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Terrain can be approximated by a triangular mesh consisting millions of 3D points. Multiresolution triangular mesh (MTM) structures are designed to support applications that use terrain data at variable levels of detail (LOD). Typically, an MTM adopts a tree structure where a parent node represents a lower-resolution approximation of its descendants. Given a region of interest (ROI) and a LOD, the process of retrieving the required terrain data from the database is to traverse the MTM tree from the root to reach all the nodes satisfying the ROI and LOD conditions. This process, while being commonly used for multiresolution terrain visualization, is inefficient as either a large number of sequential I/O operations or fetching a large amount of extraneous data is incurred. Various spatial indexes have been proposed in the past to address this problem, however level-by-level tree traversal remains a common practice in order to obtain topological information among the retrieved terrain data. A new MTM data structure called direct mesh is proposed. We demonstrate that with direct mesh the amount of data retrieval can be substantially reduced. Comparing with existing MTM indexing methods, a significant performance improvement has been observed for real-life terrain data.