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Navaid Tools/A complete collection of all navaids and airports in FSX!

Discussion in 'Tools programming' started by gggdude, 7/3/08.

  1. gggdude

    gggdude

    Joined:
    22/12/07
    Messages:
    26
    I have written some software that works on top of a very popular bgl to xml conversion program. I used the bgl to xml conversion program from another developer to extract each bgl to an xml file (navaids, airports, vor's, ndb's, isecs, etc) Then I wrote some software that extracted each element (vor, ndb, etc) and saved it to its own xml file. You may ask yourself, why spend the time? Well try using the xml contained in those bgl files, tons of comments in the xml, no order to which navaids are in which file etc. With the method I chose each and every navaid is in its own file. So far I have extracted Vor's, Ndb's, and Waypoints (Isecs) and routes. For a total for 40,000 plus navaids. All that is left is extracting the airports. Having this information is important for developers who are building software such as flight planning, radar applications etc. I will be organizing this data for my own uses in a file that contains all navaids for a particular lat and long pair, so for example all navaids in the range lat 44.0 to 44.9999999999 and lon 55.0 to 55.9999999999 would be in a file called 044055.xml so that an easy lookup of a pertinent lat/long will only load that navaids in that area. I will also be putting this information in the form of a dataset as well for ADO.NET uses. If you are interested in this package stay posted because all I have left to do is finish extracting the airports. The bgl to xml tool I used puts some '&' characters in the XML which causes some xml parsers to fail, so about 51 bgl files containing airports fail parsing, so I have to fix those files.
    I wrote three pieces of software to accomplish this objective. The first was a program to control the bgl to xml conversion application to tell it which bgl file to load and where to save it, and to prevent it from executing to many of the bgl to xml processes at one time. The program also forced the bgl to xml program to execute in the background without popping up a shell window each time it ran i.e. it ran (a new instance) 1500 plus times to extract all the ap*.bgl files for airports, just to give an example. Then I wrote a program to load and parse each xml file generated by the bgl to xml program, to parse out the xml data and save each nav aid to its own file. Last I wrote a program that takes each navaid in its own file and puts together the ones that fall within each whole number lat/long pair. I will be making all the navaids available soon. I expect the final count to be well over 50,000 plus navaids. This will be an awesome package for developers who want a list of navaids in SIMPLE xml, and NOT kml (yes that really is kml, used by goggle earth)

    http://gsxlive.net/adminforum/index.php?topic=115.0
    The navaid collection will be available for download in the next week. And the tools I programmed if anyone is interested, I will make them available.
    I wrote the tools in managed code and have not obfuscated them, so please respect the intellectual property rights.

    Also coming in the next couple months a FSX server and client, that is NOT based on direct play.
  2. claviermichel

    claviermichel

    Joined:
    7/3/08
    Messages:
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    Country:
    indonesia
    Hi There,

    I would be very interested in getting a copy of your app(s) and already ask for your permission to use it to update datas as they become available.

    FYI, I have been working for some times on routines to update nav datas in FSX, I just miss the kind of app you are working on to integrate new navdatas in FSX.
    Regards
    Michael
  3. Paavo

    Paavo

    Joined:
    20/5/06
    Messages:
    140
    Country:
    estonia
    It's rather easy - write a program to decompile BGL files to XML using bgl2xml, make the necessary changes using xml parser and recompile using bglcomp.

    This solution also avoids conflicts, because several addons can make their changes without reverting changes applied before.

    We could join our forces and write an community command-line tool for updating navigation databases, that scenery addons etc. could use. I know that it's possible, I have an addon that upgrades airspace borders and navaids on Estonian airspace. It's a bit buggy at the moment, so I'd prefer not to share it.
  4. gggdude

    gggdude

    Joined:
    22/12/07
    Messages:
    26
    Response ;)

    Well the app's I built are only to extract and sort the nav aids in FSX, not to add new ones. Believe it or not it is actually much easier to add nav aids, etc to FSX than to get information about the ones already in the sim. If you want to add new nav aids the FSX SDK contains some utilites for doing that. As far as the apps I developed I will release them in a week or two. They work fine but should be fine tuned to catch errors and have a nicer UI, for my purposes they work fine but should be a little more 'robust' for public release. Thanks for your interest.
  5. gggdude

    gggdude

    Joined:
    22/12/07
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    Response to Paavo

    I agree it would be nice to have some apps to accomplish the objectives we are talking about. I do not care for command line tools these days, especially when a nice front end can easily be built using Windows Forms or WPF with .NET I would suggest that we build these apps with a functional GUI. Perhaps I should just release the code used for these apps, and let the community further develop them, just an idea.
  6. skokk

    skokk

    Joined:
    12/6/08
    Messages:
    1
    I'm looking forward to getting your code!
    I'm trying to build an application like Cargo/Airline Pilot from Just Flight. I'm doing it just for fun so when ready I'll release it to the public as open source code for others to play with (..just as I'm doing now!.. :))
    I'm developing it in c# .NET.
    The point where I'm stuck now is how to collect all the available airports from their corresponding .bgl files.
    I don't want to use a different application to do that outside of my program. I want my app to scan for the airports (and available aircraft) eachtime the user starts it up.
    I'm new to the FSX SDK so please excuse my lack of knowledge.

    I'd be greatful if I could have your source code to learn from.
    As I already wrote I'm interested specifically on the part of parsing the .bgl files to retrieve the airports' info.

    Thanks in advance
  7. scruffyduck

    scruffyduck Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    I think you emailed me and I will reply shortly to your email
  8. Vector

    Vector

    Joined:
    30/11/06
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    Country:
    us-pennsylvania


    I was wondering if you plan to share the extraction program(s) and/or the xml files extracted with the community?





    I quess not!!
    Last edited: 18/2/09
  9. gggdude

    gggdude

    Joined:
    22/12/07
    Messages:
    26
    Hi

    Been away for a while, life intervened, birth of a second son, moved etc.

    I will make available the navaid apps I built to those who want them. I had to start over from scratch, a loss of a code respository prompted that.

    Basically have been building a database of all fsx and xplane navaids etc. and another project in the works.

    If interested contact me.

    Truly sorry, for the delay and absence.

    G

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