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rhumbaflappy

Xclass Europe and Usa : A comparison

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Hello, I have the Xclass Usa and Europe installed for a long time. I have also google earth and FSX google earth tracker so I have made many comparison tests. I pick a random location ( airport) fire Fsx and while in the air I load google earth, pause the game and I compare the two windows in top down view. I must say that USA Xclass is pretty accurate on most of the locations ( say 90% at a time) while that doesnt happen in case of EU Xclass that has much to be desired in compariosn to USA. I suupose the landclass source data are more detailed and fine tuned for Usa than Europe. What do you think guys? Have anyone else noticed the above situation?

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I just know that both Xclass EU and Asia is **** products. Support is at best slow, the staff there is arrogant when they do reply, and one thing is certain, Xclass EU do not do anything about the deserts in Norway. The Asia landclass do absolutely nothing the default landclass cant do bad on its own.

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>Hello, >I suupose the landclass source data are more detailed and fine>tuned for Usa than Europe. Exactly. A Landclass product, any landclass product, is heavily dependent of the source data used. For the USA, there are *multiple* public domain data to choose from, the resolution is usually much better, and the coverage is more organic, meaning there is a smoother coverage between the states.For Europe, choices for data source are much sparser, resolution is not the same as the USA, and coverage is more fragmented, because some countries are better represented than others, and the end result is a merge coming from several data sources.Outside Europe and USA, the situation is probably even worse.This is why you shouldn't compare XClass US vs XClass EU, but rather compare XClass US against default US scenery, and XClass EU against default EU, and in both case they certainly improve over default.There is some space left to differentiate different Landclass products depending how the data has been used in two areas:- City coverage, the landclass data sources are simply not enough to offer a satisfactory coverage, both in density and in usage classification. Because of this, it's necessary to integrate other sources, and to processa data to give believable classification when an official one is missing.- Landclass assignements and sub-regional variation. FSX allows for more variations, both locally and seasonally, comparing to what the original data sources allows. This can leave some room for improvement to the developers, in order to make better use of the data in FSX.Apart from these two areas, do not expect wildly different end results, ALL landclass products are databases created almost automatically from known data sources and eventually fixed manually in selected spot areas, following users reports.

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>I just know that both Xclass EU and Asia is **** products.>Support is at best slow, the staff there is arrogant when they>do reply, and one thing is certain, Xclass EU do not do>anything about the deserts in Norway. The Asia landclass do>absolutely nothing the default landclass cant do bad on its>own.Please, refrain using these comments, when the fact that XClass Europe has already been updated FIVE TIMES, it's there to prove that problems, when reported, WILL get eventually fixed. Also, couldn't you be more specific about what the problem is ? From the screenshot you posted, I only see a much improved Norway, the desert that was there in default is still there, but the scenery is nonetheless improved. XClass is sold as a general improvement of the Landclass scenery NOT as a specific "desert fixer" for all places. It might fix the desert issue in some places were it was too obvious (like Italy, for example), but that doesn't necessarily mean it will fix it everywere.

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>>Hello, >>>I suupose the landclass source data are more detailed and>fine>>tuned for Usa than Europe. >>Exactly. A Landclass product, any landclass product, is>heavily dependent of the source data used. >>>For the USA, there are *multiple* public domain data to choose>from, the resolution is usually much better, and the coverage>is more organic, meaning there is a smoother coverage between>the states.>>For Europe, choices for data source are much sparser,>resolution is not the same as the USA, and coverage is more>fragmented, because some countries are better represented than>others, and the end result is a merge coming from several data>sources.>>Outside Europe and USA, the situation is probably even worse.>>This is why you shouldn't compare XClass US vs XClass EU, but>rather compare XClass US against default US scenery, and>XClass EU against default EU, and in both case they certainly>improve over default.>>There is some space left to differentiate different Landclass>products depending how the data has been used in two areas:>>- City coverage, the landclass data sources are simply not>enough to offer a satisfactory coverage, both in density and>in usage classification. Because of this, it's necessary to>integrate other sources, and to processa data to give>believable classification when an official one is missing.>>- Landclass assignements and sub-regional variation. FSX>allows for more variations, both locally and seasonally,>comparing to what the original data sources allows. This can>leave some room for improvement to the developers, in order to>make better use of the data in FSX.>>Apart from these two areas, do not expect wildly different end>results, ALL landclass products are databases created almost>automatically from known data sources and eventually fixed>manually in selected spot areas, following users reports.>>Hello,That is what I thought.I want to ask if there are better data sources out there ,not necessarily public ones, but commercial ones with better accuary.For example see the Ultimate terrain series: they are unmatched when it comes to city and towns layout landclass accuracy, because they use far superior data sources from commercial vendors.Isn't there something similar for the rest of landlasses except cities and towns?

