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MetaVR Africa Terrain

MetaVR has built 2,750 geocells of 3D terrain covering the continent of Africa, in its round-earth geocentric Metadesic™ format.

This terrain was built with MetaVR’s Terrain Tools for Esri® ArcGIS® from 15 meter-per-pixel (mpp) NaturalVue imagery and 90 mpp void-filled SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission) and DTED1 elevation data. In addition, the 3D terrain includes 0.60 mpp high-resolution natural color insets of many African capital cities and others cities of interest. Terrain elevation information was based on 3-arcsecond STRM and DTED level 1 and subsampled to achieve a nominal 60 m post spacing.

MetaVR VRSG real-time scene featuring Shadow RQ-7Bv2 UAS and Scorpion entities in flight over virtual Kismayo, Somalia, terrain.
MetaVR VRSG real-time scene featuring a Shadow RQ-7Bv2 UAS and Scorpion entities in flight over virtual Kismayo, Somalia, terrain.

These MetaVR Metadesic (round-earth) terrain tiles are suitable for real-time visualization in MetaVR’s Virtual Reality Scene Generator™ (VRSG™) in applications such as simulation, and synthetic vision such as glass-cockpit displays, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) applications, close-air-support (CAS) exercises, and fixed-wing cockpit simulation.

Included in this dataset is the high-resolution 3D terrain of the southern Somalia port city of Kismayo, which is populated with hundreds of geographically specific culture models built
from ground-level photographs taken on the streets of Kismayo. In addition to these geolocated and photo-realistic models of buildings and other structures, several hundred other buildings were modeled by matching the structural footprints visible in the imagery as geotypical models with culturally and architecturally accurate details.

Images from the Djibouti City, Nairobi, Kismayo, Cairo, and Cape Town areas of MetaVR's virtual Africa 3D terrain.
High-resolution Djibouti area of MetaVR's Africa 3D terrain. High-resolution Nairobi area of MetaVR's Africa 3D terrain.
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High-resolution Kismaayo, Somalia, area of MetaVR's virtual Africa 3D terrain. High-resolution Kismaayo,Somalia, area of MetaVR's virtual Africa 3D terrain.
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High-resolution Cairo area of MetaVR's Africa 3D terrain, with F-16 in flight. High-resolution Cape Town area of MetaVR's Africa 3D terrain
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The Africa 3D terrain is "Additional Materials" and is provided "as is" as described in our license agreement.  Although MetaVR might modify or enhance the original source imagery, some visual artifacts from the source imagery might remain in the terrain tiles.


Below are specifications for MetaVR’s Africa terrain dataset in round-earth Metadesic format (MDS).
Database size
= 2,750 geocells
Size on disk
Terrain post spacing
Elevation source data
Imagery source data
= 1.03 TB (includes culture assets of Kismayo, Somalia)
= 60 meters-per-post (mpp), 30 mpp of Kismayo, Somalia
= 3 arcsecond (90 mpp) SRTM, 3 arcsecond DTED1
=15 meters-per-pixel (mpp) Natural Vue imagery of the African continent; 0.60 mpp natural color insets of Algiers, Algeria; Luanda, Angola; Ouagadougou, Burkino Faso; Ndjamena, Chad; Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire; Kinshasa, Democratic Rep. of Congo; Djibouti City, Djibouti; Alexandria, Egypt; Cairo, Egypt; Asmara, Eritrea; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Accra, Ghana; Conakry, Guinea; Nairobi, Kenya; Tripoli, Libya; Bamako, Mali; Nouakchott, Mauritania; Casablanca, Morocco; Rabat, Morocco; Windhoek, Namibia; Niamey, Niger; Ibadan, Nigeria; Kano, Nigeria; Kaduna, Nigeria; Dakar, Senegal; Freetown, Sierra Leone; Mogadishu, Somalia; Johannesburg, South Africa; Cape Town, South Africa; Durban, South Africa; Khartoum, Sudan; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Tunis, Tunisia; Kampala, Uganda; Lusaka, Zambia; Harare, Zimbabwe; and 0.50 mpp natural color inset of Kismayo, Somalia.

The following symbolic representation shows the geographic coverage of the terrain tiles of Africa. This terrain tile coverage map was generated with MetaVR's Model Viewer.

Geographic coverage of the terrain tiles of Africa. Click Zoom for a closer look at the coverage.
Geographic coverage of MetaVR's terrain tiles of Africa.
Click to open the full-size screenshot of tile coverage

The green areas indicate use of 15 mpp imagery and the red areas are the high-resolution insets.


MetaVR’s Africa 3D terrain is delivered on an external hard drive. The terrain is provided in MetaVR's round-earth Metadesic terrain format and will only run with a valid VRSG version 6 software license with valid software maintenance. A fee covers processing large quantities of data into Metadesic format and hard drive distribution media.

MetaVR’s Africa 3D terrain is available for purchase to MetaVR customers who are US Government agencies or contractors (for official use only). Customers can duplicate the data at their discretion as long as the data is used in conjunction with a valid VRSG license.

You can order this 3D terrain dataset directly from MetaVR.

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