FSX Help with Global Mapper and scenery use

#1
Hello everybody, my name's Alec and I'm a MARSOC officer (I fought in Iraq), currently in reserve. My passion for flying things started when we were deployed using a UH-60 Blackhawk. When I came home in 2009 I discovered Flight Simulation Softwares and it was instant love for me.

Recently, I've started to design some very simple and basic mods, like liveries for my favorite aircrafts, and some months ago, even airports.

While reading some magazines I've encountered a beautiful airfield, whose name's Heaven's Landing, located near to Clayton, Georgia.

Since I didn't found any FSX scenery I've decided to take the challenge and to develope a photoreal scenery by myself.

In the wiki there's an article talking about how to convert Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) in a .bgl file to use in FSX as mesh.

Since I'm not particularily experienced with such things, I would like some help from this community, also for bounding this file into FSX (Where to put it?:rolleyes:).

I have Global Mapper 18 and the FSX SDK installed.

Thanks to everyone and I hope to have a good time here.
 

MOUSY

Resource contributor
#2
BGLs go into a scenery folder for your addon. For example, you will notice that there is a folder called FSX\Addon Scenery\Scenery (as well as a corresponding texture folder). However it is recommended to make your own folder for your project (example: FSX\Addon Scenery\Heavens Landing\scenery\) and then add that to FSXs Scenery Library.

As for help with creating mesh, maybe it would be more helpful if you tell us what you have done so far, and what instructions you are stuck at, after research, with the wiki.
 
#3
Hi MOUSY, thanks for your reply. The wiki's instructions I'm stuck at are at the point of using resample.exe. Surprisingsly, USGS's website gave me only one STRM 1 Arc-Second Global file for the whole state of Georgia... which looks pretty strange to me, but anyway... I am confused about
In order to compile our BGL for FSX, we need first of all to create the Elevation_Data_Brest.inf, so that resample.exe knows what it has to do and how.
because what does this mean?? Do i need to create a file with Notepad++ and work from there??
 
#4
the data is exported from GM as elevation geotiff. once you get the file just need an txt file. it's the .inf file, any editor can work.
and drag this to the resamble.exe file.
you have to be sure the parameters for export must be fine (Geographic LanLong projection, and WGS84 Datum, it's something make problems to people that forget to check this), and the information you have to add to the .inf file (look for some sample file in the SDK). sorry but can't be of more help because can't remember exactly the process and my english is very Poor. but it's not complicated at all, at least it's more easy than creating photoreal files.
 
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#5
http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/help-with-global-mapper-and-scenery-use.439100/#post-761836

The wiki's instructions I'm stuck at are at the point of using resample.exe. Surprisingsly, USGS's website gave me only one STRM 1 Arc-Second Global file for the whole state of Georgia... which looks pretty strange to me.
Hi Alec:

Heaven's Landing Airport (ICAO: GE99; LAT: N34.9141833, Lon: W83.4594250) should prove to be a fun project, and there is indeed more detailed GIS data available for use in developing your own custom FS scenery at that location. ;)


In Global Mapper (aka "GM"), you can access the highest resolution elevation and aerial imagery data publicly available (for free) via the USGS and/or other sources using GM's built-in direct download feature via "WMS" data transfer protocol, provided you have a entry for the pertinent USGS and/or other online data source in GM:

GM Menu > File > Download Online Imagery / Topo / Terrain Maps... < 'Select Online Data Source' dialog opens >


For USGS aerial imagery:

1.) In GM 'Select Online Data Source' dialog, select National Map > Imagery Layers > US National Map Imagery (1 foot or better resolution [NAIP])

2.) Under 'Select Area to download' tick radio button by "Within (ex: ) [1] miles of Latitude [34.9141833°] Longitude [-83.4594250°]"


For ESRI ArcGIS "World Imagery" aerial imagery (AFAIK, for non-commercial use only):

1.) In GM 'Select Online Data Source' dialog, select IMAGERY > World Imagery

2.) Under 'Select Area to download' tick radio button by "Within (ex: ) [1] miles of Latitude [34.9141833°] Longitude [-83.4594250°]"


