• 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.
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    • 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.

Maps for Sbuilder

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Hi Terry:

IMHO, it may be easier to use SBuilderX version 3.15 for FSX to do the 'Map' work, then Export the results into a FSX / P3D *.SBX SBuilderX Exchange file.

That FSX / P3D format *.SBX SBuilderX Exchange file can then be retro-converted to FS2004 *.SBX file format for import and use in SBuilder for FS9.

[EDITED]

See: https://github.com/LuisVSa/SBX3TO2

[END_EDIT]

I'll try to post more on this later this weekend, if you are interested.

GaryGB
 
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Hi again:

ADE 32-Bit version 1.79x allows us to Add > Background Image using satellite / aerial imagery up to only a few MB in size due to limited available USERVA in its Windows task session.

Thus, coverage of a large airport with any useful detail would require slicing imagery into multiple tiles, each of which must be manually added to ADE by entering its NW and SE corner Geographic coordinates ...after ensuring the imagery is in the proper EPSG:3857 GIS projection format.

Eventually we will have the ability to use larger 1-piece Background images when Scruffyduck gets time to port the new 64-Bit ADE code from the MSFS version to an ADE version compatible with FS9 / FSX / P3D.

Use of SBuilderX version 3.15 allows us the ability use its several map tile downloaders to output a large Geo-referenced 1-piece *.BMP background image that can now be used directly by ADE MSFS version.

For ADE 1.79x, we would need to do the more cumbersome slicing / adding of multiple imagery tiles for background maps I described above.

However, by having used a special configuration setting in the SBuilderX.ini file, we will be able to output our imagery in the proper Geo-referenced GIS projection format without having to process it in a separate GIS application ...if the total extent of the imagery coverage is 1 Kilometer or less.

We may still have to use the "slice" feature in a graphics application if the total extent of the imagery coverage is more than 1 Kilometer, unless we use SBuilderX to output Geo-referenced multiple small tiles in order to have ready-to-use tiles that are properly sized and GIS projected ...to otherwise avoid having to use a separate GIS and graphics application to yield the required multiple smaller imagery tiles for ADE 1.79x.

If you are interested in learning more about this option, let me know, and I will try to post more info about how to do so later.

[EDITED]

Would I be correct that your goal is merely to derive a background map for ADE ...rather than custom photo-real imagery terrain textures ? :scratchch

[END_EDIT]

GaryGB
 
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rhumbaflappy

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I think there may be a 2GB limit to BMP files regardless of the 32-bit or 64_bit Program format. The solution is to use smaller bitmaps. Also, for a background image, you don't need high resolution imagery.
 
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Hi Dick:

[EDITED]

Considering how you made ADE MSFS 64-Bit capable, could ADE v1.79x and SBuilder for FS9 also be made 64-Bit capable ? :wizard:


If Google has imposed a licensing / billing mandate on use of GoogleMaps API, how does SBuilderX' tile downloader access tiles ?

If Luis' Gmaps- and your RhumbMaps- utilities are no longer able to work 'free' via the API, what URLs are being accessed by the SBuilderX tile downloaders ? :oops:

I have noticed that although they do access tiles, AFAIK, the tiles accessed are not "current" imagery from Google Maps.

I see the same behavior in SASPlanet (AFAIK, SASPlanet is written in Pascal).

Is there a secret "cached tiles server" that we might still be able to access without Google's API ?


PS: Is there a way to access the latest Google Maps imagery shown in Google Earth only via the "Historical Imagery" slider ? :scratchch

[EDITED]

GaryGB
 
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I apologise for not replying until now but I've been away with no internet. I'll keep what I'm going to ask simple:

Last year I used this link http://www.ludowise.x10host.com/gmaps/rhumbamaps.html but the window where a satellite view usually appeared was blank.
My ade used this same bmp that sbuilder used...........

Is there a different satellite that I don't know of that I should use ?

Many thanks.

