GPU Ray Casting of Virtual Globes

Exciting news - our poster GPU Ray Casting of Virtual Globes was accepted to SIGGRAPH 2010.

This was a collaborative effort between the aerospace guys on the DGL team and our 3D team.  We hope these types of next generation rendering algorithms make their way into Insight3D.

Short Abstract: Our work presents a GPU ray casting approach to rendering the ellipsoidal surface of virtual globes that provides an infinite level of geometric detail at frame rates competitive with traditional tessellation and rasterization approaches. This work has application in areas including globe rendering for geographic information systems and video games.


A shaded, ray casted globe correctly interacting with rasterized billboards.  Upper Right: Viewport-aligned ellipsoid bounding polygon.  Ray hits are cyan and misses are gray.  Raster data from Natural Earth and icons from Yusuke Kamiyamane.