Thursday, November 15, 2007

Add-on Forests...

It looks like Andras and Albert just released new forests...their work looks really good and makes me go "is that really X-Plane"? Definitely a must-have add-on!

I would also suggest that anyone who wants to know why X is wrong with the global scenery read some of Andras' posts on the X-Plane tech list...a few weeks ago he described in a lot of detail the kinds of problems that both he and I face when working with global datasets - his comments are right on the money!

I think we'll have more announcements regarding forests relatively soon. Things have been quiet because behind the scenes we're in a big push.


Anonymous said...

Ben, PLEASE give us

Benjamin Supnik said...

You do not need me to give you this...this is exactly what Andras just download his excellent add-on!

Anonymous said...

But why not simply inplement the data together with some smart algorithm that places trees in "green autogen-areas" in newly developed, high-res groundtextures? It would be so comfortable to get x-plane to mimic the real world without being forced to downolad 99 3rd-party addons. I can see you being a loyal man here though, giving Andras some credit for his work - but I hope such features will get implemented in future versions of x-plane. Thanks Ben

ps. if you don't understand the "...places trees in "green autogen-areas"..."-part, please have a look at some MS Flight sim X screens. I will NOT change camp, but I just want to point out how scaringly beautiful the autogen renders the world there (and adapts autogen-objects) to the correct underlying texture. ds.

Anonymous said...

I forgot: The very interesting thing with this data is that it not only focuses on where trees are growing, there is also like 20-30 other types of areas that tell you for example what parts are higly populated, where different types of land is etc. If x-plane could read this data and implement it using customized groundtextures and autogen-objects then x-plane would look scareingly realistic!

Anonymous said...

Good examples I just found:

Benjamin Supnik said...

First: it appears that CORINE is not available for commercial use. I suppose we could ask the EAA for special permission...I do not know if they would approve. Andras' free download by a European author gets around a bunch of CORINE licensing issues that we would have.

Second: for all data sets we must evaluate them by:
1. Amount of work to use them,
2. Relative improvement (both quality and quantity of area) and
3. Long term future of the dataset.

These same issues apply to OpenStreetMap. We have not yet used Corine because (besides the licensing issues) we must focus on the global first. (So for example, we did not use either CORINE or NLCD while working on integrating SRTM.)

I don't know how well CORINE will stack up against other future data sets coming available, or other possible uses of engineering time (like algorithm improvement) that could affect global areas. But with licensing issues in the way, it is moot.

3. The qusetion of autogen vs. what we do now is totally separate from CORINE. We could use CORINE within our existing structure (non-autogen) and we could do an autogen system without CORINE. The question of whether or not to do autogen goes way beyond what I can post in a blog comment...maybe I will blog on it later if I have time.