Arc/Info TIN to VRML

Please. Send me feedback!
Erich Schroeder
Illinois State Museum
Springfield, IL 62703

Tue Feb 20, 1996
Fri May 31, 1996 (based on input from Chris Ferrier (

First of all, some VRML links that I use (these will help you learn more about VRML):
If you are using Netscape 2.0 or better you are seeing a GIF animation of a vrml scene of Cahokia. To view it you may reload it, or download it to view as a local file.

My goal has been to create an easy method to move from Arc/Info TIN (Triangular Irregular Network) format into VRML. I figured that this should be possible because both are based on nodes, lines, and faces.

It turns out that ESRI is planning to provide a VRML generator with A/I Rev. 7.1! I will probably continue with this although it may prove to be unecessary in the future.

I have not yet put together a "howto" on this but you can get the source code if you want.

Future Directions

I think that it would be good to look into working out ways to shade based on elevation. I have to find out what is wrong with the output that keeps it from working on non-UNIX platforms (as far as I know at this time).

This interactive aspect of GIS is an continuation of my interest in animation of spatial information, and the representation of time. You might want to look at the under construction exhibit based on the Illinois Land Records, where I have several methods for displaying a series of time slices.

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