[Taken from the introduction of the user manual. Written by B. Timmers.]

GISMO, or Geographic Information Systems MOdeller, is a map visualization tool designed to aid the user in viewing detailed terrain maps of a given area. GISMO presents an easy-to-use Graphical User Interface (GUI) for the viewing and manipulation of these maps. GISMO must be used in an environment that supports OpenGL. Within the Computer Science Department, only SGI machines support OpenGL, so GISMO has only been tested on these machines.

To use GISMO, the user needs to supply a general map (or "thumbnail map") of the area of interest, as well as files of data points for that area taken in a geographic survey. The user may then select any arbitrary subregion of the thumbnail map by outlining a box on the thumbnail map with the mouse; GISMO will then display in a new window a detailed terrain map of that subregion, constructed from the files of data points. This terrain map will give a two-dimensional, "bird's-eye-view" of the subregion, and indicate the elevations of the land by using a system of gradated colors. For instance, land that is at sea-level might appear pale red, a high mountain peak bright red, and a low valley dark brown.

GISMO is currently being developed to handle a first-run test case: the area of interest is the North Shore Mountains of the Vancouver area. Our client has supplied the necessary topographical data points.