TW
 
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Hi Terry:

You might be waiting along time for a reply (if any) from Dick about rhumbamaps or GMaps. ;)

And I might be waiting along time for a reply (if any) from Dick about SBuilderX tiel downloaders.

He appears to be distancing himself from those utilities. :(


IIUC, Google imposed imagery API license restrictions, now requiring registration and Fee-For-Use.

AFAIK, both rhumbamaps and GMaps are no longer going to work, if at all, without such a license.



IMHO, the best option is SBuilderX' tile downloader (AKA File > Add Map > From Background).

There is a setting in SBuilderX.ini that we can toggle to create non-warped ADE background images.

Those background images are Geo-referenced with Lat-Lon, and ready to manually add to ADE.


Again, let me know if you would like to learn more about how this latter option can be utilized.

GaryGB
 
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Gary......I used that link 8/9 months ago. I'm really more interested in using sbuilder again than Ade because Ade will work from a bgl.
Sbuilder will use saved files but making a new grass is now impossible. Are the fees to use the satellite pics high or difficult to get ?

Right now I'm making Hebrides airfields & use defaults to embellish so I don't havr yo use sbuilder. Here's my stab at Fair Isle:
Fair Isle.jpg

I'll mull things over & get back to you.
Many thanks,
Terry.
 
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Gary......I used that link 8/9 months ago.

So, IIUC, you noticed that rhumbamaps quit working ~8 or 9 Months ago ?


I'm really more interested in using sbuilder again than Ade because Ade will work from a bgl.

IIUC, you are referring to use of SBuilder for FS9 (aka "SB205"), with a background map image in the work-space ?


Sbuilder will use saved files but making a new grass is now impossible.

IIUC, you mean SBuilder for FS9 can load and display a background map image in the work-space just as ADE can ?

And now making a new custom airport background using a vector polygon textured with a satellite / aerial image is impossible due to rumbamaps no longer working ?


Are the fees to use the satellite pics high or difficult to get ?

Yes.


Right now I'm making Hebrides airfields & use defaults to embellish so I don't have to use sbuilder. Here's my stab at Fair Isle:
View attachment 75761

IIUC, you used default FS9 "land class" vector textured polygons to make the scenery in lieu of having satellite / aerial imagery ?

GaryGB
 
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==So, IIUC, you noticed that rhumbamaps quit working ~8 or 9 Months ago ?

When I first got sbuilder the link to obtain a satellite picture was http://www.zbluesoftware.com/fsxplanner/maps.cfm.
When that stopped working it was changed to the rumbamaps link I sent. I used that 9 or 12 months ago. Using it now just get an empty window.

==IIUC, you are referring to use of SBuilder for FS9 (aka "SB205"), with a background map image in the work-space ?
Yes.

==IIUC, you mean SBuilder for FS9 can load and display a background map image in the work-space just as ADE can ?
Let's just stay with sbuilder & ignore Ade for now but Yes.

And now making a new custom airport background using a vector polygon textured with a satellite / aerial image is impossible due to rumbamaps no longer working ?
Yes.

==IIUC, you used default FS9 "land class" vector textured polygons to make the scenery in lieu of having satellite / aerial imagery ?

I use ade to load a default airport. I add it back to FS9 in it's named folder with scenery & texture folders & use Instant Scenery 3 to add objects as needed.
This grab is the default Fair Isle. Default Fair Isle.jpg

BTW Gary, do you use either or both of these softwares?
btw I don't know what IIUC means !
TW
I'm helping an Amerikan make a Debden where if father was in WW2. I've just asked if he uses sbuilder......he uses Ade but I don't know how he gets the background, if he does.
 
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Gary,

When I made my first airfield, a kind chap, one Stevo at Airfield Constructors Group, made & sent me a Sbuilder tutorial.
With this kind gesture it's been downhill ever since !

