X-Plane Ortho4XP Guide

scenery
guide
x-plane

#21

Ah, sorry :grinning:. I see which one you mean, and how that might be confusing. At a quick glance thinking “I see water” it kind of magically morphs from mist to a lake with reflections. NP.

Had a bit of time so I tried this. Results…

AIPilotX HD mesh of Quito, Ecuador area…

With Ortho4XP and overlay…

Hmm. It turned SEQM into Antarctica, LOL!

However, I am not as displeased with it as you’d think, as a first trial. I know this airport and area very well and the bits that did work look pretty awesome, especially the volcanoes Cotopaxi, Rumuñahui, Ilalo and Pichincha. Some playing around with sources probably required, I’ll keep at it as and when I get time!

Thanks again!


#22

Yep, they do seem really regional. Bing Maps is great for the US, but is really washed out in Canada (ironically the source ‘USA_2’ is better for Canada). Also different zoom levels seem to be quite different sometimes (perhaps between aerial and satellite sources). I think the name of the sources are pretty cryptic but are region based (Aus = Austria or Australia :slight_smile: ? ). Definitely worth just rending a single test tile first.

If you find good sources results for a region we can share them here.


#23

Yes, you’ve raised a good point. I wondered about adding sources to the pull down options. By luck of the brave (much) more than knowing what to go to, I opened up this “appropriately” :slight_smile: named file with notepad2 in the Ortho4XP directory…

Carnet_d_adresses.py (sic)

I won’t dare fiddle with it because I am no wiz at Python coding whatsoever, but I believe that is where you might be able to expand your options on sources(?)


#24

Cool. I used that file to compile a nicer list of what the sources acronym’s mean (from comments in the source code):

####################################################
# Bing (restrictive copyright)
# Viewer on www.bing.com/maps
####################################################
BI


####################################################
# Google (restrictive copyright, version as of 2015)
# Viewer on maps.google.com
####################################################
GO2, GO, g2xpl_8, g2xpl_16

####################################################
# Here.com (was asked for, similar to Bing in many places it seems) 
####################################################
Here


####################################################
# Arcgis Online
# Copyright is the one of the underlying provider
# Has an IP ban if download is heavy
####################################################
Arc



####################################################
# Openstreetmap (open data)
# Viewer on www.openstreetmap.org
####################################################
OSM



####################################################
# The National map (USGS) 1 foot orthoimagery / WMS
# Permissive copyright
# Beware that the US territory is not completely in
####################################################
USA_1



####################################################
# The National map (USGS) 1 foot orthoimagery / TMS
# Permissive copyright
# Same as above but filled with some data where 
# missing (this is actually 'Arc'...)
####################################################
USA_2


####################################################
# The Alaska Statewide Orthoimagery Mosaic
# Permissive copyright
####################################################
ASK_1


####################################################
# The Alaska Statewide Orthoimagery Mosaic
# Permissive copyright
####################################################
ASK_2


####################################################
# National geographical institute for France
# Restrictive copyright (should adapt to INSPIRE!)
####################################################
FR
  
FRorth

FRom


####################################################
# National geographical institute for France
# Restrictive copyright (should adapt to INSPIRE!)
# Low resolution (visible on geosud.ign.fr)
####################################################
FRsat


FRsat2


FRsatp  # Pleiades 2014, very limited coverage... but for some specific islands
 
####################################################
# National geographical institute for France
# Restrictive copyright (should adapt to INSPIRE!)
# Just for fun over topo map
####################################################
Top25
  


####################################################
# German Geo Data Centre - DOP Online
# Copyright is the one of the underlying provider 
####################################################
DE


####################################################
# National geographical institute for Spain
# Permissive copyright
####################################################
SP


####################################################
# National geographical institute of Italy
# Slightly permissive copyright 
####################################################
IT


####################################################
# National geographical institute of Sweden (thanks to Magnus1)
# Permissive copyright
####################################################
SE2

####################################################
# Sweden Hitta 
# Unsure about copyright
####################################################
Hitta


####################################################
# Sweden Eniro karta (thanks to Durian)
# Unsure about copyright
####################################################
SE


####################################################
# National geographical institute of Poland 
# Unsure about copyright
####################################################
PL


####################################################
# National geographical institute of Norway 
# Unsure about copyright
# !!! Doesn't work as of September 1st 2016 !!!
####################################################
NO, NO2



####################################################
# National geographical institute of Denmark
####################################################
DK 



####################################################
# National geographical institute of Belgium (Wallonie only)
# Permissive copyright
####################################################
BE_Wa 


####################################################
# National geographical institute of the Netherlands (lufoto2005)
# Permissive copyright
####################################################
NE 


