Saturday, October 02, 2010

A Global Scenery Squawk List

This post is a bit of an experiment...we'll see how it goes. When we cut the global scenery, we do a number of validations: we manually inspect some of the DSF tiles, we examine the Earth orbit textures (which are derived from the DSFs) as a quick way to look roughly at all of the tiles, we have a number of internal consistency checks in the generator, and we can compare our output to some of the input data (e.g. did we lose all of our water) to look for gross bugs. But we don't have enough resources to manually examine all 18,000+ tiles in detail inside X-Plane.

So: if you have found a defect in a global scenery tile in version 9, please list the tile in the comments section of this post. I will try to give these "previously broken" tiles priority in manual inspection.

Note that the bugs we can expect in version 10 will be very different than in version 9 because we've really changed the global scenery generation process in nearly every important way. The underlying algorithms are heavily rewritten and data sources are very different. The goal here is to simply find areas that might have a higher probability of weirdness.

Let me try to be clear about what constitutes a broken tile and what does not. Please read this definition six or seven times before you post a comment.
  • Do not report bugs of inaccurate data. If your favorite road is missing, or the coastline is in the wrong place, don't report that here. That is not a defect in the rendering process; rather it is a limitation in the source data. I am not trying to collect a list of data inadequacies. We have already selected the new data for the new render. "Stuff is in the wrong place" is not a bug for this list!
  • Really weird patterns are of interest. For example: I have seen some reports of very long thin bars of land going perfectly north along the edge of the tile, or a comb of mountain and valley, again perfectly vertical. These are bugs in the production process and I do want to know about them!
  • Do not report errors in the placement of the 3-d layers (trees, roads, etc.). Since the 3-d layer is being completely rebuilt for version 10, none of these defects will be present in version 10. (They'll be replaced with a totally new set of weird behaviors!)
  • If an airport is too bumpy to use (with "flatten " turned off in the sim), report this only if the terrain around the airport is grass. Basically the grass means that we tried to "fix" the airport in the v9 render and failed. If there is no grass (the airport is over forest or city) and it is bumpy, do not report it - that means it was added to apt.dat later.
  • Do not report mismatches between the airport shape and the grassy patch; this is just the apt.dat file being updated.
If you have something to report (basically incorrect flattening of grassy airport areas and really weird coastline/terrain bugs that are clearly programming errors) please include three pieces of information:
  1. The DSF tile, e.g. +42-072
  2. The nearest ICAO of an airport near the bug (e.g. KBED)
  3. A very short description of what went wrong (e.g. "tall thin vertical lakes running through the entire DSF").
Please only post defects of the above nature in the comments section of this blog post; to keep things clean I am going to nuke any off-topic comments on this post.

EDIT: see the first Squawk, Arista's report on LOWS. This is a perfect report: it includes the DSF tile, the ICAOs, a brief but clear description, and it is a bug in how we process the data, not the data itself.


Arista said...

At 47°47.5' N 13°0' E there's a vertical gap in the terrain right across the apron and taxiway of LOWS. Probably an elevation mismatch at the border between +47+012 and +47+013.


Anonymous said...

OK Ben, there's a bump on the middle of 15-33 rwy MMTO, tile +19-100. Already sent to Robin the new boundaries for this airport too(new taxiway) to update the flattening. Thx and looking forward for the new 'plausible' global scenery and illumination.


Jeff Chapple said...

At 19.00 S 105.6 W, just North of VVVH there is a long strip of land running out into the ocean due East (at the tile boundary.)

Jeff Chapple said...

There is an area in Ecuador around Quito where the mountains are pretty funky, exhibiting EXTREME changes in elevation over impossibly short distances--spiky, spiky. They can be found at (near SEQU) 0.030 -78.66, 0.392 -78.40 and (near SEIB) 0.254 -77.97. I suspect that the data for that area was pretty messed up, regardless, the render didn't handle those errors gracefully at all.

Andrew McGregor said...

At 174°W 36.5°S, a bit west of NZHA, there's a N-S ridge in the sea along the edge of the tiles. There's an east-west one at 39°S 178°E, east of NZWO and south of NZGS. There are two spikes in the valley floor, visible to the left from the threshold of NZQN rwy 05R (note that the high terrain on the right is real!), and in reality the hillside ahead does drop below the runway's center line.

NZMF is a mess (44.67°S, 167.9°W). The sound is missing, when in reality RWY 29 pretty much runs to the water's edge. The eastern edge of that tile, about 3nm east of the airfield, has considerable discontinuities, and there are notches and spikes all over the area. Mind you, the terrain is so extreme, that's not so obvious... but this airfield is (at least locally) very famous.

Anonymous said...

ENGM Oslo, +60+011
Big problems on the taxiway system
to the west of RWY 01R/19L.
Impossible to taxi..

Anonymous said...

N55E013 EKCH Kastrup

There is a ramp near the TDZ of runway 04L that sends a plane back into the air on landing. The terrain was re flattened for v9 as per the the default 850 format apt.dat submission.

Many other anomalies re terrain etc but will not have time to list them all (check previous emails) but a few particular ones that I hope are addressed are the join between what was included as dsf in v8 and then v9 in the northern hemisphere N64 N65?. There is an anomaly that circles the entire planet where the two data set detail levels are so different.

The other is the missing southern coast of Chile as per earlier email. I guess that was a QA issue.


Jaron Latona said...

At 48"Lat between 123"Lon and 124"Lon (Olympic Peninsula, WA)nearest airports are KCLM and W28(Sequim, WA) just north, there is a twisted gap between scenery tiles.


scottie said...

If you fly up Turnagain Arm from Anchorage to Girdwood Alaska then you will crash into a huge several hundred foot high stationary tidal wave. Beware when flying there in IFR conditions. How does this get fixed?