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Guest dogrokket

Where to start

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I'm fascinated by the use of terrain mesh in FS, but I have no background. Can some of you suggest some sources of information to go to? I'm particularly interested in the mesh of my home area, Roanoke, VA, in the Southwestern Virginina Blue Ridge area. It's a beautiful area, and I've already designed the neon star on top of Mill Mountain east of the airport and I'd like to start improving on the local terrain. Any help would be appreciated!

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Hello dogrokket,There are three basic processes involved in developing mesh: 1) acquiring elevation data 2) preparing the data for conversion to mesh3) converting the data to mesh1) Good data is readily available for your area. The USGS seamless (NED) data site has 30m data (and perhaps 10m data) for the Roanoke region. See the latest NED_Release_Notes_Dec04.pdf (ftp://edcftp.cr.usgs.gov/pub/data/ned/documents/) for details on the preparation of their "1/3 arcsec" (10m) data. I suggest downloading the data in "BIL" format, because the files are smaller, and Microdem seems to handle this format well now.2) I use Microdem to prepare the source data for conversion. It can deal with elevation data in many formats, convert it to the WGS84 datum MS requires, and save the data in the required "BSQ" format.3) All mesh bgl files are created using one of the resample.exe utilities included in the FS Terrain SDK kits. There are many alternatives and variations on how to accomplish the first two stages, but the SDK tools are the only way to create the mesh, so you should probably start by downloading and installing one, and reading the documentation. I have links to these resources and more on my website:http://www.fs-traveler.com/resources-d.shtmlStevePS: The USGS site is not available at the moment. If you can't wait to get started, you can practice with the (inferior) SRTM data for the same location. Those files are named for the Southwest corner of the area they cover. Because of Roanoke's location, you will probably need to use 4 adjacent files for good coverage. These can be merged in Microdem.

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Thanks Steve,I appreciate your response! I'll start the learning process and let you know how I'm doing...I visited your website; lots of interesting info, some a bit above me. The USGS site was up when I checked it. Thanks!

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Hi Holger,I'm still having problems this morning. I don't need the site right now, but it is interesting. I have been using the new interface, and that was not working yesterday, nor is it today.Your link takes me to the older interface, which looks normal except that the announcements are dated for last summer. Yesterday, the announcements referred to maintenance scheduled for the 18th of this month. I suspect something may have gone awry ...Proceeding to "View and Order..." returns a very limited map display with few options. I don't know if one can currently order by defining cordinates, but the graphical interface seems useless at the moment.Thanks for the additional link. Both the USGS site and Microdem have a bit of a learning curve. Creating the inf file for resample does as well, but I'm addressing that part of the process. I've been cleaning up the utility I have been using to create mesh from Microdem DEM files, and need to create some documentation for it. [table][tr][td width=80%" valgn="top" style="font-size:1.2em; color:#000000]Once finished, I would like to have some beta-testing done before releasing it to the public. Any volunteers?[/td][td width=5%][/td][td] :-wave[/td][/tr][/table]Steve

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You're welcome. There is a bit to learn, but the high quality of the data for your area makes things easier. Do keep us posted on your progress. Steve

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Well, I managed to get 'er done... I got the data from the USGS site, loaded it into Microdem and per the SDK, I wrote the INF file. I also found Dean Scott's thread helpful (listed above). One thing he did mention, came true. Roanoke is about 800 to 1200 MSL. There is a resevoir just NW of the airport, which does not even show up in FS9. In my new scenery, which looks much more realistic, this resevoir looks like an empty rock quary. Do you guys have any suggestions as to how to deal with water holes using DEM data? I thought this was kind of amusing, because it's the right shape and in the right location, but it's not realistic. Also, in the INF file, I originally had the LOD=Auto. This worked fine, but when I tried to redo it with LOD=10, the sampler just kicked it out. I guess I don't have the full picture on how to do that.Thanks for your help!

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