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John_Cillis

One little Flightsim, a lotta fun - Google Earth

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One flightsim I've grown to enjoy in recent days is the one in Google Earth.  No, it's not really sophisticated.  No steam gauges, no VC.  But Google Earth has tons of photoreal scenery to fly over, often with 3-d buildings in notable cities, and it's all free.  Framerates are fast--no idea how high, but it's incredibly smooth and fluid and Google Earth's photoreal scenery doesn't stutter.  Want to see the Matterhorn?  Just search on Zermatt, Switzerland.  Want to visit Paris?  You can go there too.  And so on......

 

Anyway, I thought I would share.  I know it's been mentioned before, but I am sure more might be interested.

 

Regards,

 

John

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One flightsim I've grown to enjoy in recent days is the one in Google Earth. No, it's not really sophisticated. No steam gauges, no VC. But Google Earth has tons of photoreal scenery to fly over, often with 3-d buildings in notable cities, and it's all free. Framerates are fast--no idea how high, but it's incredibly smooth and fluid and Google Earth's photoreal scenery doesn't stutter. Want to see the Matterhorn? Just search on Zermatt, Switzerland. Want to visit Paris? You can go there too. And so on......

 

Anyway, I thought I would share. I know it's been mentioned before, but I am sure more might be interested.

 

Regards,

 

John

Interesting that you bring that up I have actually played around with that quite a bit and I learned something interesting. I thought "hey this might be cool because it has some wicked "photo scenery" haha and then I realized that I don't enjoy flight simulator for photo scenery, ya it is an added bonus, however I realize that I enjoy flight sim for the immersion into aviation that you get and that regardless of how ridiculous the scenery looks, as long as there is an awesome plane I can run through RL procedures with I'm happy. What are your thoughts on the subject?

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Interesting that you bring that up I have actually played around with that quite a bit and I learned something interesting. I thought "hey this might be cool because it has some wicked "photo scenery" haha and then I realized that I don't enjoy flight simulator for photo scenery, ya it is an added bonus, however I realize that I enjoy flight sim for the immersion into aviation that you get and that regardless of how ridiculous the scenery looks, as long as there is an awesome plane I can run through RL procedures with I'm happy. What are your thoughts on the subject?

 

You're right.  I enjoy MSFS for the immersive feeling it gives in the cockpit.  With today's fine crop of freeware and payware aircraft, I get almost as much satisfaction with the sim as I do when I have the chance to fly a real world GA aircraft (which is not that often, I am sorry to say).  But I like the photoreal scenery for the sense of flight from the passenger point of view.  I guess I like all aspects of flying.  In fact, one of my favorite books about flying was "Jonathan Livingston Seagull".  It described the sheer beauty of flight.  Another favorite book was Lindburgh's "The Spirit of St. Louis".  And Rickenbacker's autobiography also had some great prose on flight.

 

It was funny, when I took my first flight lessons some years ago, I felt smug that I knew all the cockpit drill, all the instruments, and so on from my sim experience.  My CFI was also an MSFS junkie and he gave me a great deal of latitude on my first flight.  But he noticed one thing and coached me on it consistently--he noted that flight simmers were too focused on the instruments and did not look out of the cockpit as often as they should.  And I was no exception.  He wanted me to look out as much as a I could and trust "the seat of my pants" when flying.  No doubt instrument scan is part of flying, but less than I thought it would be.  When I took up trike flying a couple years later I really knew what he was talking about--that was flying--you flew by your eyes, ears and sense of touch (the wind).  I will always remain a trike pilot, and hope to find my own trike someday (it's hard to find one that complies with part 103).  I don't know if I will get back into fixed wing, although I still enjoy it in the sim.

 

John

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John, I have no idea whether he's got appropriate permissions. He also did a freeware RAAS with a lot of Honeywell references; I'm not sure about those permissions, either.

 

His Google tool doesn't integrate into FSX; it's a separate application with its own task twindow. More of a customized "GoogleEarth.cfg". Maybe that circumvents the permission issue, but I'm no legal expert at all to be able to comment on that.

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John, I have no idea whether he's got appropriate permissions. He also did a freeware RAAS with a lot of Honeywell references; I'm not sure about those permissions, either.

 

His Google tool doesn't integrate into FSX; it's a separate application with its own task twindow. More of a customized "GoogleEarth.cfg". Maybe that circumvents the permission issue, but I'm no legal expert at all to be able to comment on that.