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>For example see the Ultimate terrain series: they are>unmatched when it comes to city and towns layout landclass >accuracy, because they use far superior data sources from>commercial vendors.That's a catch. Since they are offering a 35-40$ product (depending if it's CD or download ), they should be able to afford to license commercial data for cities and towns that thay need anyway for the vector scenery, that is UT's main attractive. Of course, having that data already licesed and founded with the product price, comes handy when making the accompaining landclass using the same data.A pure landclass product, and expecially XClass, that is sold at 9$, couldn't afford to licence that kind of data, and few users would buy it at a much higher price, expecially considering that the better data would be cities and towns only.>Isn't there something similar for the rest of landlasses>except cities and towns?That's another issue. You can find very accurate comercial data for cities and towns (and roads, of course ), because of the car navigation market. Butlandclass coverage is not very interesting for them, it has always used more by public agencies and anything related to governement, environment, etc.The good thing is that the data is usually free to be used, the bad thing is that not all countries apply the same quality standards. Europe, for example, is quite uneven. Some countries are better than others, and some (like Greece, for example), are *much* worse.

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>...>- Landclass assignements and sub-regional variation. FSX>allows for more variations, both locally and seasonally,>comparing to what the original data sources allows. This can>leave some room for improvement to the developers, in order to>make better use of the data in FSX.>>Apart from these two areas, do not expect wildly different end>results, ALL landclass products are databases created almost>automatically from known data sources and eventually fixed>manually in selected spot areas, following users reports.>>From the way you are writing, I assume you are associated with X-class products. I am a FSGenesis user. I purchased a Galaxy membership years ago and I consider it money well spent. I only fly in the US and currently use Justine

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>If I understand you correctly, and please correct me, if I am>putting words in your mouth, all basic landcasts are much the>same. Each company may tweak them here and there but,>overall, it comes down to personal preferences to which you>should purchase. Is that pretty much correct?Basically, yes. I'm not saying they are all equal, of course, but the substance doesn't change much, it really boils down to personal preference. And, the fact that, since one landclass product make a particular choice of mapping source->fsx that is particularly suited to a specific area, one landclass might suit best a user that flies most in that area, even if for other areas this might be less then ideal, hence another user could suggest a different product.The landclass resolution in FSX still is fixed to about 1km so, regardless of how much accurate the original data was, there's only so much you can get in FSX.The main areas where differences might appear between products are, as I've said, treatment of cities and choice of mapping from source to FSX classes. For the US, the better established data source is NLCD 2001 from USGS, and the original, while has HUGE resolution, comparing to what FSX allows (30m, instead of 1km), only has 21 different classes, while FSX allows for more than hundred, but of course in much lower res.Because of this, you might find differences in how each developer decided to map the originals classes to FSX, for example by differentiating between local regions, but apart from glaring errors, that might appear on a global base and are very easy to spot (let's say, all deserts mapped to icecaps by mistake...), you shouldn't find huge differences, it really becomes a matter of personal tastes, both yours and the developer's.Cities/towns are another area when something different can be done by different developers, because no landcover database can accurately represent cities, and expecially differentiation between urban areas, since the originals are very generic about this, basically allowing for just 2 kind of classes. So, here's the developer choices can play a part, like integrating data from other sources (usually several at once), and when some postprocessing of data can improve things, like buffer suburban zones around city centers, etc.Last thing that might change between a product and the other, are the eventual manual fixes, that usually are done after a user reports a problem. Sometimes, unique areas simply do not fit into the standard classification system. An example of a entirely manual rework were the famous Etna and Vesuvio volcanoes in Italy, and some other special cases like these.So no, I'm not saying all landclasses are the same, there will be always differences, but the basics results wouldn't diverge that much, and I hope after this explaination of how the process work, you'll realize why is quite difficult to get a final verdict about a "better" product, because some users might have different opinions, mainly depending on where they are flying the most.And yes, I am associated with XClass, and that's why I'm telling you, if you already have FS Genesis USA, you probably shouldn't buy XClass US, or any other US landclass, because your results are already much better than default, and I doubt you'll find tangible improvements by switching to another one, unless you were particularly unlucky, to fly a lot into an area that, by chance, is problematic with your landclass, and is, by chance, much better in another one.

