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betelgeuse

Ground2K problems

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I'd be grateful for advice on how to get started in G2K4. I have read the Beginners Introduction and I have installed the latest version (V5.4). Running FS9 in XP Pro.Problems:1. Not exactly sure how to create the background map and how to synchronise it with the FS9 scenery. I have a map (from Tropozone) and I have saved this as a .bmp file (RGB) using Photoshop 7. 2. When I attempt to assign the NW and SE lat/long coordinates I can bring up my map but I have other problems. First the NW point on the map is in the ocean and I cannot ID the coordinates using the FS slew command. Second, when I take the nearest suitable NW land feature and enter it with the SE lat/long data, I get this: Erreur!! (507) Points to be verified. The program then freezes.Perhaps I have missed something obvious.

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I know exactly how you feel. Been there. This is how I do it but I'm by no means an expert. I hope it helps and do apologize if it confuses you. I'm sure someone with more experience - and hopefully a bit more articulate - will step in here.1) I usually take a top down pic in FS first. Be sure to hit the space bar so you are facing north before you take your pic. Select a point - the junction of 2 roads or some other obvious landmark for both your NW and SE points. Using Photoshop (I use PSP but I expect that it's the same in Photoshop) paste the Tropozone ontop of your FS image and adjust the opacity so you can see both images. It will be a bit tricky stretching and skewing the tropozone image to lay precisely over top of the FS image with the roads perfectly overlaying eachother. Save as a merged image. This will allow you to trace around lakes and other areas you want to texture while seeing the backgound image in FS. Then crop your image so that the top left corner of the pic is your NW point and the bottom right is your SE point.Some people use CellGrid to place lines on the scenery in FS which makes it easier to pick your points. It will help you get the coordinate that's out in the ocean.Use the TCalc program to locate your NW and SE points in FS. It's much more accurate than the FS coordinates.Load your background image in G2K4. Then you can start drawing on your polygons. 2) I think that your problem here may be that you are not facing north when you get your coordinates. I believe you can find both TCalc and CellGrid here in the library.Best of luck and as I said, I'm sure you will get more help.Adam

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Thanks very much, Adam.No, I did orientate to North when getting the coordinates and I saved the map as a .bmp file. I get the drift of your advice but am still stymied. I've downloaded the latest version of Cellgrid but there are no install instructions. I've played around with it in the Addon Scenery Library but no joy. So that's my first question.Second, maybe a look at the attached pics will shed light on my difficulty. Some poeople say a screenshot is unnecessary - I suppose if the coordinates are accurate that is true, but the ability to make an exact alignment with the default scenery is surely neccesary to avoid odd effects at the joins. :-hmmm I have used AFW and EOD and even done some AI flight dynamics tweaking. So I think I ought to be able to master this. On the other hand, I don't have unlimited time to fiddle with it! BetelMaybe I'm missing something obvious

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Hi Betel,I had the same unfortunate experience just a few weeks ago until I just did a search for ground2k alignment on the avsim forums. The answer is there and is unecessary to duplicate it here. Best of luck.

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Thanks. The area I wish to modify is a 2 km approx length of shoreline. I doubt if the earth's curvature has much to do with the "(507) Points to be verified" error message I get when I try to input the NW and SE coordinates. :-hmmm

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Hey Betel,As to CellGrid, I don't use it but have friends that do. I'll ask one of them to come into this thread and explain it to you.Are you not using Ultimate Terrain for Canada and Alaska? Because if you are, it would be easy to just add ground polys for towns etc and not have to worry about coastlines - unless ofcourse you want more detail. UT is a value and adds excellent and accurate coasts and it is also the standard. You often do need, though, to spice it up a bit with town textures, golf courses, grass, parks or even your own custom textures for that matter. That said, if you do create an accurate coastline, it's more than likely going to conflict with UT anyway.A screen shot may be unnecessary but then it helps to see what's default in the scenery. Sometime you have to expand a lake and to be able to see the default coastlines helps especially if you want new coastlines to meet up with the default coastline.If you want, you can grab Yahoo Messenger and a headset and I'd be happy to go through a project with you. I do this fairly regularly for GMAX and such.Adam

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Thanks a bunch, Adam! Maybe I will take a look at UT for Canada and Alaska. If you're serious it'd be great to go through a project on Yahoo Messenger. I'm on BST (Zulu+1) - what about you? Sometime this week? Betelgooneybird@breathe.com

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Howdy,welcome to G2K4 design - it's fun! (no kidding)Since you're using a map from Topozone why don't you grab the corner coordinate pairs directly from the source? Change the coordinate format to DD.DDD, then move the cursor to the NW corner of your map, click on it (the coordinate will appear on top of the map) and write down the numbers. http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?z=5&n=6381...datum=nad83&u=5Those are the numbers you put into the G2K4 setup window. If the coordinates exactly match with the corners of your image then there's no need to click on NW Point and SE Point, just type the four coordinate values into the four Lat/Lon tabs (G2K4 understands the decimal degree format) and click OK.BTW, for areas near water another good source for background bitmaps are the marine maps available here: http://mapserver.maptech.com (search for Karluk, AK, click the top link found, then switch to "Nautical Chart" and zoom in for the high-res map of the area. Also, check out the images and charts here: http://www.alaska.faa.gov/fai/AirportSearch.htm?karlukFor small projects the misalignment between the UTM projection of the TopoZone maps and the geographic projection FS requires is probably not a big deal. However, if you want to make bigger projects you need to re-project the map first and there's a number of threads about this here in the forum. One of them is this: http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho...ing_type=searchGood luck with your project!Cheers, Holger

