Here’s a preliminary 3D model of my work for the Military Museum of Fort Worth. You can see the approximate locations (accurate to within a meter) of all the camp buildings, circa 1919, superimposed on the familiar Google Streets layer for contemporary Fort Worth.
I will do further work to fill in the I30 trench in the digital elevation model. I plan to use the USGS LiDAR point cloud for North Texas to improve the precision of the underlying model and perform a TIN interpolation to fill in the trench, working from period contours. Final rendering to be done in Sketchup, skinned from period photography.
If you’re in the DFW area, you could do no better than to discover the local military heritage and history delivered by this gem of a museum. Like every good museum in Fort Worth (Amon Carter and Kimbell Art Museums) it is found right off Seventh Street. Also note that this realization was accomplished with data from Tarrant County Archives, NARA, FW Public Library and the collections of private individuals.
Taking out a little time to look at Grass GIS. The objective here is to do a simple (heh-heh) floodplain map for Sèves St. Germain. These are the catchment basis as calculated from SRTM30 data via QGIS/GRASS, which will serve as a basis (I hope) for a flow model. Downstream is to the north east (right in the static image. Here’s a 3D model.)
So why does an historian, even an amateur one care about land areas contributing to runoff toward a given flow? Well, this is the terrain that first and second battalions of 358IR attacked across. The plan called for crossing tanks, only there was a pretty big rainstorm in the evening. The crossing was already contested and the water high, but should have been possible the following morning. If I can track down divisional G2 meteorological information from 1944, I should be able to feed it into the model and come up with a better visualization of exactly how high the water was.
Lots of caveats here. The SRTM was taken in the 1990s and the streambed has probably changed a bit since. Metaled (paved) roads are now the norm, which changes the flow coefficients. But enough. I just want a better idea of how high the water was back then. And it is keeping with my design objective to bring as much data to this design as I can.
Click through to a manipulable 3D visualization of Le Bourg St. Léonard, the fourth battle in From the Ground Up. Terrain relief is exaggerated 30m SRTM data. The building footprints are from Open Street Map before I visually compared them with my field notes and the 1947 aerial survey photo of the IGN. The Z height of the buildings is a database merge based on my field notes and an aerial photo from 1944. This is a very preliminary model. Later on, I’ll tease out polygons for the ground cover and assign heights when I next have some time to devote to making further progress in QGIS. For the moment, I’m hammering out artillery and campaign rules.