3D View

The 3D View in Global Mapper allows registered users to view gridded elevation data and any overlying raster or vector data in a true perspective 3D manner. In addition, any vector data with associated elevation values can also be displayed in true 3D and videos may be created using the Global Mapper Fly-Through feature. The 3D viewer can also display 3D model formats, and render multiple terrain layers in a stack.

To open the 3D view, select the 3D view button from the Viewer toolbar, or select 3D View... from the View menu.

When selected, the 3D View button displays a window containing a 3D view of the data in the current workspace. The 3D view can show in its own window, or be docked inside of the main application. For more information see Window Docking.

Any imagery or vector data being drawn on top of the elevation grid(s) in the main Global Mapper view will automatically be draped on top of the elevation data in the 3D View window. If so configured, any 3D vector data will be displayed in space as well.

The following features and tools are available in the 3D View:

Rotating, Moving and Zooming in the 3D View

The 3D view has multiple navigation modes that change how the mouse and keyboard move the camera in relation to the data scene.

Display Options

Wire-frame View

The Wire-frame view can be toggled on and off to change between a Wire-frame (TIN) and the full textured solid view of the 3d models, terrain data and 3d vectors.

Default view

Press the default view button to return to the full data extent at the default orientation (looking north and slightly down on the loaded data).

Show Compass Rose

This option displays a compass on the map. For more settings go to 3D View Configuration.

Show 3D Axis

This option displays a 3D pivot axis. This axis shows the current center-point of the navigation. The pivot axis constantly updates as the display is zoomed and panned, to allow for free movement throughout the data.

The axis display will display shaded darker when it is behind the visible data. For more settings go to 3D View Configuration.

Shortcut to toggle on/ off the pivot axis display: P key

3D View Configuration

This button is used to access the 3D View Properties dialog, which contains options to configure the 3D view settings, including the vertical exaggeration, the water display, background color, 3D vector display, as well as the terrain and draped image resolution. For more information see 3D View Configuration

2D/ 3D Link

To link the 2D and 3D views, select the Link 2D/ 3D views button found on the Global Mapper Viewer Toolbar. This will link the relative panning and zooming of the 3D view when the primary 2D map view is panned or zoomed. The 3D view will also refresh based on any changes to the Overlay Control center, such as loading data, turning on and off layers, or running tools that create new data. The link is turned on by default.

When the link is disabled, the 3D view will not refresh to match changes in the primary 2D map view display until the cursor is over the 3D window. Panning and zooming the 2D view will not change the 3D map display.

Keyboard Shortcut: To refresh the 3D view, use the CTRL+3 or F5 hot keys in the 3D viewer.

Feature Selection, Measuring and 3D Digitizing Tools

The Selection and Measure Mode tools allow for the selection of vector features in the 3D viewer, and provide options for measuring distances and areas. Right-click with either of these tools to access additional options and settings.   

Digitizer Mode

Activating the Digitizer Mode in the 3D View will enable selection of lidar, point, line or area features in the 3D View window. To select multiple features at one time (sweep select), enable the Digitizer, then click and drag your cursor over the features of interest in the 3D View. Once you stop this action, your features will appear selected in 3D View and in 2D.

Keyboard shortcut: Pressing the D key will enable or disable digitizer mode in the 3D view.

 Measure Mode

Activating Measure Mode will allow you to left-click in the 3D View to define a line for distance measurement, or a polygon for area measurement. Right-clicking will end the line or polygon feature to finish the measurement. In the upper left of the 3D View window measurement values will be displayed, right-click to access the 3D View window's Measure Tool menu.

Note: The Measure tool is linked between 2D and 3D, and selecting either button will enable the tool in both 2D and 3D.

Keyboard shortcut: Pressing the M key will enable or disable measure mode.

Snap Cursor

With snap cursor enabled, the digitizer selection tool, digitizer feature creation, or measure tool will show a point feature indicating the nearest selectable point or vertex if one is nearby.

With snap mode enabled, the cursor point in 3D will change color to indicate what is being snapped to. A green point indicated terrain is snapped; an orange point indicates snapping to the vertex of a vector. For more information see Create New Feature in 3D with Vertex and Terrain Snapping

When snap cursor is not enabled, the selection cursor will change color to red to indicate when a selection is available at the current cursor location.

Vertical Exaggeration

Water Level

Drop Down SkyBox Menu

The drop down menu may be used to set a specific sky texture background or to set a solid background (None). The color of the solid background may be specified in the 3D View Properties dialog.

Fly-Through Videos

Save Image

Selecting this tool will bring up the 3D Screen Capture Options dialog (below), used for saving an image of the 3D view to a JPEG, PNG, TIFF or BMP image format. Additional sizing options are also available.

Window Controls

The buttons at the far right corner of the 3D view may be used to make the 3D window full screen when undocked, or close the 3D window. Grab the top bar of the 3D view to move and dock or un-dock the window. For more information about windows see Window Docking