• Which the release of FS2020 we see an explosition of activity on the forun and of course we are very happy to see this. But having all questions about FS2020 in one forum becomes a bit messy. So therefore we would like to ask you all to use the following guidelines when posting your questions:

    • Tag FS2020 specific questions with the MSFS2020 tag.
    • Questions about making 3D assets can be posted in the 3D asset design forum. Either post them in the subforum of the modelling tool you use or in the general forum if they are general.
    • Questions about aircraft design can be posted in the Aircraft design forum
    • Questions about airport design can be posted in the FS2020 airport design forum. Once airport development tools have been updated for FS2020 you can post tool speciifc questions in the subforums of those tools as well of course.
    • Questions about terrain design can be posted in the FS2020 terrain design forum.
    • Questions about SimConnect can be posted in the SimConnect forum.

    Any other question that is not specific to an aspect of development or tool can be posted in the General chat forum.

    By following these guidelines we make sure that the forums remain easy to read for everybody and also that the right people can find your post to answer it.

Free tool for creating Shapefiles?

scruffyduck

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
Messages
34,394
Country
unitedkingdom
I was digging around and came across this site. I have not tried the software yet but it seems to be able to import and export shape files so I wondered if it might work along with Shp2Vec???

http://www.nrdb.co.uk/
 

HolgerSandmann

Resource contributor
Messages
391
Country
ca-britishcolumbia
Hi Jon,

looks interesting.

There's also the free FGIS at http://www.forestpal.com/fgis.html

I suppose the two main requirements for FS developers would be:

* either a direct link to FS or the ability to use georeferenced background images

* ability to export Z (elevation) data with shape files


Haven't checked either tool whether they have these options.

Cheers, Holger
 
Messages
29
Country
brazil
I'd recommend taking a look at MapWindow GIS ( http://www.mapwindow.org/ ) and Quantum GIS ( http://www.qgis.org/ ). Both are open source.
MapWindow specially has a community with lots of plugins - a notable example is Shape2Earth by Tim Beerman ( http://interactiveearth.blogspot.com/ ).
By looking what people are doing with the plugin system, I am pretty sure that it woundn't be that hard to make MapWindow into a powerful editor for terrain vector data (and maybe raster too, who knows?).
A strange thing is that neither MapWindow nor QGis can open the example shapefiles included in the SDK. But they should be able to create shapefiles that shp2vec understands.
I have used MapWindow to clean up a BIG shapefile of the whole area of the municipality I live in. It contained all kind of features, like streets, avenues, streams, parks, coastlines etc in a single shapefile - a mess. By using search queries in the attribute table mode I was able to isolate each kind of feature and export to another file. Worked very well, but this was in the previous version and I haven't tried the latest one yet.
 

arno

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
Messages
31,155
Country
netherlands
Hi Jon,

At work I use fGis usually to view SHP files and make simple edits to them. But I must say that the tools suggested by Rafael also look interesting, so I am going to check these out as well :).
 

rhumbaflappy

Administrator
Staff member
Resource contributor
Messages
5,055
Country
us-wisconsin
Hi all.

The big stumbling block is the inability to create shapefiles with the "z" element.

Dick
 
Messages
288
Country
us-washington
A strange thing is that neither MapWindow nor QGis can open the example shapefiles included in the SDK. But they should be able to create shapefiles that shp2vec understands.

That is interesting. For what it's worth, we are able to open our shapefiles using ESRI's ArcGIS software. ESRI is the creator of the Shapefile format.

-Doug
 

Luis_Sá

Resource contributor
Messages
326
Country
portugal
Hi all.

The big stumbling block is the inability to create shapefiles with the "z" element.

Dick

Hi,

This weekend I hope to have SBuilder to export and import shape files. I have code already tested for writing and reading shape files. If things go well I will finally :) generate the first BGL with SBuilder through shp2vec. Then I will decide the internal structure of line and polygons. At the moment I have 3 parameters for each point: X (longitude) Y (latitude) and Z (altitude) both in the case of lines and polygons. My doubt is if I need to include a 4th parameter - the M (measured) value according to the shape file specification. The reason is that I could use, for example, the internal SBuilder line structure for other functions in addition to the "terrain" functions. Then the M parameter could be used to encode the WIDTH of a textured line or it could be a "pointer" to a list of objects if I decide to create a "line of objects".

