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tasmanet

The solution to the autogen/photoscenery problem?

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Hitta.se, a swedish equivalent to Google Earth and other online map providers recently launched an experimental 3D map service. Now all we need is TileProxy support ;)From what I can tell, it works by combing several aerial photos taken at low altitude with a very high resolution elevation mesh. This mesh is so detailed that every tree and building is represented. When it works, it looks pretty good. Buildings and trees really stick out, unlike the flat 2D textured buildings and trees that you get with normal photographic maps. They claim the process is fully automatic, but looking at the result, it looks like the process needs to be refined a little, or some manual corrections are required. Sometimes it doesn't work so well and buildings look like they've been struck by an earthquake or something.You can try it out for yourself over Stockholm if you want:http://www.hitta.se/3d/3d_map.aspxUnfortunately, there's no "Fly" mode yet, but maybe there will be in the future.Some shots:

Notice how single family houses and even trees appear in 3D. You can't tell from the screenshot, but if you rotate the view, you'll actually see the oposite side of every building and tree

http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/189256.jpgAnother one showing the detail - everything from taller apartment buildings to small trees are drawn in 3D.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/189257.jpgWelcome to Stockholm:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/189258.jpgWhen things don't work as exptected - earthquake struck apartment blocks north of stockholm:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/189259.jpgStill, it's a huge leap forward from regular 2D textures that we see with flightsim photo scenery. This is my home town, not yet done in 3D, and those are supposed to be 8-storey apartment buildings. Because of the angle, it's impossible to tell and they all point in different directions. It looks crazy.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/189260.jpg

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Wow, those are truely impressive pictures. I'm afraid however, that running FSX with that kind of scenery, I'd be measuring SPF (seconds per frame) on my poor old system. R-

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Wow! Great pictures! The third one down, is that a soccer field? I think I could get the FS9 Cub in :-) but not out:( --Roger

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>Wow, those are truely impressive pictures. I'm afraid>however, that running FSX with that kind of scenery, I'd be>measuring SPF (seconds per frame) on my poor old system. R-Actually if it's done with elevation mesh and not 3D objects like the OP seems to indicate, frame rates should be fairly decent. No different than flying around in the mountains with no 3d Scenery. If this was able to be setup similar to Tileproxy, it would be a quantum leap forward in photoreal scenery use in FS.

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Go to FSX - the Maule can land or takeoff from there :-) - or get the great freeware Maule.

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Well, the framerate in the online map viewer is very good, and it's written in Java. The mesh resolution must be better than 1m i'd guess, maybe even in the cm range. The aerial photos are obviously also very high resolution. I'm not sure the current FSX engine would handle it, but maybe it will be possible in FS11. The authors of the viewer claim that the military are using similar tech so it has been applied already, maybe even to simulations? But the good thing with meshes is that you can easily do dynamic LODing and start removing details fairly close to the viewer without any noticeable visual impact. Another advantage over 3D objects is that the process can be semi-automatic, where as 3D objects have to be hand crafted or drawn from a database of generic 3d objects like the current Autogen system.I wonder if this kind of source data is available for the US? It should be, at least for major cities. I know that this kind of elevation data is available for England and Wales, the current 5m mesh that comes with the GenerationX photoscenery is based on it (the version where buildings and trees are not included in the data).

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Yeh, the Maule, agreed...or maybe :-hmmm the Aerosoft Beaver with minimum fuel and load. --Roger

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Now I do plan to include 3m LIDAR meshes in Tileproxy coverage sometime later this year, however with the way the 3D terrain engine currently works in FSX, vertical and steeply inclined slopes lose resolution.To map textures to vertical surfaces accurately you cannot project them onto the mesh from the top. You need a different projection angle. So right now the only way to do the same in FSX would be to include each building as an individual 3D model.

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3m LIDAR data is available for free for almost an entire state in the US. It should be accurate enough to cover most major buildings. I think you can get this through the USGS seamless service.

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Actually the 3m LIDAR data in the USA from the USGS is bald earth represention and wouldn't give that type of effect as it is way too coarse...I've already got the data for West Virginia sitting on my desk ready to render just have to find the time to do it, comes out as 2m terrain mesh for flight sim...I've already got 1m data for the grand canyon and by the end of 2009 we'll have 5m elevation data coverage for all of the United States and Europe based off IFSAR technology...We'll also have 1 and 2m lidar based dem data for our ProVFR series for Utah...Also the stuff we're working on doesn't require the illegal access to Google Earth, Virtual Earth and other servers...

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Thanks for the extra clarification.Quote: "and by the end of 2009 we'll have 5m elevation data coverage for all of the United States and Europe"Who is "we"? ;-) Or in other words: will the information be freely accessable through USGS or is it proprietary?

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Now all we need is TileProxy support ;)Yes to that>From what I can tell, it works by combing several aerial>photos taken at low altitude with a very high resolution>elevation mesh. This mesh is so detailed that every tree >and building is represented. I think is simple as this link http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&FORM...scl=1&encType=1I have tried a larger area of this hotel image on a plane in my fs2004 WDW scenery and flew towards it from the east.Lets put it this way, Autogen is cactus if your plane is more than a thousand feet up. In my humble opinion of coarse.The big problem at the moment is there is only N S E W images at the moment in http://maps.live.com.

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