algorithmic modeling for Rhino



Elk is a plugin used to generate topographies and street maps using data from and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) data from NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Members: 303
Latest Activity: on Monday

Discussion Forum

Confirming the right HGT file 1 Reply

Hi Timothy, I need your advice on how can I confirm which topography is right for the selected area. I received multiple .HGT files on …Continue

Tags: ELK, Topography, HGT

Started by Porus Vakshoor. Last reply by Porus Vakshoor on Monday.

Opening and Displaying SRTM (hgt) data in Rhino 16 Replies

My goal is to be able to open and view SRTM data in Rhino.I am attempting (new user) to create a script file in Grasshopper using ELK to display SRTM (.hgt) data in RhinoAttached is a screen shot of…Continue

Started by Dylan Burns. Last reply by pual li Jun 18.

SRTM error in Elk 2.2 2 Replies

Just downloaded the latest version of Elk. I'm getting an error when import a 1-arc second Geotiff I downloaded from SRTM. The error reads: ...the type initializer for 'OSGEO.GDAL.GdalPINVOKE' threw…Continue

Started by Keith VanDerSys. Last reply by Nate Wooten Jun 16.

IMG file problem for topography 2 Replies

When connecting 1/3 .IMG from National map viewer, receive:1. Solution exception:The type initializer for 'OSGeo.GDAL.GdalPINVOKE' threw an exception.I see others have similar issue-- i did not find…Continue

Started by amw. Last reply by Nate Wooten Jun 16.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Timothy Logan on February 8, 2017 at 7:24am

I've seen several plugins that import shape files, but I don't know that I know of one that exports shape files.

Comment by owe on February 8, 2017 at 1:28am

Anybody knows how to generate a shape file from Grasshopper?


Comment by Mathias Nielsen on February 23, 2016 at 2:01am

Hey Tim,

Thank you and I apologize for having you go through a Danish webpage!

The GeoTiff I downloaded from was also an ASC file which I then converted with the software QGIS. This allowed me to translate the geodetic system from EUREF89 to WGS84 - but maybe it is actually in this translation that something went wrong.

Appreciate your help!

- Mathias

Comment by Timothy Logan on February 22, 2016 at 8:20pm

Hey Mathias,

First off, not sure what's up with it not working.  The second image you show using the GeoTiff from looks fine per what you're specifying and what the GeoTiff file is showing (info output).  The only other place I've downloaded GeoTiff data is, and that worked with no issues from what I can remember.

I did manage to work my way through the website with the help of google translate and some guesswork, and downloaded what looks like the same tile in ASCII Grid (ASC) file format with data corresponding  to the EUREF89 geodetic system.  I used gdal_translate to successfully convert the ASC file to a GeoTiff, but it's still in EUREF89 which I'm not very familiar with.  I'll need to do a little reading on translating between that and WGS84, or see if there's a different way of getting the data out in a way that Elk can understand it.

I'll report back if/when I'm able to get anywhere with it.


Comment by Mathias Nielsen on February 21, 2016 at 7:03am

Hi Timothy,

Thank you for your great work on Elk!

I'm having some problems, that you might have the answers to.

I have tried to download a GeoTIFF file from another webpage than (because I needed more detail of Aarhus, Denmark than they could offer) but I just can't make Elk come up with any result, other than using GeoTIFFs from

Result with GeoTIFF from

Result with GeoTIFF from

Do you maybe know what the issue might be?

Thank you!

- Mathias

Comment by Brian Ringley on February 6, 2016 at 3:28pm

Hey Tim - appreciate you taking a look at this. I think it would be great to continue improving a user-friendly way of getting 3D buildings, but at the end of the day you're always going to have users who want to dig up their own custom data. To that end, would you consider bringing back your Generic OSM component to allow the user to specify any feature keys or values from the XML?

Comment by Timothy Logan on February 1, 2016 at 8:13am

Erik et al,

I apparently introduced a bug in 2.2.1 that caused the Y axis to invert.  I think it was something that I had started tinkering with a month or so ago and had forgotten about.  Should be resolved, but if you've downloaded 2.2.1 I strongly suggest you get 2.2.2 to correct this mistake.  Once that's downloaded the crater should show up correctly.

Comment by machinehistories on January 29, 2016 at 3:04pm

Thanks very much for all your help I look forward to giving this a try and putting it to use. - jason

Comment by johnnyUtah05 on January 29, 2016 at 12:16pm

Thank you Timothy, 


I have upgraded and now the output gives the correct domain of the tiff. However, I am confused. I have chosen a very simple site, a meteor crater, and I cannot get the crater. I use the outputted lat and long and it is not there. I would think that it could be easily found. 

Any thoughts?

Comment by Timothy Logan on January 29, 2016 at 11:03am


First off, pretty clever use of the old Elk to get the building masses, at least some of them.

The problem basically comes down to me not being sure how to resolve potentially two sets of data that occupy the same space.  One of these days I'll have to sit down and work out a solution, just haven't had time.

But what's happening is there's a 'building' feature type which is what I'm pulling from, but there's also stuff like 'building:part' which describes a part of building.  The unfortunate thing is that there's not always a direct correlation between a building and a building:part.  Elk is only pulling the 'building' elements for now, but building:part is definitely on my radar to accomplish.  I thought just extruding the building footprints would buy me enough time to figure out how to resolve the building:part stuff since find a way to create 3d buildings was always left to the user, but I guess not.  I'll look into resolving it when I make the coordinate to point component that machinehistories asked about.  Maybe it will be easier than I'm thinking.


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