####################################################
# National geographical institute of the Netherlands (dlnk2014)
# Permissive copyright
####################################################
NE2 


####################################################
# Geoportal Slovenia
####################################################
SLO


####################################################
# Geoportal Croatia
####################################################
CRO


####################################################
# National geographical institute of Austria 
####################################################
OST 


####################################################
# Swiss Federal Geo Portal
# Restrictive copyright + water marked 
# (see http://www.swisstopo.admin.ch/internet/swisstopo/en/home/swisstopo/legal_bases/use_without_licence.html
####################################################
CH



####################################################
# Mapy.cz CZ
# Viewer on mapy.cz (thanks to 'suplere')
####################################################
CZ


####################################################
# Australia South Wester territory : Sixmaps
# Unsure about copyright
####################################################
AU_1


####################################################
# New Zealand (partial but very good in some places)
# Open data
####################################################
NZ


####################################################
# Japan 2007 imagery (partial but very good in some places)
# Unsure about copyright
####################################################
JP



####################################################
# Kortal.fo (Farao Islands)
# Unsure about copyright
####################################################
FO


####################################################
# Estonian Geoportal
# Visible on http://kaart.delfi.ee
# Permissive copyright
####################################################
EST



####################################################
# La Loire atlantique vue du ciel
# Open (and nice) data ! 
####################################################
F44


####################################################
# Geneva area
# Visible on ge.ch/sitg
# Permissive copyright
####################################################
GE

Hopefully that will be useful, as I wouldn’t have guessed some of these :slight_smile:


#25

Oh dear I knew it wouldn’t take long for some technical stuff to creep in to get me completely lost. :slight_smile:


#26

:slight_smile: Sorry, yep - the above list just helps explain more what those entries list in the ‘map provider’ list do, as in where they get they map images from:


#27

For the US, the ARC map source is quite a nice choice. Here’s using zoom level 16 and Portland, Oregon, with PDX on the left, downtown to the right and Mt Hood in the background:

Plus bonus Mt St. Helen’s shots, showing where half the mountain cone is missing due to that loud mishap in the 80’s. A fascinating place to visit if you ever get the chance:


#28

Wow…those are great shots. I need a “roll up my sleeves” night to tackle this project…


#29

LOL! I’m clearly not getting something!

No matter what I do on high zoom levels to get some detail, the area east of Quito airport on the tile stays in blank “white out”. Looks nothing like your shots.

On lower levels of zoom, I get the full coverage of the tile, but it looks like a sim from around '98 or so. Makes me nostalgic… :grinning:

I’m going to try another area next time. Might get to the bottom of what I’m doing wrong, or otherwise identify the glitch in this area, be it source images or my technique.


#30

What rectangle lat/long? I could have a go too?

EDIT: I’m trying Bing at zoomlevel 16 for -1, -79 at the moment to see what happens. I don’t have HD v3 mesh for the overlay data for South America though.

EDIT2: Maybe post a screenshot of your XP10 or 11 Custom Scenery folder - maybe a level is being overwritten or out of order?


#31

I generated Quito using these settings:

and it looks great! (although it’s annoying the clouds are built into the textures… :cloud: )

Until I turned around and saw this :slight_smile:

Looking on Bing Maps for that location, it just looks like they didn’t do a zoom level 16 aerial photography set for that area. You can see where the details change here https://binged.it/2i7QDAo :

So I think it’s worth trying a different provider, but it’s possible one might not exist? The easiest way is to use the ‘Choose custom zoomlevel’ button and use the ‘preview’ in there or browse the maps online and see where they provide something better than the zoom level 15 or less satellite ‘crayon’ look.


#32

Ah, I was going to give you the coordinates on Quito, but you’ve done it.

Yeah, that’s about the size of it. Brings me back to customizing the sources list :scream:. There are some good Landsat or what-knot images/data on the NASA site, where you can even scroll through dates to pick a nice cloud free day, but how you would go about “integrating” (I think that’s a good word) it into that list, I cannot hazard to guess.

While you were confirming that it is the imagery that was at fault (and many thanks for that, BTW! :slight_smile:) I was doing the same looking at the Costa Rica area, which being closer to the USA might stand a better chance of possessing better coverage. I just did a batch build of four vanilla tiles, suppressing the HD meshes and not doing any overlays (to eliminate all possible variables).

Though what is there is pretty fabulous, it suffers from the same gaps of the apparent and encroaching ice age cataclysm, with encrusted (as opposed to embedded) cloud!

