Techniques for Viewing Terrain Data on Handheld Displays

Period of Performance: 12/17/2001 - 01/16/2003

$119K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Cybernet Systems Corp.
3741 Plaza Drive Array
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Principal Investigator

Abstract

While the technology is now available to deliver complex graphics files (such as terrain maps) to field-based users using handheld computers, it is difficult to view and navigate a large graphics file through a small viewing screen. The option of increasing the size of the display to give greater resolution (and comprehension) is not practical since field based personnel need portability and small size. One way to improve graphics comprehension with limited resolution is to impart the illusion of a depth perception on a flat screen by modifying the image with techniques such as rendering, perspective, shading, and distance hazing. We will use our experience with computer game development (which frequently uses such techniques) to develop the best method for viewing terrain data on a handheld display. These techniques will help the soldier to better interpret the terrain data while in the field.. Auxiliary viewers or viewing techniques will also be evaluated, especially those techniques that can be implemented with handheld devices in the field. Commercial applications include: Surveyors, engineers, and field-based personnel.