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It it really true that a $20 - $30 difference in price makes purchase of databases untenable? Allen Kriesman purchases quite a few database products for his Ultimate Terrain series, not just the landclass databases. He needs to purchase road and water databases and others as well, which I believe are much more expensive (though much more accurate, too).Also, no, it is not true that landclass products are the same.For instance, it has been public knowledge for quite some time that Allen, and now SceneryTech, populate their landclass in urban and suburban areas using an algorithm which takes road density into account to help place landclass tiles (as it is my understanding that public and even private landclass databases are notoriously incorrect and old). But it is also true that UT/X does not spend a lot of time getting the rural vegetative landclass correct, as he figures that is more the job of the established landclass products.And I know that Justin updates his landclass frequently, I don't know what he uses as a basis, or how he develops his landclass.In my experience (which pertains mostly to the Northeast U.S. but I have tested it elsewhere in the U.S.), however, Ultimate Terrain does an excellent job in urban areas. It remains to be seen if SceneryTech can match it. That, however, is my opinion only. It is definately true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.I have no association with SceneryTech, and know Allen Kreisman only through email correspondance.Thomas[a href=http://www.flyingscool.com] http://www.flyingscool.com/images/Signature.jpg [/a]I like using VC's :-)N15802 KASH '73 Piper Cherokee Challenger 180

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>I think we would all appreciate, Tom Allensworth especially,>if you would put your association with X-Class in your>signature.If I really had to put all my different associations in the signature, I'll probably broke another rule, about signature sizesOr maybe, it's just my ego, that wrongly leads me to believe that, after 14 years of developing professionally for MSFS (starting with FS4), simply putting my company name as nickname, would be enough...

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>Also, no, it is not true that landclass products are the>same.That's exactly what I said:"I'm not saying they are all equal"It's up to the user to decide if the differences between a product and the other, are worth buying another one, if already having one. And of course, it depends by areas visited and flying habits. A bush flyer, for example, couldn't care less if product X has very good city representaton, if it lacks in rural areas, when maybe product Y could lack in cities, but offering a good representation of the countryside.Or, if one is prepared to pay a little bit more, nothing prevents learning about strenghts and weakness for each product, keep multiple products installed, and simply change the order of priority in the Scenery Library, to use one or the other, depending on the flight...

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>>If I really had to put all my different associations in the>signature, I'll probably broke another rule, about signature>sizesYou could type it that will fit in to the rules ;-)At least sign your post with your real name it's just polite ;-)Cheers,Andr

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>>John>>My first SIM was a Link TrainerJohn, Just curious about your sig. In 1961 I went to Chanute AFB and became an electronic technician on the C-11 Link Trainer. As a teenager in El Paso, won a contest and got to fly the old Blue Box trainer.What is your connection to a Link Trainer?Phill

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>At least sign your post with your real name it's just polite well, that's a good suggestion. However, my nickname is my company name, and that's probably how most people (if any) ever heard of me...Umberto Colapicchioni - VIRTUALI s.a.s.

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>>At least sign your post with your real name it's just polite>>>well, that's a good suggestion. However, my nickname is my>company name, and that's probably how most people (if any)>ever heard of me...>>>Umberto Colapicchioni - VIRTUALI s.a.s.>I know you but it's just polite to do so ;-)Cheers,Andr

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>For the USA, there are *multiple* public domain data to choose>from, the resolution is usually much better, and the coverage>is more organic, meaning there is a smoother coverage between>the states.>For Europe, choices for data source are much sparser,>resolution is not the same as the USA, and coverage is more>fragmented, because some countries are better represented than>others, and the end result is a merge coming from several data>sources.The only problem is that the detailed European landcover data is not free for commercial use. All EU countries have detailed datasets available. All made with the same methods in the same format and in high detail. I have some of these free sets on my computer and I can't imagine US sets with more detail and frankly because of the resolution that landclass is in more detail would be unneccesary.See for yourself all available datahttp://dataservice.eea.europa.eu/atlas/vie...wpub.asp?id=816Simply registering is enough to get access to shape data of almost all the countries you see.Show me a US PD source thats more detailed then that...

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Hi Phil, I sorta gave out my secret through a recent post in the Hardware thread.Actually, I thought it made me sound wise, experienced, and very much a sage. In reality, it means I am now long in the tooth, have eyes like a bat, and the reflexes of a snail. I was maybe 5 years old when my father took me to a Cavil Air Patrol (CAP) meeting where they had a link trainer. I got in it and had fun flying until they closed the door. It was dark, I got scared and started to cry. I still remember the blue instrument lights and the fact it moved.That simulator and an actual airplane ride when I was six started my love of aviation. For then onward, I wanted to be a pilot. I made cockpits out of boxes and sticks, drawing the instruments on the cardboard. I had an old WWII headset (still have it) from my dad and I would wear it as I flew my fighter. John Wayne and Jimmy Steward were my heroes. It was my drive to fly that got me through college and I was fortunate enough to get into USAF pilot training. It all started with that little Link Trainer. So, that is the reason for my signature.

