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Holger

French Polynesia Data

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Does anyone know where I can find some good digital terrain data for the islands of French Polynesia, especially Bora Bora and that area? The only one I could find was on the GIS Data Depot site, but it is in a format that I've never even heard of (DTED?) and besides the detail is much too little (about one pont per square kilometer). The terrain of these islands is really amazing, and I would like to make a mesh scenery for them.Thanks!-Scott

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Had the same idea as you and searched the ineternet for weeks, but didn't come up with a useful data source. I think the only way is to get physical topo maps, scan them and do the mesh "by hand".But it already exists a usefull LOD 9 mesh for the Society Islands (including Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora and Maupiti) from Rof Keibel. It is inluded in a CFS2 French Polynesia scenery and is available as freeware from different download sites. I've repackaged the mesh for FS2002/4 for my VA and will upload it to avsim also (with kind permission of the author) the next days.

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I just found the CFS2 mesh, and it's better than the oversized molehill that is the default mountain, but it still doesn't live up to the real thing. I'd like to find a good topo map of the island and try out your idea of manually editing the mesh, although it sounds like a lot of work. I found an old FS2000 payware scenery of Polynesia with a pretty detailed Bora Bora and the terrain looks great (http://www.flightworld.org/Polynesia/Project.htm) but I'm not sure if it's around anymore. Do you know anything about that? It's not on simmarket.com, anyways. I'd really like to make a good scenery for this gorgeous island; maybe I'll edit the area with Ground 2K4, that would defenitely enhance it a lot. I've also found quite a few pictures of the airport, maybe I'll make a scenery for that too if I find the time, but I'm currently involved in a couple other big projects for FS.-Scott

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Hi Scott and Holger:the last section of the SRTM 3-arcsec data, Oceania, should be available very soon, so I would wait with any major mesh design project.However, if you're intent on using topographic maps (and their contour lines) as base data I'd suggest a look at John Childs' Blackart, as it was specifically developed for this task: http://www.terrainmap.com/rm33.html#BLACKARTCheers, Holger

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Scott,yes, the current CFS2 mesh is not perfect, but much better than the default MS mesh. I've uploaded the file yesterday and it is available for download since today. NTAA for FS2004 is available since months from Bill Melichar and in my opinion it's a very good airport scenery. He will redo his FS2002 sceneries (NTTB,NTTP,NTTH,...) the next months, he promised me :)Holger,nice to meet a namesake here! Thanks for pointing me to Blackart, but I already know the site. Problem is that I didn't have topographic maps of French Polynesia. All I have are "normal" maps, usefull for making landclasses, coastlines, roads, etc. But that is not really worth the work, because the default MS coastlines for example are good enough and there are not so many cities on the islands...What do you mean with "very soon" regarding the SRTM oceania data? And I'm not sure if 3-arcsec resolution is good enough for such small islands (Bora Bora), 1-arcsec would be better.ByeHolger (S.)

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Hi Holger:he, he, using "(S.)" doesn't work as my last name starts with S too - hey, are you me in a parallel universe???I don't know when the Oceania data will be out but it's the last batch that's missing and they tend to show up in 2-3 month steps. Eurasia was made available in November, if I recall correctly...3-arcsec is better than you might think - ~90-m resolution compared to the ~900-m resolution of the default DTED0/GTOPO30 data. Does the CFS2 mesh's author state the source data?Cheers, Holger

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He He,no, I'm very physically sitting here in Europe (Germany), only 7 hours flight away from you.We'll see what Oceania SRTM data will bring to us. Hope that they didn't have too much problems with water reflections. There is a lot of water in that region :) Indeed 90m resolution is better than the default MS stuff, but islands like Bora Bora and Maupiti are very small islands ...Rolf Keibel didn't mention what his source for the mesh was, but I guess it is handmade from topo maps. The scenery is so old, at that time there was no free DEM data available.Holger (Sch.)

