexican MDE

Here is a look at the TransDEM DEM visualisation. One arc sec DEM from the Mexican Seamless Server (Modelo Digital de Elevación, MDE) with a satellite image overlay. These DEMs are encoded as ESRI BIL, a DEM file format added to TransDEM 2.2. The screenshot shows activated DEM shading and modest DEM-based contour lines generation.


Example: Semi-automatic georeferencing with World File

World Files are less sophisticated than GeoTIFF but serve the same purpose: Add georeferencing to images. TransDEM 2.2 brings support for them. The example shows a map image acquired from the “Land Channel” web portal, Victoria, Australia. This portal allows map images to be saved with a World File companion. Coordinates are VicGrid94. The small aerial image on top has been obtained via Map Tiles (and Mercator projection).


Example: USGS NED DEM with USGS National Map WMS

USGS DEMs in 1/3 arc sec nominal resolution are an excellent source for shaping Trainz terrain, in this example converted to a 10m DEM. (The actual resolution may be a little bit lower, depending on area)

Map overlay is a 1:24k topo map, acquired via the USGS National Map WMS, a counterpart to the MS Research Map WMS.


The TransDEM-created route in TS12 Surveyor, here as a look of the minimap:


The view from the rim down into the gorge in TS12 Surveyor. 5m terrain grid.


Example: 3D track geometry

If you happen to have a suitable CAD tool or some other source for accurate 3D track geometry, you can let TransDEM create cuttings and embankments.


Example: Replacing UTM tiles

While working on a route, aerial image resources may get better. With TransDEM 2.2 it now now easier to replace UTM tiles or tile textures.



Roland Ziegler (geophil)

PostPosted: 06 Dec 2011 19:00 

Joined: 05 Jan 2011 16:45
Posts: 1303
A TransDEM update is available on my homepage. The new version is

It fixes a rare glitch with UTM zone conversion for raster maps in combination with transparent margins. Internal handling of transparent margins in general was also improved.

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