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Guest Marc_EDDN

Landclass comparison Part 3: Mallorca and conclusion

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Hello again to part 3 of my European landclass comparison.Palma de Mallorca Airport, Spain================================I did only some map comparisons for this, as I have to get some sleep... But at least for me that was enough for a final conclusion about XClass vs. SceneryTech. Read on and make your own!FSX default:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/176088.jpgXClass Europe:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/176089.jpgSceneryTech Europe:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/176090.jpgAerial courtesy of Google:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/176091.jpgFSX default, again, is not very convincing. The town of Palma (to the left) is too small, the coast settlements (or hotels) are not represented at all, and the rest is desert and crops. The airport ground is also not the green grass it really is.XClass changes this: Palma gets much more realistic in size, the city center is at the right spot, some coast line settlements are represented, and the vegetation looks much more convincing. The Airport ground is much greener.SceneryTech baffles me again, unfortunately not positively. The city center of Palma becomes a green field, the coast line settlements are almost "inverted", with houses where none are on the aerial, and green where there are houses in reality. And the airport ground becomes quite dry again, much apart from the green grass of reality.Conclusion:===========This last comparison made it easy for me to make up my mind. I'll stick with XClass, and I have now covered the whole world. There are flaws, like the wrong house structures, and I have seen some needle trees in the rainforest of Peru - but what the heck. In general, I am happy, and I will just report the flaws to cloud9 and hope they'll get fixed.SceneryTech is just too wrong in too many places, and has not even covered the part of switzerland I looked at properly. And it costs more than XClass, too. For all regions that I have specialized landclasses for, like Germany (German Landmarks X) and Switzerland (Swiss Landclass freeware), I stick with these.I would be really interested to see some results from other landclass products, but I will probably not buy any others. Maybe somone can post some?

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Hello Marc,interesting comparison - thanks for sharing.Obviosuly, the land class ground textures in use will play a role in an assessment like this as texture replacements often have slightly (sometimes dramatically) different content for each class. I notice that you're using FScene replacement textures. A similar comparison with just the default ground textures would be interesting; maybe the conclusion would differ, maybe not.Cheers, Holger

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Thanks for sharing and this shows again that we have a long way to go ;-)Cheers,Andr

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Hi Marc,Thanks for sharing and the work you put into giving us a good idea about the comparisons. I have both FSG and Xclass and it appears very difficult to choose which one. They both to be so equal when you take all of the areas into account (US). One thing for sure I need to go pick up Xclass Europe.Carl

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Hi Holger,you're right, I use FScene Europe. I sort of hope that this explains the "large houses" bug somehow, but going back to default textures is a hassle, so not quick to see if it's that.Everything I said about "wrong" forests or misplaced cities is correct anyway, and unfortunately would not change with different textures.I would still like to see if someone can show a place that actually looks better with SceneryTech... I paid some money for it! ;-)Best regardsMarc

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Thanks for the excellent link, I somehow missed it, and probably others did as well.Best regardsMarc

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As a SceneryTech developer I will use this thread to formally respond to the three comparisons you've made. Your comparisons raise a couple legitimate issues with the SceneryTech landclass which I will address shortly...but after having conducted a personal review of the areas you've mentioned, I would make the case that your screenshots say as much about the texture package you've used as they do about the landclass products you have compared.Let's start with the example of Palma de Mallorca; you pointed out that the SceneryTech landclass appears to render a large field along the coast where there should be urban tiles. With your texture package this seems to be the case, but the default textures tell a different story.Your screenshot, zoomed in on the region of interest (a bit blurry because it has been magnified so much):http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/176187.jpgAnd the screenshot I have taken using the default textures:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/176188.jpgAs you can see, for whatever reason your texture package is failing to properly render the urban tile just north of the harbor. This is especially surprising because it is a "large urban" tile, and certainly should not be depicted as sparsely as it is. There is a sparser region a little to the west in my screenshot, but even that is a "large suburban" tile. This may be something that can be improved in an update (making it a medium urban tile instead), although there is most assuredly an urban tile at that location.As for Menden, Germany, the appearance of the city being shifted too far north is actually due to the SceneryTech underestimating the density of the city (as opposed to overestimating it, as other landclasses have a tendency to do), combined with the 3rd party texture package making the urban extent appear smaller than it actually is.The town of Saanen, Switzerland is experiencing a problem similar to Menden, namely the density is again being underestimated. The SceneryTech landclass is also rendering forests where there should be farmland--duly noted (this is likely due to a mistake in the source data, since both the default and our landclass made the same error). This is also easy to fix.So I commend your efforts in making this comparison of landclass products as a guide for prospective landclass customers, but I fear that by using a 3rd party texture package your analysis has been unjustly biased against the SceneryTech product. That is not to say you haven't brought up some genuine issues with the product, which I have now taken note of for a future update--we do take these issues seriously, in fact another update to North America is coming very soon which will fix or at least improve every issue that been reported since that product's launch.But as a friendly request could you submit such issues to SceneryTech's support e-mail address so that we can be made aware of them? It was simply fortuitous timing that I even checked the forums and noticed this since I don't check on a daily basis. I would much rather your concerns be addressed in an update rather than have you feel that the product has let you down and wasted your money, with no chance of these issues being resolved.Regards,Derek D.

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Hi Derek,thank you for joining the discussion. You are right, I probably underestimated the influence of the texture package.I bought the landclass packages to address the issues FSX by default has especially with parts of the world outside the US. I still think that my comparison validly represents what the user gets when he or she buys one of the landclass packages with this in mind - at least for the areas I looked at. Switzerland just is not one large forest.And I have to admit that my time is pretty limited. I have a demanding job and a family that deserves my full attention, so I cannot always report every problem I find to the relevant parties, unfortunately. This way, I know I rely on the numerous people who have a little more time on their hands for such things, and I wanted to give something back to the community with this review, as the choice of landclass is something of a hot topic, and I feel I could contribute a little.In conclusion, I did not mean to make any product look better or worse by having a texture package installed. Maybe also the things I noted as strange with XClass come from the textures? I am happy if SceneryTech Europe can be a better product through my review. Maybe your way of calculating the landclass and your choice of source data is not so suitable for Europe? Maybe some other locations are represented better with SceneryTech than with XClass? The ones I chose were definitely not, with or without texture package.Best regards,Marc

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