This is the using Ade section:
ADE
NOTE, the background image you used in Sbuilder can also be used in ADE using the same co-ords
If you use ADE here’s how
 With your airfield opened in ADE, right click in the main screen area
 Select Add, then Image
 Click the square browse button and browse to the same image we used in Sbuilder
 Then tick ‘Enter Corner Co-ordinates’
 Enter the same co-ords we used in Sbuilder
 Click save
 
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Hi Terry:

I am familiar with all the FS utilities you cited above. ;)


Whereas the same Google limitations now apply to the imagery accessed by FSXPlanner's implementation of rhumbamaps:


...SBuilderX version 3.15 32-Bit or 64-Bit may be able to get you the background image you seek from either of several sources.


I'll post a walk-through for this process later today (...actually I just need to 'find' it here, as I already wrote one years ago)


Which airport did you want to use first, as a 'worked example' for the procedure ?

* RAF Debden


...or:

* Fair Isle Airport



GaryGB
 

rhumbaflappy

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I think Gary has the best solution. You should be able to use SBuilderX: SBuilderX v3.15 64-bit Zipped

Just unzip it anywhere. It will probably ask for a location for FSX. If you don't have FSX, I think you can just click OK and it will run.
 
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This will be a quickie - neither airports. It'll be a brand new effort when the friend tells me the details...........

Your walk through sounds interesting......

News just in = I'm asked for a grassy base for Papa Westray for Golden Wing 3 (FS9).
 
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OK Terry, I have found some info that may help with documenting this work-flow. :coffee:


I'm assuming you already have SBuilder for FS9 installed and working ?


Are you familiar with Scott Gridley's Tutorial for Calibrating Google Earth Maps as background images for use in SBuilder ?

http://www.fs-freeflow.com/forum2/index.php?topic=618.0


Are you planning to re-configure the shorelines for the Orkney Islands in FS9 ?

If so, you may wish to review some of these linked references for working with SB205:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/t...elp-information-in-sbuilder.18011/post-117822



Did you successfully get SBuilderX v3.15 (64-Bit) installed and working from the link Dick provided above ?

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/maps-for-sbuilder.453170/post-887673

If not, please let us know, and we can post some info to help with that process. ;)





For an initial overview of the imagery available in certain years via Google Maps' tileserver, install Google Earth Desktop Edition

In Google Earth Desktop Edition, additional options now also include use of the "Historical Imagery" (clock icon) to view different dates of imagery which may be better than the current default displayed:



Also, to check what imagery is available for EGEP by 'Editing' SBuilderX.ini to swap between tileservers in SBuilderX v3.15.

ESRI ArcGIS World Imagery, Bing / MS Virtual Earth, and Google Satellite are all providers of quality tile server imagery worldwide.


To output a 1-piece *.BMP of selected tiles from SBuilderX' work-space in a non-warped format for use in SB205 / ADE:


1.) SBuilderX Menu > Edit > Edit INI file... (SBuilderX.INI opens in NotePad)

a.) In NotePad > SBuilderX.INI > Under [Tiles] section, Edit:

ReprojectMercatorTiles=True

...and change it to read:

ReprojectMercatorTiles=False


b.) NotePad Menu > File > Save

c.) NotePad Menu > File > Exit


2
.) SBuilderX Menu > File > Add Map > From Background

a.) Follow usual procedures to download / select tiles (do not compile to BGL)

(1) SBuilderX Menu > Edit >Tile Servers > Google_api3_Satellite > check: Use Google_api3_Satellite ? check-box > click: [OK]

(2) SBuilderX Menu > View > Show Background ...F1


3
.) SBuilderX outputs non-warped format 1-piece *.BMP / *.TXT into:

[SBuilderX install path]\Tools\Work sub-folder.


Note that the *.TXT file has ' Geographic' coordinates to be used for calibrating that *.BMP Background Image in SB205 or ADE.


If a SBuilderX 1-piece *.BMP of selected tiles is too large for SB205's USERVA, select / output multiple tiles via smaller rectangles.