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Weren't the space shuttle SRTM missions supposed to get higher resolution (like 38.2m) terrain elevation data for the entire globe? Maybe I'm wrong (I don't ask questions, I just download it:)) But if that's the case, maybe the data will become available after the shuttles become operational again, and continue getting data. Or maybe that's just wishful thinking. But in any case, I haven't found a map of Bora Bora with elevation contours on it yet. (heck, I havn't found one with coordinates on it yet!). There was a scenery of the Leeward Islands (including tahiti, bora bora, etc) that was made a while ago for FS2002, where the author used actual 3D models for the islands, and they are very detailed and good looking. The problem is, there aren't any trees and by now it looks pretty outdated. This is probably a dead end, but is there any way to turn the 3D models of the islands into mesh, or maybe just a series of flattens to make it look like mesh? I'm no mesh expert, but I have made several pretty good-looking mesh sceneries that are part of some projects that I hope to release sometime relatively soon.-Scott

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Hi Scott:the SRTM data were collected at a resolution high enough to provide 1-arcsec (30-m) coverage between S60 and N60 and the data set is complete (as far as I know). However, the powers that be have decided to downsample those data to 3-arcsec. Whether the general public will ever see the 1-arcsec data or at least the corrected 3-arcsec data is anyone's guess.As for Bora Bora, you might have seen thses but there's a neat satellite image here: http://www.spaceimaging.com/gallery/top1001/borabora.htmand some coarse maps and pretty pictures here: http://pro.corbis.com/search/searchFrame.asp (search for "Bora Bora").Don't know of any useful free topographic maps but will post here if/when I find one. Cheers, Holger

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Thanks for clarifying the issue of SRTM data. I wonder if there's anyone I could talk to at NASA or something that could give (or sell) me some good 30m data for French Polynesia. But at this point, helping out flight simulator junkies probably isn't very high on NASA's priority list. Exploring Mars and getting the space shuttle running again is a little more important. Go figure. But I guess it doesn't hurt to try, so I'll ask them. I've created new shorelines for Bora Bora using that great satellite picture, and I plan to make some really good looking waterclass. If I can figure out how maybe I can also use it to make some photorealistic terrain, but unfortunately there's a big ol' cloud right over the middle of the main island. The airport's island is free of clouds though, as are most of the other outlying islands. I know about Bill Melichar's scenery, and there are also several other sceneries of Bora Bora for previous versions of FS. Unfortunately, none of them recreate the terminal realistically whatsoever (although they do look very nice). This is surprising, considering I found over 100 pictures of the airport just by searching the internet. It's also a ver cool airport; built by the Seabees during WWII, and when you walk in the terminal and go out the other side, it turns into a harbor with boats operated by Air Tahiti to take you to the main island. Today I made part of the terminal with EOD, and I plan to finish it, although I'm not making any guarantees because I have been pretty busy lately. I have more to write but it's late now so I'm going to hit the hay. Happy flying, Scott Armstrong

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Hi Scott:sounds like you're dedicated - that's great!One potential other source for free elevtion data are ASTER DEMs. I posted about them a while back in this forum and you can also check John Childs' website for more information. The neat thing about ASTER is that anyone can custom-order DEM products for free. On the other hand you'd have to find a cloud-free image of your area of interest, which can be a challenge.http://www.terrainmap.com/http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho...ing_type=searchFor photoreal textures I've had pretty good results with 15-m Landsat 7 imagery (band 8). It's quite the process if you want to include the color imformation of the 30-m bands (1,2,3) but nice to see the results. Again, I don't know if there's free data available for these islands but your best would be to check here: http://glcf.umiacs.umd.edu/index.shtmlCheers, Holger

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Wow, thanks for all of the great info and links! ASTER is something that I've never heard of before, and it seems very intriguing. But there doesn't seem to be any DEM data for French Polynesia that is already available, and a year and a half seems like a long time to wait. I can't find any terrain maps for the area online, so I was thinking of just going to a plain old library and browsing through various atlases to see what I can come up with, but if nothing becomes of that, I'll go for the ASTER as a last resort. As for the photorealistic terrain, my idea was to use the excellent satellite image of bora bora from spaceimaging.com (which I think is about 4 or 5 meters per pixel, perfect for FS) and use an image editing program to cut and paste some of the default terrain textures over the areas where the clouds are. Most of the image is cloud-free, it's just the central area of the main island where the big mountain causes the air to rise and cool. Thanks to both Holgers for helping me with this problem! :)Scott

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