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PostPosted: 05 Jan 2011 16:49 

Joined: 05 Jan 2011 16:45
Posts: 1303
TransDEM 2.1 is available.

Version 2.1 brings full compatibility with TS2010 (SP3), in particular the re-import functionality. Version 2.1 also supports TS2010 layers for UTM tiles and vector data.

Other new features in brief:
  • New UTM tiles with a size of 500 x 500 m
  • Repair function to relocate UTM tiles out of place
  • Support for British O/S 50 m Land-Form Panorama DEMs
  • Support for USGS NED DEMs with maximum resolution of 1/9 arc sec.
  • Import and export of kml/kmz vector data (Google Earth overlays)
The new templates for UTM tiles, both 1000 and 500m, were kindly provided by “Pencil42”.

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 €21.90 including PayPal fees.

(This is about GBP 19.00, USD 31.00, CAD 33.00, AUD 34.00, NZD 43.00 or JPY 2700, including PayPal fees. Currency conversion rates as of 06 Aug 2010)

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 (Aug 1st, 2009 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 €6.90, 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 2.0 and higher!

What kind of features does TransDEM offer?

Geo-Data: Digital Elevation Models (DEMs)

  • Direct support for SRTM, USGS NED and ASTER GDEM (GeoTIFF), Canadian CDED DEMs, ESRI grid 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 [b]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. Latest additions are the Swedish and the Polish systems.

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) and TS2010 (SP3).
  • 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 TS2010.
  • 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: Pennines, River Calder valley in Yorkshire

Here is a look at the TransDEM DEM visualisation. The example is located near Hebden Bridge and the DEM is 50 m O/S Land-form Panorama. Support for this geo data source is one of the new features of TransDEM 2.1. The screenshots shows activated DEM shading and DEM-based contour lines generation.


The TransDEM-generated Trainz route opened in Surveyor, with ground texturing, minimap and 500 UTM tiles from aerial images.


Example: NED 1/9 arc DEM and 5m grid in TS2010

Arguably the best available free DEMs are USGS NED 1/9 arc sec. Coverage is limited, and they are USA only, anyway. This example is located south of Cumberland, MD.

Nominal resolution is an incredible 3 metres and it shows in the TransDEM view. This is the pure DEM, no post-processing applied, but shading switched on to enhance contrast. Embankments and cuttings are accurately modelled.


The next screenshot shows the export result in TS2010, using the 5m terrain grid and the 1:24,000 USGS topo map for painting the ground and feeding the minimap.


Example: High resolution textures for UTM tiles

Texture size for a UTM tile can now be as large as 4096 x 4096 pixels (GPU dependent). In combination with 500m tiles this will resolve 10cm aerial images. Processing such high-resolution images will be very memory-intensive, though.

Taxi cabs waiting in front of Cologne Deutz railway station.


Example: kml/kmz im- and export

Polyline overlays created in Google Earth, can not be imported to TransDEM. The next two screenshots show the export direction, but import works as well.



Last edited by geophil on 05 Jan 2011 17:59, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: 05 Jan 2011 17:51 

Joined: 05 Jan 2011 16:45
Posts: 1303
A TransDEM update is available on my homepage. The new version is 2.1.1.

It is a cumulative update and will work on both TransDEM 2.1 and

This update is free to all TransDEM 2.1 users. It's more or less a maintenance release, fixing a few bugs reported by helpful users. Among those is a fix for an internet access issue experienced by a few people on some Win7 64 bit installations.

There are a couple of new features as well:
  • New coordinate systems: Austria Lambert, Swedish SWEREF99, Finnish KKJ, Finnish Euref TM35Fin.
  • GeoTIFF export option for DEMs.
  • Undo-stack Optimisation for operations with large DEMs.
  • .xyz file support for vector data in national coordinate systems.
  • Support for Trainz built-in legacy assets with KUID version 1 on spline export

Regarding the TransDEM support forum, there will be a replacement, but this will still take a bit of time.

PostPosted: 01 Feb 2011 20:02 

Joined: 05 Jan 2011 16:45
Posts: 1303
Another update is available on my homepage. It's a tiny one but since it adds a new feature, albeit implicitly, I have called it version is 2.1.2.

This update requires TransDEM 2.1.1 as the base version. It's free to all TransDEM 2.1 users.

New feature and fix:
  • Support for national coordinate systems in ESRI® Shape files. This allows to use OS VectorMap™ District.
  • Fixed boundary removal for USGS DLG vector maps.

PostPosted: 23 Apr 2011 16:35 

Joined: 05 Jan 2011 16:45
Posts: 1303
An update to version 2.1.3 is available on my homepage. A small one again, which adds two features requested by users.

This update requires TransDEM 2.1.2 as the base version. It's free to all TransDEM 2.1 users.

New features:
  • DEM point removal also supported for the exterior of a bounded region (for precise positioning)
  • Optional extension of KUID value range for UTM tiles from 10000 to 40000 which the cache can manage.

PostPosted: 29 Apr 2011 17:20 

Joined: 05 Jan 2011 16:45
Posts: 1303
Another one, less than a week later. An even smaller update to version is now available on my homepage.

This update requires TransDEM 2.1.3 as the base version. It's free to all TransDEM 2.1 users.

Two fixes:
  • New Zealand's LINZ Topo50 GeoTIFF images will now also be georeferenced automatically if they are "version 2".
  • Georef. images, opened from an adjacent UTM zone and saved to a new name subsequently, will now be named correctly, if saved to an .lgb group. (Probably nobody ever noticed, me neither.)

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