BTW: Obviously, one is already using a imagery Background Map in SBuilderX v 3.15's work-space ...as shown in step 2.) above.


One can use the CVX vector Tools in SBuilderX to create scenery content, then retro-convert it for use in SB205 via SBX3TO2:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/maps-for-sbuilder.453170/post-887346


Otherwise, one can compile FSX CVX vector BGLs, then use Patrick Germain's CvxExtractor to generate *.BLN files for SB205.

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/cvxextractor-exporting-vector-data.432918/


Because that data is already projected into a GIS format for use by the FS SDK, it would first require re-projection to EPSG:3857.

If you are interested, I can post info on the process of how to 'Append' FSX / P3D converted CVX vector 'surfer' *.BLN's to SB205.


I hope this initial info gets you started; let me know if you require further help. :)

GaryGB
 
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Gary,

I've had sbuilder for 10yrs or longer.

I'm not familiar with Scott Gridley's Tutorial. I looked at it & see it dated 2005. I clicked Luis' google maps for SBuilder web page link & got a screen of code.

BUT, this grab_089.jpg is how it used to be with a default view of somewhere in the USA, that I 'surfed' away from to get to the area I wanted, to then zoom onto the airfield I wanted. I took a screenshot, cropped it & made a BMP which sbuilder used with the coordinates I'd recorded, for me to draw my airfield grass base.

ADE then used this BMP for drawing the taxiways, etc, & adding runways. I made about 30 using this method. These 2 tools made airfield production' simple & satisfying. Indeed, my RAF Ibsley would not have been possible nor appreciated by those who've seen it.

Then it became necessary to use rumbaflappy maps but that's stopped working last year.

BTW are many simmers grumbling about sbuilder not working?

NOW - I've not got SBuilderX. Having read your post I must say it's all too technical & I don't want to burden myself with it. It will take up too much time when I'm involved in doing things for others in these daunting covid times.

I feel bad for saying that as you've put a lot of your no doubt un-spare time into coming up with all your information, & if I'd suspected the outcome of my initial question, I'd not have asked it.

In the absence of sbuilder I'll stick with Ade & editing default airfields in the Hebrides. I've done 7 now & pass them on to a friend for him to add buildings as he sees fit.

Without FS & these toys/tools this epidemic would have been torture.............I will look at Scott Gridley's Tutorial again when I have significant time to devote to it.

I do appreciate your help, as always.

Terry.
 
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Hi Terry:

IIUC, you encountered a problem installing SBuilderX version 3.15 (64-Bit) on your computer. :oops:


If / when you are inclined, feel free to attach screen shots of all SBuilderX error messages with a description of any such errors.

We would then be better able to assist you with successfully installing SBuilderX so you can use it's tileserver download tools.


IIRC, your last reference to the computer on which you had FS9 installed, mentioned Windows Vista (64-Bit); is this still the case ?


FYI: I opted to provide you with a demo of how simple it is to use a resulting SBuilderX-output, 1-piece BMP Background Image

Please tell me if you need a higher detail- or larger area of coverage extent- than that of the background map linked via my PM.


To use that ZIP in my PM sent to you, un-ZIP it into SB205 > Tools > Work sub-folder, then follow these steps:


SB205 Menu > File > Properties > Project Properties > {General} tab > Project Name: Papa_Westray_Airport > [OK] button

SB205 Menu > File > Save As... > File name: Papa_Westray_Airport.SBP > [Save] button

SB205 Icon Toolbar > left-click [Map] Tool > left-click anywhere in work-space ('Scenery Builder: Open Bitmap File' browse dialog opens)

In 'Scenery Builder: Open Bitmap File' browse dialog > Browse / Select: L17X128957X128963Y77057Y77066.BMP > [Open] button

SB205 automatically finds / reads / calibrates using Geographic coordinates in L17X128957X128963Y77057Y77066.TXT.

