Solid Terrain Modeling unveiled a stunning new model of the entire province of British Columbia (BC) at the historic Crystal Garden in Victoria, British Columbia today. The three-dimensional, full-color model is 40-feet by 74-feet and is the world’s largest physical-terrain model ever created from digital-data sources. The model can be viewed from many levels and allows visitors to see British Columbia as it actually appears from outer space, with every geographic feature in vivid color and exquisite detail.

The BC model is a literal transcription of the best geophysical data that modern science can provide today and offers visitors the unique opportunity to see how our planet looks from space.

The most remarkable feature is its accurate representation of the curvature of the Earth. Because of this curvature, viewers on lower levels see the great arc of the horizon rather than the ends of the model.
The BC model is unique in both size and shape. It was manufactured from than 260 Million elevation data points and is covered by more than 100 Billion droplets of ink. At a scale of 1:99,000, the terrain on the model surface is vertically exaggerated by 50 percent while the curvature is an accurate one-to-one representation of the Earth. This model represents approximately 1/190th or 0.52% of the Earth’s surface.

The model’s 100 panels are arranged in a 10-by-10 array with each panel having a unique shape. The overall shape of the model is defined by a section of a sphere that is divided into panels along "great circle" lines. A "great circle" is a cartographic concept that provides the shortest distance between two points, and is defined as the intersection of a plane that passes through two points on the surface of the sphere and the center of the sphere.

Each panel of the model was "cut" along the great circle lines created by planes that pass through the center of the sphere and the corner points of each panel. The result is that the panels fit together almost seamlessly and any visible seams between panels appear as long, smooth curves when viewed from above, with the long edges providing the most pronounced effect.
 

 click here to go to BC Experience Web Site  

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