How to Import ArcGIS Maps into Fledermaus

These instructions will help you convert an ArcGIS map into a 3D Fledermaus object you can view on a regular computer or on a GeoWall. Because you are making a 3D object, you must have at least a DEM (Digital Elevation Model) or DTM (Digital Terrain Model). If you want, you can also drape one or more pictures over the topography.

NOTE: You MUST be connected to the network the entire time you are using Fledermaus, or it may suddenly interrupt what you are doing, possibly even losing your work, because it cannot renew the license.

Load DEM into Fledermaus

Surface Shader

You cannot Assemble Fledermaus Objects (later) without a shade file, so you have to make one whether you want it or not. To just make a quick easy shade:

If you want to tinker with it:

Drape image(s) over topography

If you just want the topography by itself (no draped image) proceed to Assemble Fledermaus Objects.

Assemble Fledermaus Objects

Build a Scene with Multiple Images

If you are just viewing a single DTM with no image, or a DTM with only one draped image, you are probably done now. But if you want to combine several things, you need to make a .scene file.

Possible Problems

You may get the message "Error reading in image file" followed by "Process Failed. Could not read image file." The cause is not obvious. This message has been seen with a 2.2GB GeoTiff file and also with a 176MB file but with a 283MB GeoTiff it worked one time yet it refused to take the same file later. Converting the GeoTiff to .jpg doesn't work either because it loses its geographic coordinates. Closing all other programs to free up memory didn't seem to help. There was well over a gigabyte of free disk when trying to read the 176MB file, so disk space shouldn't have been the problem either. Sometimes if DMagic refuses to read a file, simply exit and restart the program and it will accept the same file it rejected before.

Written by Marvin Simkin
Filename arcgisfm.html
Last updated April 5, 2007
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