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Guest ChrisD

Bit quiet around here, so...

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Just thought I'd mention the scenery I've uploaded to the 'other' site this week (in an attempt to spread the bandwidth load a bit -- should I upload it here as well?) -- look for tekapo.zipThis started out as a Terrabuilder project, covering a 30x40km area, but with the addition of a photo-real aerodrome this is starting to look like the direction designers should be taking.Microsoft have sort of defined the 'standard' with FS2004 of specific photo-real areas, and I suspect that people will be looking for more like that. The only problem is the file size -- I've been distributing this type of thing on CD, as the full Tekapo file is 180MB -- cut down to a single season for the web it is still 25MB compressed. Someone really needs to give some thought to how to distribute these larger files :)Anyway, one of the things I always overlook is the contribution of Misho -- without Terrabuilder this would be possible, but nowhere near as much fun!

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Thanks for your kind words!Yes - the file sizes are making things increasingly prohibitive. Obviously, "Doing the entire country" projects some people were enthusiastic about are on hold indefinitely. At a present state, I see a photorealistic approach as a scenery add-on localised to a particular area of interest: a national park, city, airport or a geographical feature worth admiring from the air...(For instance, in would be extremely cool to do "Nazca Valley" scenery)The only thing that needs to be automated now is the edges of hte photoreal scenery - they need to be blended into the underlying default scenery so that the obvious, straight-line transition visibility is reduced to minimum.

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Perhaps on your new and improved web-site you could begin to create a simple list of sources for overhead scenery photos that might be suitable for Terrabuilder. I doubt that unless I commissiona private set of photos my area will be available in a manner suitable for Terrabuilder.Those interested in photoreal of "reasonable" areas could contribute their discoveries and thus a nice library of sources could be created.Dick KLBE

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Dick, that's a lot easier said than done...I've been constantly scouring the net for resources, and there is simply nothing coming up. The best that there is out there is already known.Most of the continental US is covered by Orthophotos, courtesy of US government. Aside from a few other places (New Zealand, for example), most governments don't have resources (or a reason) to map their whole country with pictures from the air and then offer them for free. I am inclined to resort to painting the pseudo-photorealistic terrain, derived from real pictures from elswhere. I tried it several times and the results were encouraging.

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Perhaps a list of "known" resources just to be sure that someone has not missed one. Would also be an aid to any person who purchases your product so they can get started with something.Dick KLBE

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Hello Misho,On the contrary, I suspect that most countries have already taken high-resolution aerial images of large parts of their inhabited areas.This is due to a concerted effort by Development Banks, Agencies, and U.N. to eliminate the so-called "digital divide" and have the underdeveloped countries access recent technology. Or, so they claim. I suspect that the real (and very cynical) reason is to get new markets for high-tech products and services for companies in the U.S. and the other rich countries.Anyway, as an example, I spent over a year wondering where, or if, I could get photos of Santo Domingo. Finally, on talking with a friend who is an architect, he pulled out a cd containing a dozen images covering about a fourth of the city. Then, a few months later, my uncle, who is director of urban planning in the government, told me he had 2 different sets covering the entire city! But, he never got me a copy - too busy, I guess. And then, my cousin, who is also an architect, came through with a 4 cd set of 40 centimeter per pixel images of the city and surrounding suburbs. Great girl!So, as you see, the trick is to ask around and know the right people. The pictures are out there and the reason that the underdeveloped countries do not put them on the internet are varied: not enough technical personnel who can rectify and assemble large quantities of aerial images, not enough technical personnel who can create and maintain large-scale web sites, insufficient budgets for this type of project (after all, in the poor countries, things like food, health care, education, housing, etc. are somewhat more important than aerial images), and, most importantly, no demand among the polulace for this type of image.In the end, if you want the pictures, really want them, then you will find them.Here is the airport (Herrera) in the city highly reduced - the original was over 5000 pixels wide!http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/33139.jpgBest regards.Luis

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This looks really nice.Do You plan to map the entire area into FS? and if You do (I hope so :-) ) is there any way You could be persuaded to share the result?I will, of course, send You the funds needed to pay for the CD'(s) and the postage needed to send them to Denmark.If I get TerraBuilder to work, I may even be able to trade some scenery from Denmark, if You are interested.Reply here or direct e-mail.Happy FlyingChrisD

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Hello Chris,There are hundreds of images that must be ortho-rectified, geo-referenced, color corrected, and assembled into one single image.The task is beyond my capacities and I am not willing to spend the time on it. Even if I did, that would only give me day textures (the advantage of the tropics is that there are no seasonal variants to make), and I would still have to do night textures for such a large area.And then, there is still the autogen annontation. I am not ashamed to say that this is the part that I dislike the most - pure drudgery.So, very sorry, there are no plans at all to finish that project, nor even to start it.However, if you are interested, here is the corrected land class (and water class) for the Santo Domingo area, based on the images and my knowledge of the area.Also attached are some replacement autogen trees and buildings that will give a typical Caribbean feel to your flights in the area.Best regards.Luis

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Thanks Luis.I will check them out during the week-end.ChrisD

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