I haven’t tried these, but it seems like a good idea. Someone has set up a pre-built set of Ortho imagery (with overlay, height data etc) for XP using Ortho4xp. Rather than download tiles from a map and use your PC to build them out, this is scenery that has already been built.
The caveat to that is that to make the downloads a bit smaller they are compressed, so decompressing can still take a while. Will be quicker than building your own, as long as the torrent download has some seeds (so far it seems quite popular). All image sources are USCG open-source, so no Bing copyright guilt (is that a thing?).
If you still want to build your own, this generated more interest than I expected, so it’s still here:
This is going to drive SSD sales like a new iPhone launch. I downloaded Washington and Oregon last night, and began the conversion process. To be sure, we are talking massive amounts of data. I’m down to my last 100 GB on my primary SSD, so doing this on a USB HDD at the moment. Slow, but when finished, I’ll have a better idea of just how much I need to hit Amazon or New Egg for. I’m thinking that I’m going to have use something like OvGME to swap regions in/out in order to conserve drive space. Living in a TB world now.
Well, yeah. The only reason that I’m initially downloading, extracting, and converting on an HDD is because I am out of space on my SSD and had a 3 TB USB HDD collecting dust on my desk. I bought my last HDD a couple of years ago. Looks like the going price for 1 TB SSD in the States is between $280 and $370 depending on Crucial vs Samsung.
OK, here is a quick comparison default vs prebuilt orthos. The images have not been retouched, but converted to .jpg to save space. I was messing around with SkyMax so the sky is different in each set, the default being the true blue preset and the prebuilt Orthos were using real-time weather. So a bit more hazy. You can see that it’s a matter of taste, but in most cases I preferred the Orthos. YMMV
The grass is a little too green in the orthos, but the trees end up looking much better. Not sure why. Also, we went to a backyard crab boil about a month ago on the hill overlooking Shilshole Bay Marina, and the houses and neighborhood look much more authentic with the orthos. That said, both are better than P3D, even with Orbx PNW installed, IMO.