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Deaf Pilot

Virtual Earth WITH 3D Buildings in FS?

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Is it technologically possible to have not just satellite imagery imported into FS, the way TileProxy does it, but also import all the 3D buildings from Virtual Earth? I recently discovered Virtual Earth and it's vast 3D cities (mainly Denver, since that is where I live - I am so fascinated with how much there is to explore in Denver alone). I would absolutely love to have a city like Denver from Virtual Earth in FS, but would it even be possible?

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For sure it has to be the future. I'd like it now! Thanks for the shots..

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Thanks for this promising preview of FS11! :( Just imagine...!!! Well, Virtual Earth IS Microsoft, and it looks great... Maybe FS11 will move from local installed textures to online textures!

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Never going to happen as ACES has been shut down
You will be surprised :(

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For sure it has to be the future. I'd like it now! Thanks for the shots..
How would you adjust for lighting for different times of day and variation in seasons? What about night textures?

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How would you adjust for lighting for different times of day and variation in seasons? What about night textures?
Not to mention bandwidth constraints! Aren't some ISPs going to a tiered pricing setup? How would you explain to the wife a $900 internet bill for 37tbs of flight sim? :(

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Not to mention bandwidth constraints! Aren't some ISPs going to a tiered pricing setup? How would you explain to the wife a $900 internet bill for 37tbs of flight sim? :(
A lot will change in two to three years. There also was an article about a year ago from Microsoft (I don't have the link anymore but I posted it in a link here-good luck finding it though) about how they will be able to enable seasonal changes on this type of scenery.

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I smell something fishy.Remember that job listing that came out a few days ago for a new position at Microsoft to develop a flight simulator.

Our technology makes available entire continents - potentially the entire planet - for a detailed and dynamic 3D experience
Something about that phrase reminds me about Virtual Earth... :(

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Not to mention bandwidth constraints! Aren't some ISPs going to a tiered pricing setup? How would you explain to the wife a $900 internet bill for 37tbs of flight sim? :(
What would be the delays in downloading these images and displaying them in real time?

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What would be the delays in downloading these images and displaying them in real time?
Guys, I HIGHLY doubt Microsoft will stream scenery to users. They will probably do the best they can to get FS scenery as real as it can get and put it on the physical copy of FSXI (If a new FS comes out). Streaming scenery to over 400,000 flight sim users = MS employees going to work in the morning, finding that the building has burned down. :(. The cost of putting up the servers to stream scenery will also be too great, and will end up using massive amounts of energy, instead of doing good for users. The thing about this idea are there are two many variables and money involved, such as:
  • Price of Server
  • Price of High Speed 100+ Mbps Connection
  • Maintenance of servers
  • Power outages (on the user side or the company side)
  • Overheating from load
  • Sufficient Internet Speeds on the user side
  • Efficiency Compared to being installed on user's hard drive
  • Power Usage
  • Amount of money a month it costs the company to perform the operation
  • Reliability
  • Price to Profit Ratio
  • and many many more things...

I know ppl will say Google Earth and so and so already stream scenery to millions of users all over the world each day, but the thing is its expensive, its SLOW, and for something that can just be put on a DVD its not worth it!

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Tileproxy has bandwidth issues too i suppose....so ya don't stream it. Dowload or DVD.But more to the point, there is nothing special about this sort of data that makes it incompatible with FSX. It

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Tileproxy has bandwidth issues too i suppose....so ya don't stream it. Dowload or DVD.But more to the point, there is nothing special about this sort of data that makes it incompatible with FSX. It

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A lot will change in two to three years. There also was an article about a year ago from Microsoft (I don't have the link anymore but I posted it in a link here-good luck finding it though) about how they will be able to enable seasonal changes on this type of scenery.
Its not just seasonal changes. How about lighting? dusk? golden sunsets? building shadows? For example the buildings in the pictures above are casting shawdows corresponding to the time of the day the pics were taken. How do you reposition them? How do you adjust for cloudy days?

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Its not just seasonal changes. How about lighting? dusk? golden sunsets? building shadows? For example the buildings in the pictures above are casting shawdows corresponding to the time of the day the pics were taken. How do you reposition them? How do you adjust for cloudy days?
The article I posted about a year states they expect to do all that. Do you really find the present building shadows realistic?Dusk and night already is done on present photo scenery-I wouldn't expect that to be a problem.

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I agree with Geofa. Although I was skeptical until not a long ago, I think that streamed satellite scenery is where MS (or Google) will be moving when they'll make the next flight simulator.Bandwidth, processing power, scenery consistency (season, lighting, etc.) are still inadequate now, but it will probably change in 3-5 years.The main application, without the huge burden of scenery data, could be downloadable (avoiding the added costs of DVD shipping/distribution).Then we must consider a very important thing: even the most assiduous and curios user, explores overall a tiny portion, at most, of the global earth scenery (say, 1%?). Airliners lovers fly most of the time at high altitude, requiring only low-res streaming and no buildings. A lot of users are habitues, and only fly in a little number of different places.So a lot of this scenery data would only be streamed once, and then cached on the HD.So at the end of the day the bandwidth/reliability/costs are much less of an issue than what it seems.WRT all the remaining issues: seasons and night lighting are just a matter of collecting more data (photos).Different light conditions of the day can be automatically managed by the lighting engine of the flight simulator.The main issue is the consistency of ground shadows. Only a software could correct them, as Geofa said maybe they're already working on it!Finally, we have to remember that the vast majority of flight simulator users are not hard-core simmers, probably they just use it for entertainment. Photoreal scenery will increase its grip on this kind of users, who will buy it just to fly over their house, and this kind of users usually don't care much whether there are seasons or if ground shadows are inconsistent.So MS (or Google) could also decide to publish it even with some secondary flaws on the scenery (after all, even the synthetic scenery used today has its flaws!)Marco

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I'm likely in a small minority...but just for some contrast

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The article I posted about a year states they expect to do all that. Do you really find the present building shadows realistic?Dusk and night already is done on present photo scenery-I wouldn't expect that to be a problem.
How do they change the textures on the buildings that are photographed at noon to look like its dusk? I am not challenging you, I just don't know how it is done. (My underestanding of photo scenery packages are that the buildings are all custom created)

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How do they change the textures on the buildings that are photographed at noon to look like its dusk? I am not challenging you, I just don't know how it is done. (My underestanding of photo scenery packages are that the buildings are all custom created)
Obviously 2 different textures are needed for daylight and night lighting scenery. That's a matter of collecting more datas and doing more photos I suppose.If you mean instead the tinted sunlighting for the different times of the day/season/weather, that's only dependant on the lighting engine and does not require specific textures.Marco

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Suggest doing a google search on "Microsoft Virtual earth". The stuff that will happening is quite frankly amazing. Seasons and lighting seem rather simple compared to some of the stuff they mention-like being able to walk inside any "real" building,global weather etc-and some of these predictions are from 2006....The big issue seems to be privacy-as they can zoom down to the street level they have to block out the real people in the image..

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Bandwidth, processing power, scenery consistency (season, lighting, etc.) are still inadequate now, but it will probably change in 3-5 years.The main application, without the huge burden of scenery data, could be downloadable (avoiding the added costs of DVD shipping/distribution).
Alternatively the DVD could contain world scenery up to a certain LOD, giving FSX-like visuals, while higher detail (and scenery updates) could be downloaded in real time for the places you're flying over.That would mean that people with slow network connections (which there will certainly be for many years yet) can get a reasonable experience, while people with faster connections can still feel smugly superior. :( Colin

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