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>>For the USA, there are *multiple* public domain data to>choose>>from, the resolution is usually much better, and the>coverage>>is more organic, meaning there is a smoother coverage>between>>the states.>>>>For Europe, choices for data source are much sparser,>>resolution is not the same as the USA, and coverage is more>>fragmented, because some countries are better represented>than>>others, and the end result is a merge coming from several>data>>sources.>>The only problem is that the detailed European landcover data>is not free for commercial use. All EU countries have detailed>datasets available. All made with the same methods in the same>format and in high detail. I have some of these free sets on>my computer and I can't imagine US sets with more detail and>frankly because of the resolution that landclass is in more>detail would be unneccesary.>>See for yourself all available data>http://dataservice.eea.europa.eu/atlas/vie...wpub.asp?id=816>>Simply registering is enough to get access to shape data of>almost all the countries you see.>>Show me a US PD source thats more detailed then that...So, I am wonder if any landclass developer has made use of these databases yet...

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"Please, refrain using these comments, when the fact that XClass Europe has already been updated FIVE TIMES, it's there to prove that problems, when reported, WILL get eventually fixed. "A good start would be to actually answer posts in your own forum. Not only when someone get fed up with lack of support and take it to a public forum. Thats YOUR problem, not mine, so *please, refrain using that arrogant way of answering*.The only real landclass that can be recomended for Norway is Norway Scenic X, freeware available from www.flightsim.no. Scenerytechs new landclass that do boast about desert fix is just as bad as Xclass, with less urban coverage.

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Super!!!!Thanks for that picture, that was what I got to fly as a teenager. I had a blast but managed to spin and crash several times in the time I was allowed in it. Early 1960's I instructed aircrews in USAF flight simulators (vision kept me out of flight school). In the 1980's was a pilot for the Civil Air Patrol out of Georgetown, Texas. That blue box trainer in your picture was what started it all for me.To everyone, sorry for highjacking the thread. Will go back to lurking now. :-lol Phill

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>Show me a US PD source thats more detailed then that...I know Corine very well, and I confirm that resolution is not any better than US NLCDhttp://dataservice.eea.europa.eu/dataservi...d&theme=clc2000As you can see, best raster resolution is 100 m, while US NLCD is 30 mVector data it's not better, since 5 acres http://terrestrial.eionet.europa.eu/CLC2000equals 50K square meters, so the linear resolution it's 223 m (sqr of 50K=223)Anyway, both resolutions are more then enough for FSX, since FSX can't do any better than 900 meters anyway, so the resolution it's NOT the problem.The problem is, as I've said, the classification (less classes than what FSX allows), expecially in urban areas, AND the fact that for Europe, even if the resolution might be good, the quality of data is not consisent between countries, while the US has more homogeneous quality.

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Hi all.The limitations of FS landclass are well known to all the developers, but not so well known to end-users. Even after a careful use of raster and vector data, there's not a guarantee that the view in FSX will match the real-life view.The limitations are of 1 KM/pixel resolution for the resampling, combined with a limited set of groundtile textures, seasons and regions altering the output, and mesh slope now also play a role.Checking the top-down FSX views against aerial photos would help, but the earth is a huge place, and photos are sometimes scarce and misleading. It simply isn't practical to expect a developer would be able to examine every QMID15 square of Europe ( or any other area ) against aerial images, and accurately reproduce the earth.And eyewitness accounts can also be misleading. How many of us know exactly, from memory, what the equivalent landclass number would be for a QMID15 tile location 5 miles NW of our homes?There are 402694145 possible landclass locations for the earth, and an equal number of waterclass. Even accounting 70% of the earth as water, we still need to account for 281885902 land tile locations. Checking each tile in a single country is a huge undertaking. So, a bit of forgiveness goes a long way for commercial landclass vendors. They do what they can given the constraints of time, money, and manpower.The good news is that making landclass is now less difficult than it was for earlier versions, so we are not limited to LOD5 squares of data, and we can make a local season.bgl to match our landclass.bgl... so we can all learn to make the landclass and season correct as possible for our favorite areas... given the constraints of time and manpower.That is where most complaints arise is that the LC isn't right for our hometowns, or favorite airport areas. We all have the ability to alter that, with some SDK study, and some available tools.Dick

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>Hi all.>>The limitations of FS landclass are well known to all the>developers, but not so well known to end-users. Even after a>careful use of raster and vector data, there's not a guarantee>that the view in FSX will match the real-life view...>That is where most complaints arise is that the LC isn't right>for our hometowns, or favorite airport areas. We all have the>ability to alter that, with some SDK study, and some available>tools.>>Dick>Thank you Dick for a very well written and readable piece on the ins and outs of landclasses. Between you and Virtuali, I have learned quite a lot, which I never knew before. I also learned that I am glad I don

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