 

Maybe because it's a separate app--more of a viewer, it can circumvent the permission issue.  It's hard to say since many of these services use data obtained by the government, which is supposed to belong to all of us here in the States.

 

John

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But he noticed one thing and coached me on it consistently--he noted that flight simmers were too focused on the instruments and did not look out of the cockpit as often as they should.

 

John, I learned to fly back in the day when whatever desktop flight sims were around were far too primitive to be considered anything but a novelty.  I'd never touched one before my first lesson and yet...

 

First thing my instructor harped on was to "quit looking at the panel".  I later discovered that this was typical.  Pretty much universally, when I let non-pilots "fly" the plane from the right seat, the second they'd take the yoke, they'd go from looking outside to fixating on the gauges.  Most would also go from fairly relaxed to white-knuckle death-grip until they realized that the plane really wasn't kept in the air solely by the will of the pilot.

 

It's not just simmers.  ^_^

 

Scott

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You're right. I enjoy MSFS for the immersive feeling it gives in the cockpit. With today's fine crop of freeware and payware aircraft, I get almost as much satisfaction with the sim as I do when I have the chance to fly a real world GA aircraft (which is not that often, I am sorry to say). But I like the photoreal scenery for the sense of flight from the passenger point of view. I guess I like all aspects of flying. In fact, one of my favorite books about flying was "Jonathan Livingston Seagull". It described the sheer beauty of flight. Another favorite book was Lindburgh's "The Spirit of St. Louis". And Rickenbacker's autobiography also had some great prose on flight.

 

It was funny, when I took my first flight lessons some years ago, I felt smug that I knew all the cockpit drill, all the instruments, and so on from my sim experience. My CFI was also an MSFS junkie and he gave me a great deal of latitude on my first flight. But he noticed one thing and coached me on it consistently--he noted that flight simmers were too focused on the instruments and did not look out of the cockpit as often as they should. And I was no exception. He wanted me to look out as much as a I could and trust "the seat of my pants" when flying. No doubt instrument scan is part of flying, but less than I thought it would be. When I took up trike flying a couple years later I really knew what he was talking about--that was flying--you flew by your eyes, ears and sense of touch (the wind). I will always remain a trike pilot, and hope to find my own trike someday (it's hard to find one that complies with part 103). I don't know if I will get back into fixed wing, although I still enjoy it in the sim.

 

John

John

 

Ya when you said you get almost as much enjoyment out of flight sim as the real thing, that is true for me too. I just received my ME addon and I love coming home and getting on the sim or vice versa knowing how immersive and realistic you can make your MSFS experience if you so chose. I as well struggled with focusing to much on the instruments, so what I did to counteract that is tried to adjust my VC to match the habit I was trying to break of concentrating to hard on the instruments, only looking at them when necessary. Needless to say when I did that in FS I saw major improvements in real life. And you are definitely right when you say that there is a beauty of flying that is not comparable by anything else, haha I guess that's why we try and imitate it in a simulator.

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Spent some more time flying with Google Earth tonight. When I want to break out of the cockpit and enjoy the view, this is the way to go. I had a wonderful flight through the Swiss Alps. I felt like I was almost there. It's amazing Google gives this away for free. When one wants unencumbered flying over whatever corner of their world they live in, this is the greatest application!

 

John

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Unfortunately Google Earth stopped working on my computer (It used to). I not only uninstalled and reinstalled twice, the second time I made sure the application data folder for Google Earth was deleted (to make sure I didn't have a corrupt data file gumming up the works). Tried Google Earth in both DirectX and OpenGL modes. Computer still passes DXDIAG DirectX video tests (3D versions through 9) and DXDIAG audio tests. I'm not sure what prompted the program ceasing to work.

 

One of the pop-ups provided the name of some sort of feedback file I could send back to Google, but I couldn't make any sense out of the file when I opened it with Notepad or Wordpad.

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Maybe because it's a separate app--more of a viewer, it can circumvent the permission issue.  It's hard to say since many of these services use data obtained by the government, which is supposed to belong to all of us here in the States.

 

John

 

Most, if not all, of the imagery on Google Earth is licenced from third parties. Look at the bottom of the window when browsing to see the sources used. One source is TerraMetrics, for example. Another is DigitalGlobe.

 

http://www.truearth.com/

 

http://www.digitalglobe.com/

 

If one uses the Google Earth or Google Maps APIs and follows their terms of service, they are happy for people to use the imagery. TileProxy didn't which is why it was shut down.

 

https://developers.google.com/earth/

 

https://developers.google.com/maps/

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