New FSX scenery design tool using Google Earth

#1
Hi. Just thought I would post some info about a new scenery design tool I'm writing for FSX.

The tool is called FSX KML

Features include:-

* Freeware (for non commercial use)

* Imports Google Earth KML files (polygons and paths) to create new vector and landclass based scenery for FSX. Using this tool you can easily create coastlines, rivers, islands, roads, freeways, railroads, airport boundries, land class polys etc.

I will upload a alpha of this tool over the next week or so. In the meantime here are a couple of screenshots showing before and after shots from the FSX beta 3 from South West Rocks (NSW, Australia).

Comments will be much appreciated.

Thanks
MS.
 
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#6
Have you seen that we announced the new FsDeveloper Wiki? It is at www.fsdeveloper.com/wiki

At the moment we are moving everything from the old Wiki to there, so once I get to the manuals I will also move your manual.
Hi, Sorry I just saw the notice about an hour ago and moved the manual over to the new wiki and posted a "stub" on the old page redirecting users to the new page.

You could delete the old page now if you like.

Sorry for the mix up.
 
#7
That's a great idea - good work!

I have been using FS9, GE along wit a utility to show your location in FS in GE, and SBuilder as a convoluted drawing tool. Would it be possible to create/edit KML polys in a GE interface, thus converting this to a full featured editor as well?
 

bpahe

Resource contributor
#8
So... would this mean that we can design buildnings with SketchUp (which I think now supports exporting textured objects to Google Earth) and then import these to FSX using your tool? I have not investigated further the option of exporting using the free Google/Sketchup-version, and you do not mention the import of 3D-objects, but it certainly seems interesting! :)

/hans
 
#9
So... would this mean that we can design buildnings with SketchUp (which I think now supports exporting textured objects to Google Earth) and then import these to FSX using your tool? I have not investigated further the option of exporting using the free Google/Sketchup-version, and you do not mention the import of 3D-objects, but it certainly seems interesting! :)

/hans
Hi bpahe,
I was able to successfully import a model of the Space Needle in Seattle from sketchup in FS using Gmax. Using the trial of Sketchup Pro, you can export the object to 3DS format, then import it into Gmax, then export it to FS. But this program sounds very useful, and if you could eliminate all those steps that would be very cool.
-Scott
 
#10
It really looks interesting. Do you have any plans to export the data to help building facility data, like taxiway point?

José

Good idea.

By default FSX KML generates output in ShapeFile format (this is required by the FSX Shp2Vec utility).

What output format do you require for taxiway points? What does AFCAD need?
 
#11
That's a great idea - good work!

I have been using FS9, GE along wit a utility to show your location in FS in GE, and SBuilder as a convoluted drawing tool. Would it be possible to create/edit KML polys in a GE interface, thus converting this to a full featured editor as well?
With FSX KML you use Google Earth the create "tagged" polygons and polylines (a KML file) which are then converted by FSX KML into ShapeFiles, which are then processed by the FSX SDK Shp2Vec tool.

Basically you "trace" features (coastlines, rivers, lakes, roads, airports, cities, parks, beaches, taxiways etc) in Google Earth, save the KML, run FSX KML, and hey presto, accurate scenery! Its very easy to use.
 
#12
So... would this mean that we can design buildnings with SketchUp (which I think now supports exporting textured objects to Google Earth) and then import these to FSX using your tool? I have not investigated further the option of exporting using the free Google/Sketchup-version, and you do not mention the import of 3D-objects, but it certainly seems interesting! :)

/hans
Sorry, FSX KML only supports GE polygons and polylines and not SketchUp models. You would need a different tool to convert Sketchup models.
 

bpahe

Resource contributor
#13
Sorry, FSX KML only supports GE polygons and polylines and not SketchUp models. You would need a different tool to convert Sketchup models.
Hi!

Ok, thanks anyway, I´m certain that your tool is most useful even without this function.

Scott, again, thanks but I´ve been there. However Sketchup has a tendency to mess up the vertexes/faces so often this requires a lot of work in Gmax. So to skip this step would be nice, but we´ll have to work the ACES-team to develop a plugin. :D

/hans
 
#14
The format used for 3D models in Google (at least until textures where introduced - I have not looked at it since) is very simple, and it should be trivial to add importers to it once we get our new tool going. But remeber there are lots of "trivial" tasks, and doing them all immidately isn't possible.
 

arno

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
#15
What output format do you require for taxiway points? What does AFCAD need?
You would have to create a XML file according to the BGLComp SDK for that I think. But it is slightly more complicated than that, as taxiway points are part of the total airport, so you can not easily only define those points.
 
#17
I wasn't thinking about all the XML, more about the waypoint list.

José
Ok... FSX KML has a lookup file which specifies how each "tagged" GE polygon/polyline is translated into FSX scenery.

In the case of Taxiway waypoints I guess i would need to add a new feature type called "Taxiway waypoints" and then generate the appropriate XML file, for you to then import into AFCAD or whatever.

Should be easy enough :)
 

nickw

Administrator
Staff member
#18
Matthew, just wanted to chime in here and say "Nice one" and "Thanks for using the WIKI".

May many more follow your example :)
 
#19
As Scott mentioned earlier in this thread we have been involved in using GE to create scenery in FS9 and were beginning to talk of the need for a tool just as yours is. Thanks for working on this. Most of our work continues in FS9 for the time being. Great job. This will be extremely useful.
 
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