From Terragen Documentation from Planetside Software
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DisplacementDirection.gif(300 × 200 pixels, file size: 228 KB, MIME type: image/gif, looped, 6 frames, 18 s)

Effect of displacement direction

Literally, to change the position of something. In graphics terminology to displace a surface is to modify its geometric (3D) structure using reference data of some kind. For example, a grayscale image might be taken as input, with black areas indicating no displacement of the surface, and white indicating maximum displacement. In Terragen 2 displacement is used to create all terrain by taking heightfield or procedural data as input and using it to displace the normally flat sphere of the planet.

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