SB205 > File > Save

Your SBuilder for FS9 project is now ready to use with a properly calibrated Background Image. :wizard:


Let me know if / when you are inclined to proceed with this alternative to the now-deprecated Google Maps API utilities. :)


Regards,

GaryGB
 
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Hi Gary,

No I didn't try installing SBuilderX.

I've just arrived here & have just looked at the zip you sent....looks like old times are back. I produced 30 airfields like this.
I'll let you know when I've used sbuilder with the P.W.files you sent. It will be a doddle & as I said like old times are back.

I have a vista machine but the other 2 are W7 because FS won't work in FSx.....I'm sticking with W7.

Your FYI.......how did you produce it ?
 
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Hi Gary,

No I didn't try installing SBuilderX.

I've just arrived here & have just looked at the zip you sent....looks like old times are back. I produced 30 airfields like this.
I'll let you know when I've used sbuilder with the P.W.files you sent. It will be a doddle & as I said like old times are back.

I have a vista machine but the other 2 are W7 because FS won't work in FSx.....I'm sticking with W7.

Indeed, it really was as easy as I described in the steps I wrote above. ;)

Your FYI.......how did you produce it ?

I made the demo files using SBuilderX' Add Map > From Background feature.

I'll provide you with another walk-through when you are ready; but as a basic overview, here's how:


1.) Install SBuilderX

2.) SBuilderX Menu > Edit > Edit (SBuilderX) INI File

a.) In NotePad, set ReprojectMercatorTiles to FALSE > Save that edit > Return to SBuilderX' work-space

3.) File > New Project

a.) Project Name: Papa_Westray_Airport > [OK] button > Return to SBuilderX' work-space


4.) Edit > Tile Servers > Select Tile Server name

a.) Check checkbox to confirm that choice of Tile Server > [OK] button > Return to SBuilderX' work-space



5.) View > Show Background (F1) < Imagery begins to appear in work-space >

a.) View > Go To Position > Latitude: 59.351667 Longitude: -2.900278 > [OK] button

b.) Use Magnifying Glass Tool on Icon Toolbar to Center- and Zoom in- on desired area for Background Map

NOTE: Once centered, Zoom image in / out as needed using Mouse Scroll Wheel


6.) File > Save Project As >

a.) File Name: Papa_Westray_Airport.SBP > [Save] button


7.) File > Add Map > From Background

a.) Tick: Number of Tiles radio button to set Grid size

b.) Click+Hold Left Mouse Button to draw a Red rectangle over Green grid lines to select desired tiles

c.) < Tile download status message appears > after initial download is done > [OK] button again


8.) Selected Background Map appears in SBuilderX Work-space

9.) SBuilderX writes a BMP and a TXT file into:

[SBuilderX install path]\Tools\Work sub-folder

NOTE: [ alpha-numeric name prefix ] of the BMP and TXT may vary with world location and Zoom level of Background Map.


10.) Follow the instructions I gave above for SB205 (aka "SBuilder For FS9"):

a.) SB205 Menu > File > Properties > Project Properties > {General} tab > Project Name: Papa_Westray_Airport > [OK] button

b.) SB205 Menu > File > Save As... > File name: Papa_Westray_Airport.SBP > [Save] button

c.) SB205 Icon Toolbar > left-click [Map] Tool > left-click anywhere in work-space ('Scenery Builder: Open Bitmap File' browse dialog opens)

d.) In 'Scenery Builder: Open Bitmap File' browse dialog > Browse / Select: [ alpha-numeric filename ].BMP > [Open] button

< SB205 automatically finds / reads / calibrates [ matching alpha-numeric filename ].TXT >

e.) SB205 > File > Save

Your SBuilder for FS9 project is now ready to use with a properly calibrated Background Map (Image). :wizard:

NOTE: That image may- or may not- fit into the available USERVA of ADE 32-Bit versions; if not, use SBuilderX to download multiple smaller tiles.


Let me know how this works for you. :)

GaryGB
 
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