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Wow! Holger! I haven't heard from you for a while. Do you remember the AI Dash 7 project I did based on Milton Schupe's great aeroplane? At the time you were working on tail rotors for your AI helicopters and something about using an .air file for a single engine motor glider if I remember right? At one stage my AI Dash 7 had only the port props spinning...made you think! Lol! So thanks very much for this. At great expense ;-) I downloaded UT for Canada and Alaska. Am not too impressed! Sorry Adam. Several of my coastal airfields including half the runway at Karluk are in the briney ocean, along with buildings at Kodiak Muni etc... Also,there's a lot of shimmering even with mipmapping right down. Hehe.So my G2K4 project is alive. I will take a break for a day or two and try to work this out using the info everyone has so kindly given. Hopefully when I post again I will have made some progress.Hey, it's great to hear from ya, Holger, and again, thanks a bunch! Betel

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Hi Betel,I thought I had seen the user name before ;-) Yup, I still use those Dash-7s as AI (with all four props spinning); in fact, they are one of my favorite AI aircrafts to watch.As for UT and airfields in water: welcome to the world of inaccurately placed airfields in FS9 default. UT's Alaska shorelines aren't all that great (Allen couldn't get the same quality of data as he got for Canada) but they are more accurately positioned than the default shorelines. Unfortunately, the AirNav database, which the FS team used to make their AFCAD files, is very sketchy with regards to the geographic center point of small airfields (as well as other base data). I'm working on a new SE Alaska project and, once I had my highly accurate shorelines done, had to relocate all six landbased airfields and 26 seaplane bases - yikes! Same thing with my Columbia River Gorge project, where I relocated 20+ small airfields. You'll probably find the same if you start placing your new shorelines. Thus, you might want to consider using UT as a base or make a version that works with both UT and the default.If you need advice as to how to move default airfields, here's a "nice" summary thread: http://www.flightsimmer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=35920Cheers, Holger

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Hey, I was right...LOL. Someone more knowledgeable did step in!I was basing my observations of UT on the Canadian areas in which I build my sceneries. Sorry you are not happy with UT. Still willing to do the Messenger thing if you want. Totally up to you. Holger obviously knows much more about this than I and I wouldn't necessarily want to teach you bad habits. LOL.Either way, best of luck with your project.Adam

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Thanks, Adam. I hope I did not sound ungrateful. I will think about whether or not to use UT. Apart from the other things, I think I take a bit of a framerate hit too. The good news is that at last I have been able to produce a map of the area on the G2K4 screen. My next challenge is to align this with either the UT or the default scenery and for that I need to know how to install Cellgrid. Once that's done I can get on with the actual design changes. I will see how this goes. Maybe I will take up your kind Messenger offer in the unlikely event of serious difficulty ;-). Do you have Skype?

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>Thanks, Adam. I hope I did not sound ungrateful. I didn't get that impression at all.Best of luck. I don't have Skype yet but getting it soon as some of the other scenery design guys I meet on Messenger with are getting it.Cheers,Adam

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Well guys, this is how far I've got. A jpeg image consisting of map over screenshot. I also have it as .bmp and .psd files. Question now is, how to get this into G2K4? As I said, I have managed to get my topozone map on the G2K4 screen but obviously its not this map/screenshot combo. So How do I 'import' this into G24K? Hmmm......112425326.jpgBetel

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Hi Betel,it depends what you want to do: if you want to change the surrounding landscape (e.g., add shorelines, islands, harbor, etc.) you do not need to place your map onto a screenshot of FS. All you need to do is save your topo map (mosaic) as bmp, load it into the G2K4 setup window and type or copy the two corner coordinate pairs into the respective lat/long windows (see my first email above). And you're good to go. No need for Cellgrid with this method. If you want to make your changes compatible with the existing default shorelines only, then Adam's method would probably work better. BTW, you screenshot/map combo above is clearly not right. The map grid has a 1-km spacing and the landing strip indicated on the map should probably match in scale with the FS9 airfield.Cheers, Holger

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Hello HolgerThanks. I want to add shoreline detail around the estuary of the Karluk River. In reality there is a strip of land across the river entrance and an island near the south shore. Neither of these show in default FS9. The runway in the screenshot is in the FS9 default position but this is incorrect according to topozone. The UT scenery has it nearer right but the ramp is then in the river. I was not planning on changing the runway position - just fixing the shoreline. I do not understand why you are so sure that the combo is wrong since the shorelines on the map and the screenshot line up pretty well. Betel

