Autogen from OSM (3)

Since my last blog post about the autogen I have mainly been working on adding autogen buildings as well. This went quite well, I can now add the generic autogen buidlings as well as the row houses from my tool. There are still some issue that some of the buildings don’t get the right shape, that’s because in the autogen you don’t use the total footprint. I need to derive a orientation and size from the footprint information. But once those few issues are out, I think I can make the tool available to others for testing as well. Let me know if you … Continue reading Autogen from OSM (3)

Autogen from OSM (2)

Tonight I was able to fix the remaining bugs in my tool to generate the autogen forests from the OpenStreetMap data. One of them was that I didn’t know that in the AGN file all polygons need to be closed (first vertex the same as the last vertex). Below are some screenshots of how it looks in the Annotator tool and in FSX now. The photo scenery I use is the NL2000 scenery of the Netherlands. Now that the forests are working, I am going to move to the houses. Let’s see what I can do with the house footprints … Continue reading Autogen from OSM (2)

Autogen from OSM

As I mentioned in my previous blog posts I am trying to create autogen from GIS vector data. For my first test case I am using the OpenStreetMap data of the Dutch island of Schiermonnikoog. Below you see a screenshot from the data, as well as a screenshot in the Annotator tool showing the autogen I have made. It isn’t perfect yet, but I am quite happy already with the first results from tonight. Some of the forests are still missing, so there are still a few bugs left in my tool. But on the other hand quite a big part … Continue reading Autogen from OSM

FSX AGN files

On the FSDeveloper Wiki we have a page describing the FSX autogen (AGN) file format. Today I have been experimenting with AGN files a bit, so I have added more information to this page. Polygonal buidlings, library objects and row houses are not also described. For the other sections I have added some extra explanation as well. Why did I do this? I wanted to see if I can create AGN files based on shapefile footprints of buidlings. So understanding the AGN format was the first step in that process. I have now made a small tool that can decompile … Continue reading FSX AGN files

Coordinate confusion – part 2

After all the theory I blogged about yesterday, I thought it might be a good idea to illustrate the difference today. So let’s take a quite common example. I have taken the threshold coordinates of runway 06-24 from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. And I have chosen the reference point to be near the middle of the runway. What are my XY coordinates of the threshold when I am modelling the runway in my 3D editor? The two screenshots above show the XY coordinates for the threshold of 06 (top picture) and 24 (bottom picture). In the screenshots you can see both … Continue reading Coordinate confusion – part 2

Coordinate confusion

OK, I got a question for you. What kind of coordinates does your 3D modelling tool use? I mean a tool like GMax, FSDS, SketchUp or 3DS Max. Ah, that is an easy question you must think now, all of these programs use a 3D axis system where you model your object in meters (or maybe feet or inches for the developers in the US). So that question does not seem so difficult, does it? But how do these meters related to the position of the object on earth? The earth is a sphere (or more accurate an ellipsoid) and the … Continue reading Coordinate confusion

An interesting idea…

An idea on the ModelConverterX wishlist for quite some time already is to add an easy conversion wizard. This will be a wizard where you just select your object (for example a SketchUp made COLLADA file), tell which scenery folder to use and enter which location the object should get. After that the wizard will make the BGL file and the textures for you. Such a feature would be helpful for people who just want to place a few objects and don’t want to bother with multiple tools to generate the final BGL. So with that in mind I started … Continue reading An interesting idea…

gPoly status update #6

Today I have been making some progress on gPoly again, so time for another status update. The first part I worked on is the user interface, especially the texture library that contains the texture you can use on your polygons. And also other improvements like the interface used to define new projects. But most of the time I spend on functionality to import shapefiles. Initially I had not planned this for the first version, but since I had some accurate vector data and imagery of the same airport, this would allow me to verify that the imagery is positioned correctly. … Continue reading gPoly status update #6

A sunday morning experiment

By default landclass is defined as grid data within FSX, so that means that for each area of roughly 1.2 x 1.2 kilometre you can define what kind of land usage it has. For some time already I wanted to test what effect landclass polygons would have on the looks of the terrain, so this morning I gave it a try. I had some land usage data for the Netherlands available, which gives the type of land usage as vector polygons. So I wrote a quite translation tool to map those values on FSX landclass GUIDs. Below is a screenshot … Continue reading A sunday morning experiment


Until now I was mainly using fGIS when I wanted to view or edit shapefiles, but since a year or two the updates to fGIS are no longer publicly available due to some license issue. Last week I bought an interesting book about opensource GIS and it brought the QGIS application to my attention again. I had tried an earlier build of this application some time ago, but then I found it more difficult to use than fGIS. Now I tried a more recent build and I am impressed, it is a really powerfull application and quite easy to use. … Continue reading QGIS