I have a shapefile GIS layer with several overlapping paths. They consist of geodetics/shortest path calculations from several origins to one destination. I want to visualise these paths as either as lines or buffered polygons in 3D, as this is not possible in 2D. Ideally, I would like to do this in GRASS GIS (I failed to do the same in R). ArcGIS Pro is able to do this via Feature to 3D By Attribute- see the example attached. ArcGIS

I did not manage to reproduce this in GRASS GIS. I have tried v.to.3d and v.extrude, but that does not yield the desired output (attached). Is GRASS capable of producing such visualisations at all? GRASS

EDIT: A quick test with simple 3D lines looks promising. Need to test tomorrow with full file.

3 Answers 3


I tried with v.to.3d and it seems to work. I digitized a simple linestring with 4 partially overlapping features, and setup an attribute column with values for elev. I conmverted to 3D (v.to.3d) using the elev column. Then I displayed in a 3D Map Display window in GRASS. After setting "Z-exag" to 1000 and "Height" to 50 I got this image: enter image description here


thank you! I tried again as well - and managed with v.to.3d. It did not work on my Windows work machine, but it does on my home Mac. I was not able to produce this with buffers, which would look a little nicer. ArcGIS handles buffers as 3D polygons, which GRASS GIS does not seem to able to do. enter image description here


Smoother rendering can be achieved by converting all lines to tightly-spaced points and then convert the points to 3D (plot produced with m.nviz.image via R/rgrass).

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