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.


3D Toolbar

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

  • Navigation

    The 3D view has multiple navigation modes that change how the mouse and keyboard move the camera in relation to the data scene. See Rotating, Moving, and Zooming in the 3D viewer for more information on navigation tools.

  • 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).

    • Saved Views

      Select a saved view from the drop-down menu or use the Save New View option to bookmark the current camera position as a new saved view for the workspace. The View Management option opens a dialog listing the 3D and 2D Saved Views, allowing the user to manage these lists. This list can also be accessed with the Restore Named View command found in the View menu.

    • 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 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 the 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.

    • Context Menu

      The right-click menu will bring up the following Digitizer feature creation and feature editing options in the 3D View.  

      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 indicates 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 the 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.

  • Feature Info Tool With this tool enabled, select a vector or lidar feature to see its attribute information and other editing options.

  • 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 undock the window. For more information about windows, see Window Docking.