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scott967

Is CDED1 data worth using?

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I'm am completely new to MSFS2004- my wife gave it to me as a Christmas gift- but I got interested in the addition of scenery because the default scenery shipped for New Brunswick, Canada is poor at best.So I got the SDK from Microsoft, read the documentation, got Read_DEM.exe and downloaded a bunch of the 1:50,000 CDED1 data for a small area of the province. I've followed all the instructions but when I finally got my .BGL file it doesn't seem to offer much more detail than what's currently being displayed.In particular I'm looking at Grand Manan Island where the eastern shores are mostly beaches and the western coast cliffs over 100 meters in height. Default data creates a rise in the middle of the island but the western shores gradually slope to the water. What confuses me is when I look at the DEM data in a viewer it show more what I would expect to see than when I open the .BGL file in the tmfviewer.For those of you who have used this data, can you tell me if it's just something I'm doing wrong or am I getting the best that I can expect? I've read numerous tutorials, including the ones on this site but I'm just not sure if doing things right to obtain the best possible results. Any help, input, hints or (apparently) tutorials for complete morons would be greatly appreciated.Thanks,FundyFog

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Hi Fundy:An excellent gift for your wife to give you... we should all be so lucky to have the ladies in our life appreciate our involvement with flight simulation!Scenery making can be its own "entirely consuming" aspect of the flight Sim 2004 experience; it can be very fulfilling, and also very frustrating, so beware of the addictive nature of this hobby! I started out trying to create and adapt scenery to make up for the shortcomings in FS 2002 and FS 2004. Most of those problems were resolved for me when the "Ultimate Terrain USA" scenery add-on series became available; even though the current version for FS2004 is reportedly based on 90 meter data, it works quite nicely with other sceneries and terrain mesh based on 30 meter data.Admittedly, Canada does not have as much highly detailed terrain information available as the USA, but I do know there is an Ultimate Terrain "Canada" package also available which you may wish to look into in addition to any specialized efforts you are making for your localized area of interest to see if it might meet your needs. It does many things to correct shorelines, land class, night lighting etc., however it does not come with a terrain mesh per se. For this most people purchase a third-party terrain mesh, and I understand there are freeware meshes available on the web and here at AVSIM.FS 2004 (also known as FS2K4 or FS9) was very low resolution and still not positionally geo-corrected to the actual positions of things in the real world; things are generally off to the southeast by I believe as much as a kilometer (I'm not sure of the exact amount and whether it varies in different parts of the world).FSX geo-corrected the flight simulator world into a reasonably close alignment with the real world, and although it is rather demanding on one's computer system and in its current form requires a number of manual tweaks to configuration files in order to get it to run reasonably well, it will definitely be the future of flight simulation for the next several years. A simple purchase of that FSX product will bring you a geo-corrected world somewhat less accurate than that provided by adding Ultimate Terrain to your installation, but generally quite usable by all but the most demanding consumer (like me!); that's not to mention improved included scalable terrain mesh, improved flight dynamics, gorgeous new textures, very well made and interesting aircraft, and a host of improvements too numerous to list here... but it's highly recommended; it will save you loads of money and time if you are a scenery purist like me to start your flight simming with FSX rather than in FS2004 (although there is a lot to like about FS2004 if you don't also agonize over scenery accuracy in all areas outside one's favorite locale as I do)!This is not to discourage you from undertaking scenery making; nearly anything you make for FS 2004 will still be usable in FSX if you use the more modern scenery creation techniques and resources as discussed in this forum.Sorry if I didn't answer your question directly, but I thought as an apparent newcomer to FS 2004 you might just wish to know about these other available things to lighten your load so that you can enjoy flying more than grappling with SDKs. My own approach to scenery making now revolves around seeing if it was fixed by Ultimate Terrain first, then fixing it/fine tuning to my personal satisfaction thereafter as needed!PS: And there reportedly will be improved Ultimate Terrin versions made for FSX as well!My apologies to others here who may have preferred a more topic specific reply!Happy flying!:-)GaryGB

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I'm not familiar with the CDED1 data, so I downloaded some to take a look. It seems to be sampled at 0.75 arc secs, or about 22.5m. That suggests compiling mesh in FS9 resample at LOD11 (19.2m). In order to actually see this level of detail in the sim, you need to set the following line in fs9.cfg:TERRAIN_MAX_VERTEX_LEVEL=21This setting is often referred to as "TMVL".You might find using "20" is good enough (there is a trade-off with resolution and smoothness).You also should play around with some of the terrain sliders which determine how far out from your aircraft the highest resolution mesh is actually used.Edit: I think also the original FS9 was broken and the higher TMVL values didn't work. Make sure you have installed the 9.1 upgrade from MS. scott s..

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Hi Again:If indeed the CDED1 data is 22.5 meter, that would certainly be an improvement over that of the default FSX Canada mesh. See these specifications for default FSX mesh:http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho...82397&mode=fullHowever, I don't know how difficult it would be to make a properly formatted and compressed FSX SDK compliant mesh BGL for the enjoyment of a creative project (which can certainly be a fulfilling experience where expense is not really applicable as a consideration).But unless there are more terrain nuances one would be imparting to the landscape compared to that provided by a professionally produced mesh, one might again be re-inventing the wheel since the FSG Canada mesh appears capable of a base 19.2 meter resolution "out of the box". And of course, default and 3rd party FSX SDK compliant mesh is further scalable with the FSX slider above and below that too!. See these specifications for FSG FSX mesh:http://www.fsgenesis.com/Merchant2/merchan...tegory_Code=FSXHope this helps in your project consideration! :-) GaryGB

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Another aspect of the mesh problem, is that the stream, river, lake, and ocean data in the default scenery isn't that good, and better mesh tends to make the errors more evident. That makes UT Canada a potential buy along with mesh.scott s..

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