:smile:


#33

If you find an online map viewer with imagery you like I might be able to alter/add the python code to include it. They all use a similar z/x/y 256 pixel tiles layout generally, so it would just be about crafting a URL that works in Ortho4xp. If you find one, post a link here and I’m happy to give it a go.


#34

They are going overboard with their salt production in Costa Rica…


#35

“H-how long have we got?”

Hmm, you see I think that is what might stump it for the site I was looking at. I’m not sure how simple or “flexible” it would be for to zero in on a particular image out of the catalog in that Python snippet. Plus, the raw Landsat images have some gaps around the equator due to some image acquisition swathe limits of the equipment, I would understand (?).

However, here is the access to the library of what I had been looking at on NASA. Seems complex to adapt it, and I really would hate to put you through a frustrating experience :slight_smile:. So, please consider it just for an interesting browse!


#36

So, as Latin America seems to be out of luck where good image data is concerned, I went to another area I knew reasonably well to give this tool another shot. In fact, it is an area where I learned to fly gliders, back in 1988. I’m glad I did this scenery test, as it was awesome and brought back many memories!

Gliders is one thing X-Plane really did well, I’ve found. The FSX glider experience is really MEH, as thermals do not feel at all realistic, and things like the typical high aspect ratio wing adverse yaw is not modeled properly, at least in the FSX gliders I have tried. On the other hand, the stock K-21 in X-Plane is quite acceptable and convincing.

So yeah, I found a load of UK RAF bases scenery here (credit where due), and set myself up with the K-21 for a winch launch at RAF Wattisham (where, incidentally, I went solo in a K-13 at the RAFGSA Anglia Gliding Club). I tried normal AIPilotx HD Mesh scenery first, and here are some shots…

Okay, nice enough, but very “standard” and it did not evoke East Anglia for me. The second shot is RAF Honington. The house where I lived should be in this shot, but it is hard to find as the landmarks are not 100% correct (more later).

Then I grabbed these tiles and created them…

Different story. I flew a soaring cross country from Wattisham to Lakenheath. Get ready for a personalized tour of East Anglia! Here are the shots.

After catching a thermal and getting a good 7,000 ft climb, headed NW from Wattisham. Ipswich, with the Orwell and Stour rivers, in the background.

Stowmarket town and the A-14 road, with the typical English country copses of trees. At this point the memories started pouring back of places I haven’t seen in more than two decades…

Elmswell and Woolpit…

Bury St. Edmunds town, where I did my Mechanical Engineering course…

RAF Honington. At the time I was there, home of the TWCU RAF 45 Sqd. The house I lived in is in the shot this time, in the little wood at the lower right hand corner.

Thetford Forest (on the nose) and Thetford town (right)…

Over RAF Mildenhall. I really like the way the airfields are a bit more difficult to spot, as it real life. Airfields often stand out like sore thumbs on some scenery. RAF Lakenheath is in this shot, too, but is not immediately obvious unless you know where it is. Look just above the glider’s tail. Awesome, right?

Setting up for left downwind to RWY24 at Lakenheath. It was funny how the old checks came back. As applicable for any type, WULFS - Water ballast - Undercarriage - Loose articles - Flaps - Straps.

Lakenheath was the home of the F-111s of the USAF 48th TFW that took part in Operation El Dorado Canyon. I used to ride my old Honda CB-125 out there and watch them quite often!

Turning base. Low down, even, the textures still look reasonable.

Survived!

Thanks, @fearlessfrog. That Ortho4XP added a richness to a really cool flight, in an area of good image coverage. In fact, the screen shots detract something from the true quality. They looked even better in the sim. Glad I gave it another go.


#37

That looks awesome @Cygon_Parrot

Did you try OSM overlay data for autogen too, as in use the path to the HD Mesh to grab it’s data when generate those tiles? It actually sometimes looks better without it (plus speeds up framerates as well as a nice bonus). Cool!


#38

Not this time, no. I wanted a quick test on XP 10 only, to see how it went. Results were very good, so that is the next step. Then I’ll do an experimental hard-link over to my XP 11 folder to see the glorious full effect. All that for my next opportunity. :slight_smile:


#39

Your X-Plane Ortho4XP Guide: What a great work. :slight_smile:
Thank you very much!


#40

I’m going to have to give this a try. I watched the vid this morning - and just now bought FlyInside for XP. £38 is not cheap - but I can’t complain, as I only paid half price for the FSX/P3D combo.

I’ve been flying the default C172SP - which is miles better than the FSX one - around the Shetland Islands and the scenery is really pants. The mesh is reasonable, as are the airfields - even the small ones - but the roads and fields are awful.
I’ll get ortho downloading the area this evening while I’m out.