CREATING INTERACTIVE 3-D MODELS FROM GEOLOGIC MAPS AND CROSS SECTIONS USING GOOGLE SketchUp
The most effective 3-D models show how the maps and cross-sections connect at the topographic surface. The map can be segmented to give users the ability to ‘turn off’ individual portions of the surface to reveal cross-sections below. Such models help students and non-specialists visualize geologic structures, and provide experienced geologists with a valuable tool for assessing the validity of geologic interpretations.
Once a geologic map is draped on the DEM, SketchUp can aid in the creation of new geologic cross sections using traditional down-plunge and structure contour approaches adapted for a 3-D environment. This approach makes it possible to leverage the geologic information contained in geologic maps from regions with significant topographic relief. It also helps students effectively visualize the process of cross-section construction.