Terrain Importers

FLAMES® includes robust support for terrain modeling and terrain visualization. The terrain data used for modeling and visualization must be obtained from third-party sources or created using third-party applications. You can then import the terrain data into the FLAMES Scenario Database using one of the terrain data importers described below. Once imported, the terrain data can be used in any FLAMES scenario.

Digital Terrain Importer

FLAMES Digital Terrain is imported from standard Digital Terrain Elevation Data (DTED) files that are readily available from a number of government and commercial sources. DTED files store the elevation of the earth’s surface at regular intervals within an area that is one degree in longitude wide by one degree in latitude tall. You can import one or more DTED files into the FLAMES Scenario Database using the FLAMES Digital Terrain Importer.

FLAMES Advanced Correlated Terrain (FACT) Importer

FLAMES Advanced Correlated Terrain (FACT) is imported from terrain databases created by Terra Vista™ ProBuilder™ (from Presagis™). Terra Vista provides a powerful user interface for building complex terrain databases using geospatial source data in many different formats. Once a terrain database has been created, the attribute, geometry, and vector data must be exported as a set of shapefiles. You can import these shapefiles into the FLAMES Scenario Database using the FACT Importer.

Enhanced 3D Scene Importer

The 3D views in FORGE™ and FLASH™ can include a 3D rendering of the terrain and cultural features. The rendering can be generated from a high-fidelity terrain database in OpenFlight® format. OpenFlight databases can contain detailed 3D models of cultural features and high-resolution satellite imagery. You can import these databases into the FLAMES Scenario Database using the FLAMES Enhanced 3D Scene Importer.

One of the tools available to create terrain databases in OpenFlight format is Terra Vista ProBuilder (from Presagis). If the same Terra Vista database is used to generate both an OpenFlight database and an export of the database in shapefile format, the resultant Enhanced 3D Scene data and FACT data will be perfectly correlated. With perfectly correlated mathematical and visual databases, wasteful and distorting operations such as “ground clamping” are unnecessary. In addition, the FLAMES Enhanced 3D Scene Importer can create “paged” datasets from OpenFlight data generated by Terra Vista. Paged datasets can support the visualization of databases that are much larger than size of available memory on a computer.


A runtime license to the FLAMES Digital Terrain Importer is included in the FLAMES Runtime Suite.

Runtime licenses to the FLAMES Advanced Correlated Terrain Importer and FLAMES Enhanced 3D Scene Importer are included with a development license to the FLAMES 3D option. Runtime licenses to both importers may also be purchased separately.