Game programmers facing similar problems to GIS imaging?

Stumbled upon an interesting article at which has an interview with iDSoftware guru John Carmack about their new “mega texture” technology. I have always predicted that at some stage gaming technoology will cross paths with spatial high-resolution and that time has seemingly arrived.

The following comment comes from the Slashdot article, and alot of them have similarities to GIS imaging compression technologies but for a gaming environment eg. for large outdoor terrain textures.

Do some elementary calculations kiddies.

32,000 x 32,000 is 1024 million pixels. (A gigapixel?)

Presuming 16 bits per pixel, that’s a couple of gigabytes. That’s not going to be sitting in texture memory. Think about it.

Sounds familiar :)

There is a very good article on “clipmap” technology which gives a good overview on one such implementation. Image pyramids, caching and compression issues are all mentioned.


Of course i am not a game programmer and i know there are lots of other issues to consider such as line of sight calculations, alpha channels etc. If only it was as simple as drag and dropping MrSID, ECW or JPEG2000 compressed textures into your gaming environment

Still quite interesting nonetheless. If anyone has any high level articles i’d love to have a read.