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MSFS Finally aerial imagery

rhumbaflappy

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I finally got some time and tools to create an aerial imagery. Lots of things to digest here, but a good start.

In_Sim.png
 

rhumbaflappy

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First oddity is the appearance of grass(?) at the edges of the black areas. They actually sway around. This was from tiles of zoom level 19. I don't think lower levels are supported.
WierdGrass.png
 

rhumbaflappy

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To be honest, I'm cheating. I'm using the defunct Microsoft VE MapCruncher. It produces the tiles from any image. You rubber-band the image to match the Bing map imagery.

MapCruncher doesn't work on our PCs. But I must have dropped mine because now it does work (cough, cough). MapCruncher is perfect for small area usage, like a town or an airfield. You just need to find the right image.

The License prohibits commercial usage and usage for anything but Virtual Earth. But Virtual earth is gone, and the program appears to be abandonware, so this is a grey area, at best. But for my own use, it neatly does the trick.

home.png


Note the trees are a bit too green to match the default.
 
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This looks fantastic. So if I have a large aerial image with known quality (cm/pixel) and I know say the center point coordinate, I can bring this into FS2020? It would be great if you could perhaps do a short tutorial (When you have time of course)
 

rhumbaflappy

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The problem with aerial imagery is that no two sources match. We need a program that allows rubber-banding an image to the Bing imagery. MapCruncher can do this. I think Global Mapper can also do this. I don't think QGIS can do it. The image needs to be stretched even if the image is the correct projection. The image also needs color correction to match the Bing imagery, and trim the rectangular image with an alpha channel. Large-scale aerial imagery might not work out well, as you need to have the 256x256 image for each zoom-level 19 tile to make the package.
 

rhumbaflappy

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I'm actually using a hacked version... I can't redistribute it or distribute anything made from it. But it might be of value to bug ASOBO about it using zendesk, to see if they can convince MS to resurrect it for the sim.

I see QGIS can georeference images to match the Bing imagery:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=georeference+in+qgis



https://wiki.tuflow.com/index.php?title=QGIS_Aerial_Imagery

And QGIS can create 256x256 tiles... We just need a way to reorganize and rename those tiles to the Bing Maps convention.
 
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Hello:

I also found a direct download link for MapCruncher via Microsoft if anyone is interested. ;)


PS: I have not yet tried this with MapCruncher, but I sometimes have success running "expired" executables with this: :idea:


GaryGB
 
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norway
...
I see QGIS can georeference images to match the Bing imagery:
...
And QGIS can create 256x256 tiles... We just need a way to reorganize and rename those tiles to the Bing Maps convention.
....


For QGIS I have searched around for tiling options and I found that GDAL apparently has a tool called gdal2tiles:

I have no experience with the python interface of qgis/gdal so I have yet to find it in my installation :rolleyes:...I have for anyone that's interested found these blogs and maybe some of you can get it to work:
It seems that the idea is to georeference the source and then run this gdal2tiles. (If only I could work out the mumbo/jumbo of pyton). It should support bing, but if it's in the OSM-system there shouldn't be a problem to rearrange those (since the tiles are the same, but the z/y/x is canged....

[Edit Update]

I finally got this to work! :idea::stirthepo:wizard: !
To get it to work (although you surely are smarter than me, but anyway):
  • Download the first file from qgis (the one with OSGEOW)
  • Install it to a root-level dir - and with NO SPACES in the name
  • Install everything (well at least that's what I did to be sure)
To run it
  • In the programs menu look into the "OSGeo4W" folder and select the shortcut "OSGeo4W Shell"
  • In the shell: verify with i.e. typing: "gdal2tiles -help"
I ran it on a geotiff and there it was! Yes, it made both directories for the different zoom-levels and files. It also made a test-viewer to check in your browser. (the osm works, and is good enough for verifying, but for bing-testing and google you will have to add the bing-key, otherwise the background map will not show)

Happy days!

[/End edit update]
 
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rhumbaflappy

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For Qgis:

GeoReference the image to Bing!
The GeoReferencer is in the Raster tab... You can rubberband the image to the underlying Bing maps. Use lots of points (20-30).


Qgis_Georeference.png


Generate Tiles:

GenerateTiles.png


Here's the result:

TileDirectory.png


The remaining problem is to rename all the tiles. 20 is the zoom, the sub-directories are the "x" location, and the tile names are the "y". Somebody will come up with a program to rename them as quadtree, and gather them in a single folder.
 
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Thank you for the instructions.

The remaining problem is to rename all the tiles. 20 is the zoom, the sub-directories are the "x" location, and the tile names are the "y". Somebody will come up with a program to rename them as quadtree, and gather them in a single folder.

I may have some code for that:
Code:
        /// <summary> 
        /// Converts tile XY coordinates into a QuadKey at a specified level of detail. 
        /// </summary> 
        /// <param name="tileX">Tile X coordinate.</param> 
        /// <param name="tileY">Tile Y coordinate.</param> 
        /// <param name="levelOfDetail">Level of detail, from 1 (lowest detail) 
        /// to 23 (highest detail).</param> 
        /// <returns>A string containing the QuadKey.</returns> 
        public static string TileXYToQuadKey(int tileX, int tileY, int levelOfDetail)
        {
            StringBuilder quadKey = new StringBuilder();
            for (int i = levelOfDetail; i > 0; i--)
            {
                char digit = '0';
                int mask = 1 << (i - 1);
                if ((tileX & mask) != 0)
                {
                    digit++;
                }
                if ((tileY & mask) != 0)
                {
                    digit++;
                    digit++;
                }
                quadKey.Append(digit);
            }
            return quadKey.ToString();
        }

... but in all fairness the code is base on: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/bingmaps/articles/bing-maps-tile-system
 
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To follow up my previous post: I have put together a mock-up for copying files to the quad-key naming.
It can be downloaded here:

The program assumes a directory structure of: "zoom\x\y.png"
Please report back if this is not correct.... maybe it's "zoom\y\x.*"
...And please let me know if I have understood the problem/solution... I may have got carried away in my enthusiasm :oops: and solved the wrong problem the wrong way.

Included are a bat-file showing how to use it assuming one has placed it something like this:
files.png


but it doesn't have to if you change the parameters.

If this is useful, I'll update it and proofing it a bit better.
 
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unitedkingdom
Unfortunately the tool seems to be producing Quadkeys that are too long for me and FS2020 is not recognising them in order to compile. It's my understanding that the quadkeys should be 20 digits long at 20 zoom?

Using as described in readme and .bat.
Any help appreciated.

1598483054220.png
 
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21
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norway
Unfortunately the tool seems to be producing Quadkeys that are too long for me and FS2020 is not recognising them in order to compile. It's my understanding that the quadkeys should be 20 digits long at 20 zoom?

Using as described in readme and .bat.
Any help appreciated.

Thank you for testing it and providing feedback.

I'll look into it in more detail and see if I can provide an update.

I just put it together without studying all details in the sdk as it was described here. But the quad-key algorithm is taken from the bing-site, Maybe the source naming of files and directories are different for google or openstreetmap(?). What was the source fies generated as and named?

Again, thank you and I'll see if I can fid out some more.
 
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unitedkingdom
1598486243933.png
1598486277262.png

1598486290531.png
1598486310651.png

Here's a few screen grabs of the file structure. Images tiled using QGIS from a GeoTIF.

Thank you so much for taking the time to put this little bit of software together. Once its working correctly (or if I start using it properly haha!), it will be incredibly usefull.
 
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