I am looking at allowing road networks in overlay DSFs for X-Plane 9. I'm not sure if this will be possible (this is just an investigation right now). But I realize that...
- The road data in the default scenery isn't much good. Even in the US, where we have nice data, the roads are chunky, not smoothed, contain invalid flow information, and can have lateral error of up to 200 meters (enough to cause chaos). Of course the non-US road data comes from VMAP0 and is just as good as you'd expect from digitized 1:1,000,000 maps from WWII (which is to say, they're awful.)
- Therefore there is a lot of interest in replacing the road grid using overlays. This isn't possible in X-Plane 8 (put a road into an overlay and I think X-Plane will crash pretty hard). If roads could be in overlays, this would let you correct them and exclude the entire underlying layer.
But if a road grid is pre-placed (and not "draped" like a .pol file or OBJ) then the roads must be built to a specific set of global scenery mesh. I'd like to see custom meshes start to emerge, and hopefully I'll have some time in the future to work on tools to make this a lot easier.
So the feature that would go hand-in-hand with overlay roads is AGL-based road heights (that is, the roads only specify when there is a bridge and not exactly how to hug the ground). As far as I can tell from my initial investigation, this is quite a bit more complicated to implement and is probably still a while off. I think that overlay roads could be useful even in their MSL form though.
(One interesting use would be: create roads with no geometry, just car definitions, and use them to overlay routes for ground vehicles in airports.)