Gallery of Virtual Topography Information

The Gallery of Virtual Topography was developed by Prof. Stephen J. Reynolds and Julia K. Johnson, Department of Geological Sciences, Arizona State University.  Digital topography files (Digital Elevation Models - DEMs) are from the USGS and were manipulated (mostly converted to grayscale, elevation maps) using MicroDEM written by Dr. Peter Guth.  MicroDEM also generated the nice contour maps.  The contour maps were then draped over digital topography using Corel Bryce4. We configured Bryce4 to automatically generate 36, 72, 108, or 144 three-dimensional perspectives (bitmap images) for each map, each image being 800K to 3 Mb in size. These images were combined into a QuickTime Virtual Reality (QTVR) object movie using VR Worx. The QTVR movies on this website were derived from 800 X 600 pixel images, and mostly are between 1 and 3 Mb in size. We have larger movies created from 1600 X 1200 pixel or 1200 X 900 pixel images; these are spectacular, but are just too big for the website. These larger movies will be made available as a CD-ROM for nominal cost through Terra Chroma, Inc. (email publications at

This project was made possible by the NSF-funded "Hidden Earth Project", whose Principle Investigators are Stephen Reynolds, Michael Piburn, and Barbara Tewksbury, as well as previous and current support from ACEPT (Arizona Collaboration for Excellence in Preparation of Teachers -- Susan Wyckoff, lead P.I.),  CRESMET (Center for Research on Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology -- Donald Evans, Director), and AZTEC (Arizona Teacher Excellence Coalition -- James Middleton, P.I.).

Return to Gallery of Virtual Topography Home Page

If you use these images, feel free to include a link to the Gallery of Virtual Topography home page on your web page.  If you develop educational exercises using this site, please send a copy to Steve Reynolds, Department of Geological Sciences, ASU, Tempe, AZ  85287-1404 (email sreynolds at

Home Page of Steve Reynolds

Copyright 2001 by Stephen J Reynolds and Julia K Johnson.  These images can be freely used for educational purposes as long as the source is cited.