How can I find information on the Compact Terrain Database (CTDB) format?

Most of the information on CTDB is hard to find, except in some papers published at conferences such as the SISO Simulation Interoperability Workshops (SIW), or as part of the internal documentation of Modular Semi-Automated Forces (ModSAF).

In SEDRIS Technology Conference (STC) tutorials and, in particular, the tutorials on the converters to/from CTDB from/to SEDRIS Transmittal Format (STF), there is some good information on CTDB organization and constructs. You may be able to use these tutorials to gain some insight into the CTDB format. These tutorials are found here.

How do I convert formats such as Vector Product Format (VPF) and Digital Terrain Elevation Data (DTED) into STF, so that I can then use the STF to CTDB Converter to create CTDBs?

You can use the VPF to STF Converter and the DTED to STF Converter to produce STFs that you can, in turn, feed into the STF to CTDB Converter to produce CTDBs. All of these converter applications are available at the SEDRIS Tools web site. The manuals for these converters contain valuable information, and are provided with the download of each application.

What if I also need to include Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Soils, and Global Land Cover Characteristics (GLCC)?

To use and combine VPF and DTED data with other terrain data, such as FAO Soils or GLCC, you can use existing commercial database generation tools to create more complex databases fit for use in Semi-Automated Forces (SAF), export them as STFs, and then use the STF to CTDB converter to create a CTDB. Some of these commercial tools can also output directly to CTDB.

Another possibility is to write your own specialized application to take the exact types of data that you need, and augment an existing STF that contains most of the other information you require. There are a couple of other combinations of these options, depending on how you'd like to proceed to build a CTDB database.

In general, there are a number of ways to generate CTDB databases, depending on whether you'd like to use existing applications and/or converters, or develop your own software. If you would like to pursue these options, SEDRIS Help can provide some pointers, and assist you in getting started.

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Last updated: May 13, 2005