I had a big list of sugestions for improvment and I am trying to consider most of them. When I get SBuilder making BGLs I will make it available. Thank you for reading this.

Luis
 

rhumbaflappy

Administrator
Staff member
Resource contributor
Messages
5,055
Country
us-wisconsin
Hi Luis.

Many experimenters have been using SBuilder to generate BLN exports... so your new shapefile addition will be warmly received! ( And a good solution to having a "z" element. )

Dick
 
Messages
1,267
Country
us-hawaii
I wrote in another thread (sorry) but this seems more to the point. I have looked everywhere and I can't find anything other than arcGIS that will export a polygonZ shapefile. I use Global Mapper 7. I can create 2d shapefiles. I can add an elevation attribute which will make it 3d (same elevation for all points) which would be a partial solution to the 3d problem, and I can export 3d shapefiles for points and lines, but not polygons :mad: . So I have been exporting as KML and trying to use the kml to shp tool, but so far no luck with that.

scott s.
.
 

Luis_Sá

Resource contributor
Messages
326
Country
portugal
Hi,

I would be grateful if anyone with experience in using shp2vec and with a exposure to the (old) SBuilder interface could confirm what follows. Take this as an effort of me to make a plan before starting to write code.

Sbuilder interface is similar to what it was. We can make lines and polys by hand or we can import GIS data (SHP is a new supported format). We can place the right mouse over a line and get to properties page of that line. Then we can set the properties of the line to be, for example, "stream A", "road A", "road B" or else. Basically when the user picks one of these types, a GUID is chosen. For example, what I referred to as road B could be 698E20FC-1C69-4876-AF34-A6E9F531CCA5. I have not yet polish the interface but I will probably show the name "Asphalt 2 Lanes Divided Median" and, on the side, a texture (hiway_2_lane_asphalt_su.bmp on the case). Sbuilder will not read the Terrain.CFG but, as before, it will read a simple TXT file similar to LINES.TXT with the same information. Now I will describe the internal structure of a Line as you can see it when you export a project to a SBX file. An example is:

[Line.2]
Name=3_Points_Line
Selected=True
Type=RDX
Color=-16776961
Guid=698E20FC-1C69-4876-AF34-A6E9F531CCA5//0//0//
NoOfPoints=3
Lat1= 40.3364562988281
Lon1=-9.90804327748329
Alt1= 35
Lat2= 40.3501892089843
Lon2=-9.59961751750456
Alt2= 35
Lat3= 40.2540588378906
Lon3=-9.35215964031233
Alt3= 35

Let me comment.

[Line.2] means that it is the second line in the project. The UIID to pass on SHP2VEC will be 2.

Name=3_Points_Line. This is a label. When importing a SHAPE file SBuilder will show a small dialog which will allow to define that name is read from one of the existing fields in the shape database file. Otherwise SBuilder will create a name as "3_Points_Line".

Selected=True, This very internal to SBuilder. Shall I export it? It simply means the selected (or not selected) state of a line at the time of exporting.

Type=RDX This is the type of a line. It could be an empty string in which case the type of the line is shown as to "None". RDX means Roads. The other FSX types for lines will be FWX RRX HLX STX UTX. I kept the name Type as I do not know if I will porte to the new SBuilder some support for FS9. If that will be the case Type could be, for example ,Type=VTP//7//1033//

Color=-16776961 is the ARGB value of the color used by SBuilder to show the line in the SBuilder display

Guid=698E20FC-1C69-4876-AF34-A6E9F531CCA5//0//0// This is the texture GUID plus a 0 (zero) plus another 0 (zero) separated by "//". The //0//0// string at the end will never be used except in the case of Freeways in wich case they mean the Number of Lanes and the Traffic Direction. For Polygons I plan to use the same arrangment with the 2 extra parameters menaing SlopeX and SlopeY as required on, for example, water polygons.

