Antelope Island

June 2012 | By Charles Hollemeersch


The experiment visualizes a real Island named "Antelope Island". It is located in Utah, USA. The dataset is 122880 x 122880 pixels, that's about 14 gigapixels of image data. If the data was not compressed it would be around 56 gigabytes. Even using compression the data set is still around 2 gigabytes. Since waiting while your browser downloads two gigabytes is not all that fun, we implemented a technique called "Virtual Texturing" that downloads only the portions of the data which are really visible on screen. This way you can start browsing right away, without having to wait for gigabytes of data to finish downloading. Untill recently, virtual texturing technology was only available in high-end game engine's such as id software's Rage and DICE's Battlefield 3. However, thanks to modern browser technologies, this can now be achieved in javascript without relying on any special plug-ins.

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