This thesis develops a standard Application Programmer's Interface (API) for modular terrain representation. The API hides the details of a terrain representation from an entity level simulation, thereby enhancing interoperability and flexibility. Additional contributions include reduced development costs, enhanced flexibility for developers, and the use of a component approach applicable to future simulations. Three reference implementations are developed in the thesis representing widely used terrain representations. These prototypes consist of a standard set of terrain services that can be used by a simulation developer without any knowledge of the underlying implementation. The prototypes serve as references, proof of the concept, and as tools for comparison and analysis of existing terrain algorithms. We demonstrate this comparison with the JANUS and Modular Semi- Automated Forces (MODSAF) line of sight algorithms. This set of API implementations also allows emerging simulations to use different terrain formats at run-time without source code changes. The API developed in this thesis is the basis for a United States Army Modeling and Simulation standard nomination.U.S. Army (USA) autho
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