Creating a Path Profile

The following workflow uses the Black Mountain 3D.gmw file created in the previous Using the 3D Viewer topic.

Global Mapper’s Path Profile tool is used to create a cutaway view of the terrain. Based on a defined linear path, this integral component of the software’s 3D visualization and analysis functionality displays and measures the rise and fall of the terrain from one point to another. The cross-sectional perspective can also display 3D vector features, including lidar points, and is the basis for several analytical procedures, such as Line-of-Sight analysis.

In this section, we will show how a Path Profile is created by manually drawing or by selecting an existing line, we will look at some of the settings that determine the display of the profile view, and we will generate a report of the underlying terrain characteristics.

Manually Creating a Path Profile

If necessary, load the Black Mountain 3D.gmw workspace, make sure just the Black Mountain Terrain layer is displayed, and follow along as the instructor introduces the key components of the Path Profile tool.

Creating a Path Profile from an Existing Line

As well as manually creating the cross-sectional view by drawing a line, the Path Profile can be derived from an existing line feature. This is particularly useful for gauging the steepness of a road and its suitability for certain types of vehicles. In this exercise, we will simulate this process by analyzing terrain characteristics along a trail.

  1. Following on from the previous exercise, close the Path Profile window and make sure only the Black Mountain Terrain.gmg layer is displayed
  2. Load the following vector layer:
  3. In the Control Center, right-click on the Trail layer and choose ZOOM_TO.
    Note the loop trail following the ridge.
  4. Using the Digitizer, select the line feature on the map.
  5. Right-Click and choose Analysis/Measurement > PATH PROFILE
  6. A profile of the trail from start to finish is rendered in the Path Profile window.
    Note that because the profile is based on a multi-segment line, the vertices are displayed on the profile as yellow dots.
  7. Click on the Path Profile window top frame to drag the window around the view and dock it below the map view.
  8. Move the cursor left to right within the Path Profile window and notice the corresponding location indicated on the 2D Map.
  9. Right-click within the Path Profile window and choose Path Profile Details.
    Note the length of the trail, climbing distance, etc.
  10. Click the Copy to Clipboard button and paste the details into a text file.
  11. Save the text file called Trail Report in your My Maps folder.
  12. Save a new workspace called Trail Profile in your My Maps folder.

If multiple lines are selected before generating a profile, a tab for each profiled line will be created in the Path Profile window.

  • Global Mapper’s Path Profile tool is used to create a cutaway view of the terrain.
  • The profile can be based on a single- or multiple-segment line and can be manually drawn or created from an existing line feature.
  • After creating a profile, a detailed report can be generated containing a statistical breakdown of the underlying terrain.
  • Click here for more information on the Path Profile tool.

This concludes the Working with Terrain Data lesson. Test your knowledge by taking this three-question quiz.