OpenStreetMap rocks!

I had came across the OpenStreetMap project before, but only when I revisited it earlier this week the reail power of it struck me. Let me start with a little explanation about what OpenStreetMap is. It is a free Wiki world map as their slogan says. I has been created by people collecting GPS tracks and combining that with other copyright free GIS data to get a really free world map. On their website you can browse to all the data in a similar way as Google Maps. But that is not all, the real powerful thing is that you … Continue reading OpenStreetMap rocks!

Geoids, projections, datum, what?

At work I came across this nice article that explains some basics of GIS data projections, datums, geoids, etc. Although the target audiance of it is more the oil industry, I think it would also be good reading for people making FsX terrain scenery and wanting to know a little more about what could be involved when using GIS data. Because knowing that the data is in the right projection, etc is very important for the best result.

Preserve those geo tags

A while ago I wrote about using FwTools to create or manipulate GeoTIFF images for use with the resample tool. One common problem I did not mention right then is that the tags containing this geo information are not understood by every tool. If you for example open the image in a painting program, like PhotoShop or Paint Shop Pro, to make some changes to it, the image will be saved back to disk as a normal TIFF file. I have now extended the tutorial on the Wiki with a small section about how to save this geo information and … Continue reading Preserve those geo tags

Working with FwTools

I have added a new article to the Wiki that explains how you can use [FwTools] to create GeoTIFF files, which you can use for your photo scenery. There might be other tools to do such tricks, but I am familiar with FwTools as I use it at work. And besides that it is a open source project, which means it is free to use. So therefore I decided to make a little article about it. The article describes how you can add positional information to an image and how you can reproject it to WGS84 if needed. Hopefully the … Continue reading Working with FwTools

Having fun with projections

Using GIS data to create your scenery has become a lot more common in FsX. Vector data can for example converted from shapefiles and for new version of resample can process GeoTIFF images as well. If you have access to this kind of GIS data or can create it yourself, this makes creating the scenery a lot easier (and more fun as well). But there are also aspects of working with GIS data that are hard to get for people not used to this. One of these is the use of projections. All FsX scenery design tools expect the data … Continue reading Having fun with projections

New FwTools version solves some of my trouble

In the past I have already written about the markings I was working on for the Schiphol scenery and at the moment I am finalizing them. The tool I made to convert the lines of these markings into polygons uses [OGR] as I wrote about in that earlier post as well. This week I updated to the latest version of [FwTools] and to my pleasant surprise it has become a lot more stable. In that past my tool sometimes choked on the amount of line segments I was feeding it, but now they are processed fine (although it still takes … Continue reading New FwTools version solves some of my trouble

Am I a data junkie?

At work my collegue and I, we are the ones working on the visual databases for the simulators, are quite well known for our excessive harddisk usage on our development systems. When we are using satelite images in these visual database, it is not that weird to have a few GB of images that we need to process. For example to cover the Balkan area or the entire country of the Netherlands. And then I am not even talking about high resolution images (that would increase the amount of diskspace used even more). During the processing of these images into … Continue reading Am I a data junkie?


I would like to point your attention to cool OpenSource project this time, OSSIM. At work we make use of this tool to mosaic different aerial images for example. But it can do a lot other image manipulating related tasks as well, like color matches between different images or reprojecting images to a different projection. So have a look at this awesome tool. While reading the manual of OSSIM, I noticed that it should also be able to do image tiling. This could be a useful feature when trying to make the tiles for a high resolution ground layout. But … Continue reading Awesome


It has been a little quite here lately, but that does not mean I am not doing anything. So time for a little update. Apart from the fact that I have been away for a few days for work (attended a workshop in Engeland), I have also been working on the apron markings for the Schiphol scenery. Let me start with a little introduction on what we want to achieve in that scenery. We want realistic markings, so that means we need more than only a yellow center line. We also need the red clearance lines for example or the … Continue reading Markings


About a week ago I wrote about OGR, but actually that library is part of a bigger one. That is the Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL). And this library offers some very nice features as well. Let me give an example. It comes with a few tools for example and at work I used one of these to convert a scanned airport chart into a GeoTIFF image. I just told the program the latitude and longitude of a few pixel locations (threshold, airport reference point, etc). With this information the tools were able to convert my image into WGS84 projection … Continue reading GDAL