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US National Landclass Beta 4 . . .

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. . . is now available fromhttp://www.fsgenesis.comThis release extends coverage to 112:30W.I've changed the installer to accomodate those who may not have the proper FS2002 registry entries due to an incompleted FS2002 installation and/or power users who may want more control over the installation location.I Request and encourage local end-user feedback, especially those in the southwestern US. Feedback may be submitted by going to the above web site and clicking the Support tab. Choose the new Help Desk. Once logged in choose the "Development" Option to submit your reports. Using the Help Desk will allow a more organized and efficient revision process.As with the previous betas, this is a free download.ThanksJustinFSG

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Justin - Tucson looks 10X better already!! I've got a ton of info for you though - there's some areas that need to have city texture on em that don't, particularly in the north-central Foothills area of town and the northwestern Oro Valley and Marana areas... I'm gonna try to get up in a plane soon with my Canon D60 and take some photos for you to use to compare...Phoenix looked pretty much spot on to me, though I'll have some friends who live up there look at it too.I'll make a big post to the help desk later tonight about the Tucson area...

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Justin Any idea when you will get to the pacific northwest? Looking forward to itRegardsBobG

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HI Bob,I'll start on it tomorrow. Expect the full-coverage beta 5 about this time next week.ThanksJustinFSG

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I Justin,thank you for offering the beta of what looks to represent a huge number of work hours. I would like to share a thought: after installing your LC file, I've noticed that in the Chicago area, the transition from downtown Chicago to the immediate subburb was quite "abrupt", i.e. the textures picked up with the new LC, compared to the default one, were not blending from one to the other. The effect is a square of building texture, surrounded with a subburb texture. It is really visible. From my understanding and correct me if I'm wrong, the land textures are designed in FS2002 to cover several differnet types, as well as to provide some that fits in the middle (for example, a subburb with trees and little roads, a city with plain gray streets and buildings, and one that is a little bit less green and as a few more large street to fit in between).Could it be possible you add a piece of code to your LC converter (a kind of "bilinear filtering" approach is perfect for such), to generate tiles for "in between" (or transition textures), over the ones in your LC database, when the LC type from one tile to the other is too abrupt? This could also be of use to lessen the visual artifacts due to the visible squariness of the tiles.Thank you again for your hard work.

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Now I am in trouble. :-( Until you reached this last area I was ok because I didn't have any previous LC files for the Easter half of the US. I do have LC for the West and some are not named so I can remove them fist! Is trial and error my only option?Best, Rob

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Hi JeanLuc,Well, I'll correct you then. :-)The transition thing is hard-coded. The blending you speak of takes place at a deeper level than anything I can code with my simple index mapping.Part of the problem is the resampling from 30m source to the LOD=5 1223m required by the terrain engine. since the beta series is pretty much a raw conversion from NLCD to BGL, some things inevitably get lost in the process, and will require the manual editing of Phase 2 in order to bring it to a more optimal result.The resampling process must use a nearest neighbor algorithm in order to maintain the NLCD palette during that stage of processing, otherwise that part of the process ends up with 256 shades of the original 23 colors and it becomes useless.Whereas Phase 1 is pretty much a mechanical process, Phase 2 will be more akin to artwork. But since we are working within the constraints of LOD=5 (1223m) resolution with Landclass, we can't get any more precise than about .6 km. Yet there is still a lot that can be done within those constraints. Possibly what you are seeing is the loss of transition between high-density city and low-intensity suburbs, meaning the raw mechanical resampling lost the transitional high-intensity suburbs in the middle. This is something that will have to be hand-edited.. . . and these are exactly the types of input I'm looking for from local end users. Phase 2 will rely on the source data for most of the edits, fixing up the stuff "lost" in the initial mechanical conversions, plus adding the input from the local users who have direct knowledge of their local areas.But keep in mind that not all cities are concentric rings of dense in the middle to sparse on the outskirts. :-)Thanks for your input. I will be especially meticulous when I do the Chicago editing as a result of your post.JustinFSG

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HI Rob,Which Landclass package is it?What's the eastern boundary of the LC files you have installed?Let me know here or, preferably, submit a ticket under the Support tab, Help Desk athttp://www.fsgenesis.comI'll provide you with a list of files to move, rename, or delete.ThanksJustinFSG

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Justin,I think that the problem JeanLuc is referring to is unique to Chicago because the downtown area is a photoreal area that just can't blend well with surroundings. I've haven't noticed this problem with other metro areas.John

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Justin, Thanks for the offer, but I have it handled now. :-) Used BGLAnalizer to check this info on the LC bgl's I have and deleted the right ones, so far! I have kept in the ones for the West Coast for the time being. Looking forward to the editing you'll do when this beta is finished.Best, RobRedding, Calif

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Justin, this is transforming my sim experience. I now want to fly low and slow. :-) Thanks so much.Todd

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Hey Justin, do I need the previous versions before I download "4" ?Just asking because I don't see links to download the previous versions.thanks for the great work!

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Thanks a million Justin for all your work. Any luck localizing a 'good' Quebec data base file? ;-)Hugo

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>Hey Justin, do I need the previous versions before I >download "4" ? >>Just asking because I don't see links to download the >previous versions. No the latest one conatains everything in the previous ones...

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All these quality addons just keep coming. I'm seriously begining to wonder whether I'll upgrade to FS 2004. It'll have to be a major leap forward,that's for sure. Release this puppy!

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