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Planetwide simulation technologies

The 3D models (PIDs or PlanetaryInteractiveDioramas) developed and under development by Ultramundum Foundation deliver extremely large areas for free interactive exploration on a standard personal computer, with an extremely high level of realism and realistic personal / veicular traffic.

The dimensions of the explorable environments reach far beyond what is possible today, for example in the latest videogames, arriving to entire planets.

Larger planetary complexes can be simulated, arriving to star systems and groups of stars. The technologies that can produce such a huge level of simulation are called PlanetWide PIDs (PlanetaryInteractiveDioramas). They allow the exploration of a celestial body of any dimension from space down to ground level, finding human-scale details and reaching even the atomic and subatomic level. The supported range on the UltraPort platform of the Ultramundum Foundation goes from 50 billions light years down to one thousandth of the dimension of cosmic strings, presumably the smallest component of matter.

PIDs are completely open source and their Tabulae (elements at the base of the technology used) will be freely accessible and modifiable by everybody.

Thanks to the patented UltraPeg technology and the geographical Automatic Detail generators, PIDs offer an interactive flight on all the city with the possibility of descent to the ground level of any single street to walk amont he buildings. Getting altitude the speed increases accordingly to allow for an exploration experience easy and really natural.

To create this kind of products, new software modules and procedures have been developed, beyond the base procedural parametric technology UltraPeg based on Tabulae.

First, UltraPort supports the jerarchical cellular decomposition of the surface of entire planets; this is achived with the PlanetSector system. It is composed by Tabulae that are capable of automatically generate jearchical planetary surfaces, subdiving progressively in subelements of the same type near the user's Avatar and so producing a variable detail representation of the entire celestial body. In this way, near the observer the terrain appears extremely detailed and the resolution lowers toward the horizon, where there are farther portions; the user-perceived resolution appears constant. An entire planet can be explored interactively and appear highly detailed everywhere, even on low power and memory PCs. The jerarchical PlanetSectors structure id dynamic: when the observer moves, the PlanetSectors toward his direction subdivide in others more detailed, while those at the back are substituted by thier lower-resolution ancestors. The resulting structure is highly dynamic and automatically modifies itself when the Avatar moves, producing entire star systems that allow any kind of trips.

PlanetSectors thus represent portions of the planetary surface progressively more detailed. They start from level zero, that covers the entire planet. Level 1 is composed by two PlanetSectors, one for the north emisphere and one for the south. Level 2 is made by six PlanetSectors, three for each emisphere. From level 3 onwards each PlanetSector subdivides in four for each successive level, up to the maximum resolution. With this technology the temperate regions PlanetSectors, where most of the cities are, have approximately a square shape when projected on the planet spheroid, while the others are progressively mre distorted.

A specific UltraPort module dynamically subdivides the Planetectors where the Avatar is, leaving the farther away ones at a lower level, generating a variable detail structure that shows an apparently extremely high resolution in any point of the planet. Sophisticated systems position the PlanetSectors are 'plates' on the planet spheroid and convert from euclidean coordinates to non-euclidean ones on a sphere, using all the cartographic conventions.

A special debug mode can be activated to see the PlanetSector bounding boxes and coordinates. The coordinate of each planet sector is made from 3 numbers: the PlanetSecor level (0 for the entire planet, 1 for the emisphere, ...), the longitude and the latitude in PlanetSectors form Greenwich and the South pole.

A special debug camera can fly independently of the Avatar position, so that views of the PlanetSectors strcture can be obtained. Without it, the system would continuously update the scene to show a detailed view everywhere the Avatar moves.

Any Tabula, the data structure at the root of Ultramundum Foundation's UltraPeg technology, can hold multiple data types. For the Turin city model, informations on buildings positions, root maps, olympic areas placements and specific schematics have been imported from Autocad files and other databases.

The Autocad file importer, called UltraTools, allows for fast and almost automatic acquisition of public databases, converted in a very short time to three-dimensional elements. All these data can then be explored in real-time.


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