NOTE: If creation of custom aerial imagery and elevation data for use in FS more- or less- than a 1 mile radius around GE99 is desired, change the 1 to whatever decimal fraction- or integer number- of miles you wish to use (...thus your project data source files and compiled BGL sizes will also be larger- or smaller). :pushpin:


3.) Under 'Display Options', check "Restrict Source to Selected Bounds"

4.) Click "Connect" button



For USGS elevation data:

1.) In GM 'Select Online Data Source' pick-list, select U.S. Data > United States Elevation Data (10m resolution)

2.) Under 'Select Area to download' tick radio button by "Within (ex: ) [1] miles of Latitude [34.9141833°] Longitude [-83.4594250°]"

3.) Under 'Display Options', check "Restrict Source to Selected Bounds"


You should now have two layers of USGS data displayed in GM's work space, with metadata / other info accessed via GM's Overlay Control Center:

GM Menu > Tools > Control Center... < 'Overlay Control Center' dialog opens >


PS: If you do not have the above cited entries within the GM 'Select Online Data Source' dialog pick-list, feel free to notify us in another post, and that info can be provided to you with an explanation of how to enter it into the GM "WMS" 'Data Source' pick-list database. :cool:


The above data layers can also be (separately) exported by GM as GeoTiff raster aerial imagery -or- elevation data source files for processing by FS SDK Resample with (separate) properly structured *.INF files ...into (separate) custom photo-real land class and/or terrain mesh BGLs.

Once you have the aerial imagery and elevation data required for your intended Geographic extents of coverage all downloaded into a GM "Workspace" *.GMW project file, more detailed info can be provided in this thread on how to process the exported GeoTiff output files for use via the FS SDK to make custom scenery BGLs, so feel free to let us know when you are ready to proceed further.


Good luck with your project ! :)

GaryGB
 
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#6
The wiki's instructions I'm stuck at are at the point of using resample.exe.

but anyway... I am confused about:

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/wiki/index.php?title=Create_mesh_using_Global_Mapper

" In order to compile our BGL for FSX, we need first of all to create the Elevation_Data_Brest.inf, so that resample.exe knows what it has to do and how. "
...because what does this mean??

Do I need to create a file with Notepad++ and work from there??
Hi again, Alec:

With regard to the export from GM of elevation data as source files for FS SDK Resample, as I stated above, once you have the aerial imagery and elevation data required for your intended Geographic extents of coverage all downloaded into a GM "Workspace" *.GMW project file, you must first 're-project' your project within the GM work-space into the GIS data file format required by FS SDK Resample before exporting into either a raster aerial imagery or elevation GeoTiff file ...as described in the explanation which follows below in this post.


CAVEAT:

An important consideration may be necessary when working with Global Mapper due to a change in behavior which was apparently implemented in more recent versions in that program. :pushpin:

It seems that Global Mapper (sometimes) dynamically accepts and defaults to the internal projection settings of a GIS data file in order to import it and display it within the Global Mapper workspace ...even if one has already set the default configuration of Global Mapper to be at "Projection: "Geographic (Latitude / Longitude)", Datum: "WGS84", Planar Units: "ARC DEGREES". :alert:

So when one opens a GIS data file, it may by default be displayed in the same internal projection stored within that file.


To "force" the re-projection in Global Mapper to make the GIS source data display and export in the format required when that data is to be exported for use with the FS SDK, one must again reset the projection during the work session immediately after one's first GIS data file is loaded ...via this procedure:

The correct configuration to set up in Global Mapper before opening a GIS data file or downloading GIS data ...and AGAIN 'after' opening data files when that data is to be "Exported" for use with the FS SDK:

Global Mapper Menu > Tools > Configure... > [Projection Tab]

Projection: "Geographic (Latitude / Longitude)"

Datum: "WGS84"

Planar Units: "ARC DEGREES"

Parameters:

Attribute: "CENTRAL LONGITUDE"

Value: "0"


BTW: As a visual clue that one has 'remembered" to re-project to WGS84 for ex: FS SDK use, the Global Mapper workspace display of the GIS data should compress vertically and rotate counter-clockwise to some extent. ;)


NOTE: Global Mapper is IMHO likely to yield more consistent results when the GIS file which one needs to re-project is the ONLY file loaded in a particular work session; thus it is preferable to not attempt to use that file as one of multiple files which are being turned on and off in the "Control Center" within a work session.

