Lurk

Google Earth vs FSX

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hi V-Pilots,

I absolutely DO NOT intend to start a flame, as much as I am interested in a possibly serious discussion.

I just gave a shot to the new Google Earth and immediately tried a fly-by over my hometown, an important industrial city of northern Italy, home of a famous soccer team as well as being known for having given birth to FIAT, a once (sigh) renowned automobile factory.

Certainly not a town that has been getting a lot of attention from vanilla FSX (to say it mildly) in terms of overall fidelity, and that was not easy to bring close to reality were it not for the hard work of some passionate simmers and a bevy of different (rather costly) beautiful add-ons which all required extensive efforts and tweaking only to reach a result (and I'll be once again mild) that doesn't come even close to what I experienced 10 minutes ago on Google's latest version of their planet-hopping software, running as smooth as butter on an old MacBook Pro which is now warmly resting on my legs as I type.

Every main building, every roundabout, every pedestrian crossing, patch of grass, sidewalk, just about every landmark, even the less noticeable and insignificant, faithfully reproduced as I slowly made my way to the threshold of LIMA's 36L runway.

Only thing I was missing, as you might have guessed, was a plane.

Which brings me to the point: as I started imagining a weather system to crown it all, I also asked myself why, with such technology and such level of astonishing detail coupled with seamless performance, as of today we still don't have a flight simulator to go with it?

I understand the amount of money that's being put by effortless developers to integrate their incredible software into a dinosaur such as FSX; the add-on business for our beloved sim cannot simply stop from one day to another, but the incredible potential I experienced in 10 minutes of Google Earth reeks of wasted simming potential and makes me truly and genuinely wonder why we still can't fly the way we should when today we (me, you, the developers) all now it is finally possible.

Care to discuss? I certainly hope so.

Cheers to you all.

Luca

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Why not just download or make your own photoscenery for your town? Easy to do.

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it's not only that. I was kind of hoping it would be clear.

It's the smooth running, the detailed 3D buildings which are peculiar to the city I fly above, the exact precise patches of terrain and geological features, a whole new feeling without the evident drawbacks, the amount of faithful detail FINALLY AT METER-LEVEL, REALISTIC AND TRUE TO LIFE.

The general impression of a whole new world of possibilities for simming that works right out of the box without the need to spend countless extra-hours, which some of us don't have, taken away from flying.

The enthusiasm when you realize that a whole new level of flight-simulation experience is possible, mixed with the sadness when you think it probably won't happen anytime in the near future.

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Congrats to your JUV... team to beat BAR.. in camp Nau yesterday, saw Messi's beard grow longer in the game. The program you are talking about already exists some years and is called Tyle Proxy, it uses satellite images in real time to produce the scenery in FSX but a couple of years back when I was experimenting with it I remember that Google prohibited Tyle Proxy the use of their software and it did use massive CPU power overheating my old system in less then 15 minutes, maybe with the new stronger hardware it could work better who knows but then google has to cooperate.

Herman

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1 hour ago, Lurk said:

Only thing I was missing, as you might have guessed, was a plane.

Cheers to you all.

Luca

So you were basically flying a movie camera when using Google Earth!  Gotta remember all that goes on when flying an aircraft in FSX or FS9.  All of the instruments, model images, weather updates, scenery, eat up CPU cycles.

Did you realize that there is an aircraft you can fly in Google Earth?  It's part of the program.

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The new 3d rendering technique that Google Earth is using is truly impressive.

It would be great if this, along with the photoscenery, could be used in a flight simulator.  I wouldn't be surprised if some developer is already thinking about how to do this.

The only drawback to photoscenery in my opinion is the lack of seasonal variations.

Once a flight simulator with photoscenery with seasonal changes and with all buildings and trees faithfully rendered comes along, it will be hard to beat using current scenery rendering techniques such as that used by FSX.

Dave

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Ask Google what they would charge you to be able use their Google Earth program as part of your simulator!

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Unfortunately, not much control of the aircraft.  Test shot over KSFO.

 

GoogleEarth.jpg

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3 hours ago, dave2013 said:

Once a flight simulator with photoscenery with seasonal changes and with all buildings and trees faithfully rendered comes along, it will be hard to beat using current scenery rendering techniques such as that used by FSX.

Dave

Start checking out the prices on those Petabyte HD's boys and girls!

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3 hours ago, dave2013 said:

The new 3d rendering technique that Google Earth is using is truly impressive.

My same point. Absolutely.

3 hours ago, Bert Pieke said:

Ask Google what they would charge you to be able use their Google Earth program as part of your simulator!

