[osg-users] Minerva -- open source, multi-body, geospatial engine

Perry Miller perry at modelspace.com
Wed Sep 17 06:34:35 PDT 2008

Hi folks,

Just wanted to make the list aware of yet another project that leverages

Minerva is a 3D geospatial tiling engine with some unique features. Here's
the website:


Besides being a showcase, the website primarily focuses on how to use the
desktop (Qt-based) user-interface. However, Minerva is highly modular; one
could use the API and simply add the planetary tiling engine to a larger
scene. In our work we re-compile Minerva's core to draw (and dynamically
tile) a planet in a VRJuggler-based, multi-screen environment. Here's one


There is no pre-processing of data required, the tiles are built at runtime
in background jobs using a thread-pool. Tiles that are closest to the
eye-point get priority. Imagery and terrain layers, as well as vector layers
(OSG, Collada, KML, ...), can be added and removed at runtime. Also, imagery
and elevation data can be loaded either from disk, using WMS, or even using

The cull-traversal drives the tiling. When a tile determines it is too close
to the eye-point is starts a background job to split into 4 tiles.
Similarly, if it determines that it's imagery has changed it starts a job to
re-composite. It also, of course, checks for completed jobs and updates
itself if they're finished, and discards child-tiles if they are no longer

Some of the more unique features include:

    -- Semi-transparent ground
    -- Arbitrary latitude and longitude extents
    -- Vector data from PostGIS databases
    -- Multiple planetary bodies in same scene
    -- Arbitrary number of color-to-alpha mappings for each image layer
    -- Ability to display data according to a time-stamp or time-window
    -- Planets are actual size, does not normalize radii


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