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Hi Betel,if you want accurate shorelines then using an accurately placed map would probably be preferable; thus I'd suggest my approach listed above.As to the scale: according to the Alaska FAA link above Karluk's runway is 2000ft long. The black grid on the Topozone map has a 1-mile spacing (not 1 km, as I first thought). I based my observation on the scale of the runway in FS vs. the grid on the map and the landing strip drawn on the map; if your overlay is correct then the FS runway should be more than 1 mile long but AFCAD has it correctly at 2000x50ft.Cheers, Holger

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I know nothing of Alaska, but a quick play of things I got this:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/127572.jpgIt looks to me like the default shoreline is pretty far off here. I highlighted the default runway in yellow, and the position/size looks pretty good using the faa data Holger referenced.The jpeg consists of ms terraserver "topo" (USGS DRG projected NUTM5 NAD83) captured by USAPhotomaps ver 2.75 (9/3/05) reprojected to geo/WGS84 by Global Mapper 6.09, with a screen cap of FS9 area (slew/top down view north up) manually georefeerenced in Gobalal Mapper. I set transparancy of about 60%, created a vector line feature over the runway as displayed in the FS9 capture, and saved all as a jpeg.scott s..

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Haha! Thanks, scott. I just need two last, vital pieces of information: 1.How to get a jpeg image like this into G2K4? 2.How to make seamless joins where the shoreline meets the default?Betel

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For ground2k, your background image/map must be in windows bmp format projected as geo (lat/long) and WGS84 datum and you must know the lat/long of two points. Best case is that you know the lat/long of the northwest and southeast corners. Lacking that, you need to determine the lat/long of any two points (closer to the corners is best) that you can readily identify in the image.Start g2k4 and create new project. double click on the project box to enter the file name for the project, click on next, then double click on the map box to enter the name of your bmp mapfile. Then click on the "NW/SE coordinates on the map" button to bring up this window:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/127680.jpgIt defaults to the NW and SE corner. If you have those positions, enter the lat/longs into the appropriate boxes, observing the correct format.If you don't have the corners, but instead points within the image, enter the lat/long as before. Then click on the NW point box, then scroll your image to see the point on the image and click it in the image. That should cause the crosshairs to move to your point (in the above image, intersection of two gird lines from the topo). Note that as you move the mouse over your inage, the pixel postiion is displayed. Also, your entered lat/long values are shown in the red area to the left. You should try to verify these values to make sure you didn't make a data entry error. When you are happy, click OK and you are returned to the project creation dialog page. Note that your lat and long positions are displayed here too, as another check. Then click next and move down to fill in the bgl names and folder locations. Once you get all the required data antered and click OK you should get the main g2k4 view. As far as merging with default data. I'm not sure of the best technique. If there is an obvious inflection point, where the coast takes a sharp turn that would be easier. Lacking that, I would probably try to approach the default coast at a LOD13 area boundary. You will have to play with the texture and width to get it to look natural.scott s..

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Thanks again, Scott. I get the general drift. I plan to do some work on this now. Will post again if and when I have something worth reporting. Betel

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I have run up against more probs. I installed Ultimate Terrain Canada and Alaska because I thought it might produce a better shoreline at Karluk. Sadly it didnt, and as I noted above, the ramp ended up in the river. There were other major scenery nonsenses all around Kodiak Island so I decided to uninstall UT.The end result of that is that I no longer have a river! In fact the entire west coast of the island consists of a series of regular zig-zags with sea forming the sides and tops of mountains in places etc.I have deleted the scenery.dat files for the area and re-run FS9 with no change. I have removed all files relating to UT that are obviously part of that program. Still the same. What to do? Am I heading for an uninstall of FS9 or can I re-install over the top of the existing version?Wot a carry on!

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I don't have UT canada, but I do have UT USA and I guess you didn't uninstall properly (maybe you should have configured UT for default prior to uninstalling, but that's just a guess).What UTUSA does, is rename the default scenery files to an XXX extension. If you do a search on that you probably will find a bunch of files in the following default locations:scenerynamwsceneryscenerynamcsceneryscenerynamesceneryIn particular, you are looking for files like HP906110.XXX and HL906110.XXX (these cover west Kodiak, but there are probably ones like this for all of Canada/Alaska.At any rate, assuming you find those files, just rename them all to BGL extension (i.e., HP906110.BGL). Barring that, you should be able to load the namw scenery region from the CD. Note that the 9.1 patch changed some bridge files which you might have to restore also.Note: you might find LWMViewer helpful in working your scenery area. This program can display the terrain files without constantly having to look at FS. Get it here:http://www.jimkeir.co.uk/FlightSim/LWMViewer.htmlscott s..

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Haha! Thanks, scott for putting me on the right track. Instead of doing this manually, I installed FS9 on a old, very slow laptop which I then networked with my FS9 PC. Just did a straight transfer of the NAME, NAMC, NAMW folders into the FS9scenery folder. After this re-sorted by file type and deleted all .xxx files. Running perfectly again! Now, I'm back to where I started ;-). NO chance for scenery design next week but hope to post again. I can't let all you good folks down who helped me so patiently. John (Betel)

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