And probably this is one of the problems, if not THE problem.

Sad to admit; the tools to dramatically change the face of flight simulation already exist, but the rights to use them are tightly and jealously safeguarded.

Kinda sad, if you ask me.

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Like Bert said, ask Google what they would charge.

A developer could get a license from Google to use their scenery in the simulator, perhaps a subscription-based license. Then you wouldn't have to store all the scenery locally and would simply use Google's servers and download the data on the fly.

Dave

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Google have recently cancelled the GoogleEarth API, so after a few updates, GE will no longer be accessible for external tools.

As for money, here is my current example: accessing the Google Static Maps API (a web service that will generate maps for you) with a commercial application, has a price tag of 10000€ (ten-thousand) per year. Unfortunately, the number of downloads is limited, so buying one API key and then routing the end-user downloads through a local server is not really an option either. And that is only for static images. I wouldn't rule out the possibility that accessing their 3D data is 10 - or even 100 times more expensive. I haven't asked about that, but I did ask Google about the static maps, as I am using them in one of my addons. As a result, the addon was released as freeware, because then the API key is free too - I would never be able to break even with that kind of cost.

Don't be fooled by all those online apps and services that seem to cost nothing. If something is free on the internet , then YOU are the product.

Best regards

 

  • Upvote 1

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11 hours ago, Lurk said:

My same point. Absolutely.

And probably this is one of the problems, if not THE problem.

Sad to admit; the tools to dramatically change the face of flight simulation already exist, but the rights to use them are tightly and jealously safeguarded.

Kinda sad, if you ask me.

Running an IBM server cluster capable of handling the amount of data and online access numbers in question, the leasing alone will cost you  roughly 500.000€ per month. That is why. Add to that the cost for infrastructure and personnel... The big internet companies have IT budgets of billions of €. Of course they want to recover all cost that they can in every way possible.

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1 hour ago, Lorby_SI said:

If something is free on the internet , then YOU are the product.

So very true , next time you decide to download an app for your cellphone give the licence agreement a good read , you might be giving away more information than expected, your position , what searches were made , sites visited , even access to your text messages can be included in the permissions allowed.  Very intrusive, it used to be network tv selling advertisers your interest , now its data mining and tailored adverts .

Best CJ 

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Nah!  It's still your microwave ya gotta watch out for according to "very informed" govt. sources.  They

are listening to you at this very moment!  Glad I use a "dumb" cellphone!:laugh:

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On 4/21/2017 at 4:05 AM, Lorby_SI said:

Google have recently cancelled the GoogleEarth API, so after a few updates, GE will no longer be accessible for external tools.

You might take a look at GE View 2.0.  It's free.

Bob

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Agreed that we are on the cusp of truly amazing integration of software, hardware and live data.,

You can go hunting remotely via the internet. I can foresee a time when you could fly remotely - the ultimate sim.

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4 hours ago, Propwash said:

You might take a look at GE View 2.0.  It's free.

Bob

Hello Bob,

this:

Quote

It does not work with Google Earth v.9.

Many doors are being closed to freeware offerings that rely on the online base data to be free as well.

If Google continues on the path that they are taking with GE, it will eventually be a restricted platform for (paid) Google apps only. This may not be desireable for a flightsimmer, but considering the cost of their infrastructure to host that data, it seems logical.

I suppose, if there is to be a "streamed" flightsim, it will be a paid subscription of some kind.

Best regards

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Hi Oliver,

I'm probably not as pessimistic about Googles' motives or the evolution of Google Earth.  One thing I'd like to point out, you quoted my statement, "It (GE View 2) does not work with Google Earth v.9."  The context of that statement is important to remember.  Google didn't release Earth v.9 until 18 April - just a few weeks ago, we had already completed work on and were ready to release EarthProxy 1.2, and we had not yet had time to look at Earth v.9.  On the positive side, Google says that Earth v.9 retains support for KML, which is all we need for GE View/EarthProxy.  If it supports KML, then I would expect they will publish the javascript API.  On the negative, however, they didn't release the API yet, and v.9 is compatible only with Chrome for the time being, so, indeed, we're all going to have to wait and see.

In the meantime, GE View works great with Google Earth Desktop Client and Desktop Client Pro. 

As for Google's pulling the plug on the original Earth browser plug-in, that was because browsers were deprecating NPAPI, the platform upon which Earth API was built.  And, I'd guess the release of Earth v.9 was principally motivated by a desire to get Earth on the same map rendering engine as Google Maps, so software engineering and maintenance are streamlined.

You might be right about it, but I'm not quite to the point where I think Google will move Earth to a paid subscription.

Bob

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