NoOfPoints=3
Lat1= 40.3364562988281
Lon1=-9.90804327748329
Alt1= 35

These are self explanatory. Note that Z (altitude) will allways be present. I am giving up to store another point parameter (the M value that I refer to in my previous post).

I never generated a BGL with the SHP2VEC tool :eek: Here is what I am thinking of. I will be greateful if someone has a nicer solution or detects any error in my thinking.

I will have a subfolder under SBuilder called SHAPE and another sub/subfolder called WORK. If SBuilder is in C:\ I am referring to:

C:\SBUILDER\SHAPE
C:\SBUILDER\SHAPE\WORK

Inside C:\SBUILDER\SHAPE I will place:

shp2vec.ex
RDX.xml
FWX.xml
RRX.xml
HLX.xml
STX.xml
UTX.xml

These XML files will be copies of the ones given in the SDK examples. For example RDX.xml will be equal to RDS7824.xml

Say that the SBuilder's project has the name my_Project and that the only Line selected is line.2 above. When the user press Compile the following actions will take place:

a) all files inside C:\SBUILDER\SHAPE\WORK are deleted
b) RDX.xml is copied (and renamed) to C:\SBUILDER\SHAPE\WORK with the name RDX_my_Project.xml
c) Sbuilder exports into C:\SBUILDER\SHAPE\WORK the files

RDX_my_Project.dbf
RDX_my_Project.shp
RDX_my_Project.shx

d) Sbuilder will issue the command:

c:\sbuilder\shape\shp2vec.exe .\work my_Project -ADDTOCELLS

e) The file cvxmy_Project.BGL is copied into the SCENERY Target folder

I am sorry about this long post. If someone reads it and detects a wrong idea please advise. After all I never tried shp2vec!

Luis
 

arno

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
Messages
31,155
Country
netherlands
That is interesting. For what it's worth, we are able to open our shapefiles using ESRI's ArcGIS software. ESRI is the creator of the Shapefile format.

I noticed this as well. Not sure, but I get the feeling that the extends have not been set correctly in the example SHP files and that the tools don't like that. But I have not checked it with other tools if this is really true.

[Not an official recommendation] An enterprising individual might look into the shapelib and/or OGR stuff on

http://www.maptools.org/

as a starting point for some simple application to create shapefiles.

Yes, the shapelib is very easy to use when you want to work with shapefiles. I have made some programs with it at work. Once I have a little more time I will probably also use it for my FS tools.

OGR is also great, as it can do more complex manipulation of your data as well. But it also seems a little less stable. I have had some hard to debug crashes while trying to process a lot of data for airport markings for example.
 
Messages
1,267
Country
us-hawaii
Sbuilder suggestions

Luis:

For sbuilder, it woudl be nice to have the ability to read shapefile dbf and take an ELEVATION attribute to set all points z value when an import shapefile is 2d. Alternatively some text input that can take xyz coordinates for lines or polys. Maybe bln with xyz? It doesn't seem like the z works in current sbuilder, but maybe I am importing it wrong.

scott s.
.
 
Messages
72
Country
norway
Hi,

I am sorry about this long post. If someone reads it and detects a wrong idea please advise. After all I never tried shp2vec!

Luis

As far as I can see this looks great.
I have used Sbuilder to create flattens/roads/streams in my area, with the help of BLN2SHP and SHP2VEC.
 
Messages
1,267
Country
us-hawaii
I found out my problem with the fsx kml tool was that it is sensitive to whitespace in the coordinate lines. I've been able now to export 3d kml from global mapper 7 for a single poly, and have it compile into a shapefile with fsx kml, but haven't tried any sort of "production" mode. Also I haven't tried anything with HPX slope, which I don't understand yet. (What is the realtion between elevations in the shapefile and slope attributes in the xml?)

I've also exported bln from global mapper, but BLN2SHP is also pretty picky about coordinate formats and I have to do a lot of pre-editing of the coordinate lines.

scott s.
.
 
Top