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ahuimanu

Reference materials, plans, GPS, etc.

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Hello,I've been a follower and dabbler of scenery creation for quite a while now (perhaps since FS98) and have been merely a spectator once the Gmax-based techniques have come to prominence. Over the last few versions of MSFS, scenery creation techniques have become more complex.My question is: what methods do you use to gather source materials? Do you use maps? autocad/gis files? Do you "eyeball" things from good photos? Do you rely on GPS readings of your own, etc? Given the post 9/11 world we live in, I don't think any airport in the U.S. is going to be forthcoming with the type of detailed plans that I could use as the basis for my FS scenery modelling. I figure the best I could do is to take pictures and use GPS readings.What are the best ways to get detailed information when you are not an insider? For instance, I see little hope of getting "airside" photos if I am not an airport employee. I could rent a plane and land and taxi around at the airport, but that is expensive.Just fishing around for thoughts.As I've indicated in another thread, I am interested in starting a series of sceneries in Central Virginia and am looking for pointers from those of you who are experienced. I feel comfortable enough with the "modern" SDKs (for FS2000, FS2002 and FS2004) to attempt some of these projects, but I really need a better sense in how to gather reference materials.Thanks,Jeff

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Hello Jeff,Congratulations and welcome back to our little community. Glad that you have decided to do some scenery design.The question of source data really depends on how detailed and realistic you want to make your scenery. There are already many places to get information and photos and it is all readily available.Microsoft provides U.S.G.S. aerial images of the entire U.S. in very high resolution. Some of the images are even in color:Microsoft TerraServerhttp://terraserver-usa.com/There are a few places where enthusiasts gather to share photos of airplanes and airports. You can try them to see if your airport appears (and it probably does):http://www.myaviation.net/http://www.airliners.net/and others, I believe.The U.S. Civil Air Patrol provides pictures of airports:Civil Air Patrol - Air Field Photoshttp://creports.capnhq.gov/airfield/default.aspAnother source of aerial images of airports:Airstrip America Aerial Photos of US Airportshttp://www.airstripamerica.com/And there are places to get accurate airport diagrams and information:AirNav Airport Informationhttp://www.airnav.com/airports/andAOPA Online - Airport Taxi Diagramshttp://www.aopa.org/asf/taxi/There is a lot more out there that a search of the internet will turn up.Good luck on your project and do not hesitate to let us know how it is coming along.Best regards.Luis

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Hi Luis,Those are some great resources and I am aware of quite a few of them. My concern would be my inability to get very detailed with just that information. I think what you may be telling me is that scenery designers use these various sources to get a "mind's eye" conception and just build from there. I would imagine that I would then have to re-consult these sources to check for errors. I was wonder, as I always have with aircraft design, whether a designer is able to obtain very detailed plans or diagrams for assistance. I would imagine that such detailed sources would be very difficult to obtain.Thanks,Jeff

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