Norut Geo Viz

Norut Geo Viz (NGV) is a system for visualizing different kinds of georeferenced data on a virtual globe. We use NGV as a tool in our research on and with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for visualizing flights both in realtime and for analysis of collected data after landing. The system enables visualization of aircraft telemetry, instrument data (such as images, spectrometer or laser measurements) in combination with one or several different raster and elevation map layers.

Norut is a research institute located in Tromsø, Alta and Narvik in Norway. Norut Geo Viz has been developed from scratch by Daniel Stødle, a research scientist at Norut. The system is implemented in C++, using OpenGL 3.2 Core/OpenGL ES2 for rendering, and runs on Mac OS X, iOS and Linux.



Mapping images to the ground

Images taken by the UAV are mapped to the ground based on the aircraft's position and attitude at the time the image was taken. Rays from the camera origin are intersected with the underlying terrain to produce latitude, longtiude and elevation for each of the image's four corners. Depending on link bandwidth, images can either be fetched and displayed during flight or after landing.

iOS support

Norut Geo Viz is written as a cross-platform system for posix platforms with OpenGL 3.2 Core or OpenGL ES2 support. This photo shows Norut Geo Viz running on a 4th generation iPad (retina display). The performance of the resulting visualization is excellent. The system can also run on iPhone 5 and iPad mini.

Multi-touch table

This photo shows Norut Geo Viz in use on a multi-touch table running Linux. The multi-touch table is part of the permanent exhibit at the Science Centre of Northern Norway in Tromsø, where the system is currently in use visualizing polar bear movement and one of the unmanned flights conducted by Norut.

Image mosaic of Kattfjordeidet avalanche

In April 2013, the UAS group at Norut flew an unmanned aircraft over an avalanche at Kattfjordeidet outside Tromsø, Norway. The resulting image mosaic can be explored here: (text in Norwegian).


If you want more information about Norut Geo Viz, have questions or seek a collaboration, you can contact Daniel Stødle via email: