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How to sync ADE w/ SBuilderX

Discussion in 'Airport Design Editor' started by Bob Keeshan, 2/1/08.

  1. Bob Keeshan

    Bob Keeshan

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    In redesigning a local municipal airport (KSGH), I'm using both ADE and SBuilderX. I'm using ADE to rework the taxiways/aprons and SBuilderX to work with exclusions, scenery, and objects. For both, I am using a Visual Earth image as the background for alignment and measurments. The problem that I am having is that when I place an apron based on the image in ADE, it is not in the same place compared to the image in SBuilderX. How do I set up ADE and SBuilderX so that when I align one element in one application, it is in the same spot in another?

    Thank you.
  2. scruffyduck

    scruffyduck Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    How are you setting up the image position in ADE Bob?
  3. Bob Keeshan

    Bob Keeshan

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    Aligning and sizing based on the runways. I will shrink/align the image so it fits precisely with the runway(s). This is based on the initial ADE threads where that method was prescribed.
  4. scruffyduck

    scruffyduck Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    OK and that is the best method for designing aiports where the relationship between elements is the most important thing. I can't remember exactly how SBX does it but I think it uses top left and bottom right coordinates. One option that might work would be to determine the top and bottom coordinates of the image in ADE using the mouse and readouts (these are pretty accurate at reasonable zoom levels) and then use those to set the image in SBX.

    Alternatively ADE allows you to set up an image using top and bottom corners if you know them accurately

    You may then find that the airport in FSX is off to some extent.

    I guess it comes down to which app to wnat to sync to the other
  5. Bob Keeshan

    Bob Keeshan

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    How do you personally work with airports where you have the airport element layout along with the scenery elements? Do you have the same "alignment issue" when you use two different programs, etc.? I guess I want to make sure I'm being efficient in how I'm developing the airport. I will try to use the alignment option you mentioned above; however, from your post it seems like this isn't an issue for you. I'm just curious how to best do it then.

    Thanks again.
  6. jvile

    jvile

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    Bob

    You may be entering unchartered territory's. Some of us have tested the image underlays but I personally have not done comparisons to other Utilities like SBX.

    I can say that I have used both Google Earth Plus and current Jeppesen charts which for the most part agree with larger airport runways and taxiways in FSX. Scenery on the other hand is a little different and a compromise may have to be used.

    What I have found is Building and Terminal scenery is not always positioned/scaled perfectly in FSX. I have moved some Buildings as per Google Earth plus and rescaled using the XML scaler factor attribute. However alot of the scenery buildings and Terminals are full models rather then building blocks as seen in FS9.

    I wanted to correct a Main Terminal size and position as per GEPlus at a major airport but because the Main Terminal is a full model there was no way to add the correct distance between 2 Terminal Buildings because they are locked together in the model.mdl (unlike FS9). I had to compromise how I scaled and the positon I set the reference point of the Main Terminal.

    If my thinking is correct you are trying to bring 2 different Utilities together that address 2 different issues. One is a visual scenery Utility for the airport (SBX) and one is a ground behavior utility for aircraft movement (ADE).

    You may never see 2 different Utilities align perfectly until one of the Utilities offers both areas you are working with (hint hint).

    George and James has a lot more experience in this area. Lets see what they have to offer as a solution.
    Last edited: 3/1/08
  7. Bob Keeshan

    Bob Keeshan

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    Jim,

    Thanks again for your help. With ADE I can usually get precise alignment with the runways using GE or VE imagery. Once it is aligned I begin making my changes to the taxiways, aprons, etc. I then use SBuilderX to take the same GE or VE imagery and begin my work with the scenery elements. I have found that when I do this, the element I placed in ADE using the image is not in the same place in SBuilderX. It is usually off by several meters in one direction or another. So, what I end up doing is adjusting the scenery element in SBuilderX, checking it in FSX, adjust again, check again, etc., until the element is aligned.

    BTW, as long as you're hinting, it would be great if said utility included the ability to see/modify/add generic buildings. That is the one thing that I think SBuilderX lacks from a scenery building perspective. It would be great if we could merge SBuilderX, ADE, and Whisplacer into one utility, and when you compile you get one or two .bgls, not 4 or 5. I know you .xml gurus know how to combine .bgls, but I'm not there yet.

    Speaking of .xml, when I try the "view xml" command in ADE, it doesn't seem to work (or at least, I don't see any .xml code). Is there something I'm missing here? I'd like to begin working with .xml to learn how to implement the combination techniques you guys talk about.
    Last edited: 3/1/08
  8. jvile

    jvile

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    kind of a teaser :D

    It is not turned on yet :mad: and is part of the Pro Version we are working with behind the scene.

    Now your thinking in the same direction as some. Lets just reiterate that ADE Home Edition is a novice Utility that has code locks installed so if I am working on my small home town GA airport I can't get into too much trouble. You wrap your arms around ADE Home and now say I want more power. Its on the way.
  9. Bob Keeshan

    Bob Keeshan

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    I'm sure I have a lot more to learn with ADE home ed. What would be nice as well would be to incorporate a lot of the discussions we have here about parking, placement, ILS changes, scenery, etc. into the documentation for ADE Home. For instance, under parking / gate / ramp placement, incude a general discussion about ATC parking theory/methodology, give practical examples, and provide step-by-step application instructions. Afterall, it's we novices that need the most direction.

    BTW, If you guys need someone to help with compiling / editing all the info into the "newbie docs," I'd be willing to lend a hand. I'll dust off my undergrad English degree and break out my R.W. Pence grammar text. And, I might just learn a lot more about airport design in the process... :)
  10. jvile

    jvile

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    We have a ADE web Site ready for all Tutorials and related post to place there.

    Will pass that on to Jon. He is traveling for the next few days.

    What I am looking for is someone that knows how to write a .htm Tutorial similar to the AFCAD2 readme. I need good pictures from ADE for the future tutorials I am writing on various "How To's" (approach code, crosswind runway's, curved approaches for AI, etc.).
  11. Luis_Sá

    Luis_Sá Resource contributor

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    Hi Bob,

    I have just seen your post ... Is the problem resolved? I do not think that you can get "usually off by several meters in one direction or another". As Jon pointed out the way to switch from one tool to another is to use "border coordinates" to place the backgrounds.

    Kind Regards,

    Luis
  12. Bob Keeshan

    Bob Keeshan

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    Hey Luis,

    Thanks again for your help. I haven't tried this technique yet, but will give it a try tomorrow evening and let you know how it goes.

    I will probably align the image first in ADE because of the runway precision I need. Then take the coordinates over to SBuilderX.
  13. Gypsy Baron

    Gypsy Baron

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    When I'm using both tools at the same time to do
    similar things I also have FSX fired up and use it as
    the "link" between the two.
    Using the ADE "move aircraft to here" or the similar
    operation in SBuilerX, I can then use the crosshair
    posititon in both utilities to get correct alignment\correlation.

    Paul
  14. scott967

    scott967

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    As indicated, the problem is knowing what to use as "ground truth". It's a little easier in the US, because there are often multiple sources of data which can be cross checked. When I want precision, I make a map from background image in SBX and load that into Global Mapper GIS software. That way I can mix and match various data sources. I like the old DAFIF which used to be updated but went off line a year or so ago. It was a good source of runway and ILS antenna positions. The hard part about dealing with ADE and sim, is that most sources give the positions of runway thresholds, while ADE and BGLComp use the runway centerpoint.

    At any rate, in many cases I can validate the geoposition of the SBX map and then use that in all design utilities that allow for maps. In some cases I have to do some reposition.

    Of course in areas like China, where there isn't any data online, I have to just trust the background image and go with it.

    scott s.
    .
  15. bob5568

    bob5568

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    I'm not adding much to this discussion, but it reminded me of some design work I've just been doing.

    I've used runways as the reference myself in the past, its logical. But it can be as much a variable as anything else.

    I just added extreme resolution photography (1m)over Kauai, just for fun (we spent a week there over the holidays). I used georeferenced photos, which were composited from USGS DOQQs. No way to be sure of the precision in the compositing process or the initial georeferencing of the doqq, but anyway I placed the images using the present georeferencing without regard to any runways.

    There are three airports of note on Kauai, Pt Roberts, Princeville, and Barking Sands.

    Pt Roberts and Princeville runways appeared extremely closely to the image, just a tiny amount of runway image shows beneath the FSX runway. BUT!!!!!! Barking Sands runway is about two runway widths inland from the image of Barking Sands on the photo. Since this is a Navy Base, the runway widths are substantial!

    Now, I tend to trust the image, as the mountains just east of Barking Sands on the image and the 10m dem data of Kauai line up nicely. So...I suspect the data for Barking Sands that MS used is in error.

    So..there you go...if your airport of choice was Barking Sands...I suspect you'd have no hope of finding the two tools lining up.

    Enjoy!

    Bob
  16. meshman

    meshman

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    withdrawn.
    Last edited: 29/6/09
  17. Bob Keeshan

    Bob Keeshan

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    Bob, so in your case you have a couple options, right? Move the entire runway or use what MSFS gives you and work around it.

    Given the ILS complexities, I would be inclined to use what I had and work around it.
  18. bob5568

    bob5568

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    If this was payware, I'd redo the airport. Simply because the airport default is a dissatisfier to anyone who is a paying customer.

    This is really not commercially viable work...(essentially due to megasceneries market position in Hawaii)..I'm just having fun.

    Bob
  19. Bob Keeshan

    Bob Keeshan

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    Luis,

    I tried making a "map" from background in SBuilderX to import into ADE, and visa versa. How do I export the Virtual Earth images in SBuilderX using border coordinates? [edit: I understand how create the file, but for some reason I can't find a good way to import it into either ADE or Whisplacer]

    Also, for ADE, how do you determine what the border coordinates are of the stock airport you're working on? What I did was go to the top left of the screen and record the coords, then went to the bottom right of the screen and recorded the coords. Then, I saved the image and brought it over to SBuilderX and Whisplacer. Is there an easier (better) way to get the border coords in ADE?

    One thing I did notice in doing this was when I took coords at the center of the ADE airport (where two runways cross) and plugged those coords into SBuilderX, the VE background images in SBuilderX were not aligned to the same spot. The same coords aligned to the right of the runway x-xing by several meters. This explains why I was having problems with alignment with my previous airport.
    Last edited: 9/1/08
  20. scruffyduck

    scruffyduck Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    I am not sure I understand the question. ADE references everything off the Airport Reference Point to draw the airport spacially. At any time the co-ordinates of the mouse position are displayed at the top left and bottom left of the screen. These are accurate to within a very small tolerance. If you add a background image and size it to match a major feature such as a runway then The image will be placed accurately as far as that feature is concerned and the relationship with different features in the background image should be quite accurate. Of course this is relative positioning and not absolute positioning so if the reference object is off in some way then the whole background image and it's features will also be off.

    The alternative method is to use absolute positioning using known corners of the image. for this to work you need to know the coordinates of the top left and bottom right of the image. There are some tools that will do that for you I think when downloading a google earth or similar image. If you add the background image that way then ADE will use the top left coordinates to pin the top left corner and calculate the width and height of the image from the bottom right coordinates. This is an accurate process since ADE using algorithms that take account of spherical geometry.

    Now if you use absolute positioning then you may find the airport features themselves are now displaced. If there are no approaches or navaids associated with the runways then you could move the facilities to match the image. If there are such things then you potentially have a bigger problem.

    You can determine the top lft and bottom right locations of a background image in ADE by using the read-outs. If you have used the same background image in ADE and SBuilderX then I think you could place it in SBX at the same place and dimensions. ADE and SBX use rather different methods to store and scale the display but I think that the co-ordinate systems used by both should match.

    ADE does have information about the bounding box of an airport (top left and bottom right) but that is determined by the positions of the outermost elements of the airport elements plus a small margin. It is used to create the exclusion for taxi signs when loading a stock airport and also to determine if other items like scenery objects that are stored outside the airport in the stock files are actually within the airport (no you can't see this either it is a future version function :))
    Last edited: 9/1/08

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