If it is necessary to attempt isolation of a particular GIS file which one needs to re-project and/or export as the ONLY "active" or visible file within a multiple file layer work session, it may be likely to yield more consistent results when that GIS file is loaded FIRST, re-projected, and then load the other multiple file layers afterwards. :pushpin:



Example settings in Global Mapper for export of elevation data

This configuration may work for certain source data file formats in Global Mapper after downloading and opening a GIS elevation data file ...when that data is to be exported for use with FS SDK Resample to output a terrain mesh BGL:

1.) Global Mapper Menu > File > Export > Export Elevation Grid Format...

2.) At 'Select Export Format' prompt, choose "GeoTIFF" from the pick list

3.) In 'GeoTIFF Export dialog, on [GeoTIFF options] tab:

File Type: "Elevation (16-bit integer or 32-bit floating point) samples (=Radio Button 'Ticked')

Vertical Units: "Meters"

Resampling: "Bicubic Interpolation"

Sample Spacing / Scale: (disregard =Automatically filled in by Global Mapper)

Always Generate Square Pixels: (=Checked)

Always Export At The Fixed Scale 1: "0" (=Not-Checked)

DPI Value To Save in Image (0 for None): "0" (=Not-Checked)

Compression: Default (No Compression)

ADVANCED: Use Tile Rather than Strip Orientation: (=Not-Checked)

ADVANCED: JPEG-in-TIFF Quality: "75" (disregard =Automatically filled in by Global Mapper)

Interpolate to Fill Small Gaps in Data: (=Checked)

Generate TFW (World) File: (=Checked)

Generate PRJ File: (=Checked)

Generate OziExplorer .map File: (=Not-Checked)

ADVANCED: Don't Write GeoTIFF Header: (=Not-Checked)


4.) In 'GeoTIFF Export dialog, on [Tiling] tab:

No Tiling - Just One Export File: (=Radio Button 'Ticked')

Skip Existing Files (Use to Complete Cancelled Exports): (=Not-Checked)


5.) In 'GeoTIFF Export dialog, on [Export Bounds] tab:

All Loaded Data: (=Radio Button 'Ticked')

...or:

Click "[Draw a Box...]" button and select desired area from displayed workspace (or specify otherwise via the GUI in that dialog box Tab).



You should now have a elevation GeoTiff source file compatible for use with FS SDK Resample.


Now you must create a *.INF file for processing of the elevation GeoTiff source file by FS SDK Resample to output a FS terrain mesh BGL.


For simplicity, you may wish to use Ollyau's "GeoTiff-To-INF" utility to read the Geo-referencing within the file header of the elevation GeoTiff output by GM along with accompanying *.TFW and *.PRJ files, and which will then output a basic *.INF file with computed Geo-referencing parameter values.

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/resources/geotiff-to-inf.119/




NOTE: Ollyau's "GeoTiff-To-INF" utility (as programmed thus far) is only intended for use in creating a *.INF file structured for use with FS SDK Resample to output a custom photo-real aerial imagery BGL (from a aerial imagery source data GeoTiff).

However, with minimal editing in Windows NotePad (or NotePad++), a COPY of that *.INF can be modified for use in creating a *.INF file structured for use with FS SDK Resample to output a custom terrain mesh BGL (from a elevation source data GeoTiff. :idea:


Alternatively, the required Geo-referencing parameter values for a properly structured *.INF file to be used in processing of the elevation GeoTiff source file by FS SDK Resample to output a FS terrain mesh BGL, can be derived from 'Metadata' for the original United States Elevation Data (10m resolution) layer within GM's Overlay Control Center.


A detailed example of how to do the above edit with example *.INF files can be posted here ...upon request. :)


GaryGB
 
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