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Thread: FS Earth Tiles

  1. #1

    Default FS Earth Tiles

    Hey all,

    Just downloaded FS Earth Tiles - it's one of those cool 3rd-party programs that take data from online map services and apply the world textures into FSX

    It's a lot like tileproxy (the most popular type of program), except you don't load the scenery as you fly (i tried TP, but the demanding internet connection requirements fried (not literally ) my >2mbit/sec wireless connection ) - instead, you download the scenery outside of the sim and install it into the game as addon scenery. Will post some pretty cool screenies when i get it up and running )

    But now, here's my question: is anybody familiar with the program? I could always use help setting it up and getting some helpful tips to get it to run smoothly and with great precision

    -Dan

  2. Default

    Hi Dan,

    I have been using TP for a while, I like it a lot, it is very addictive. I am lucky enough to have a fast connection, so d/l is not an issue.

    Feel free to contact me in PM, maybe we can discuss further about the pros and cons of both applications.

    BTW - I heard about a third program map2bgl or something lke that, which I gather should be quite similar to FS Earth Tiles.

    Cheers,

    Paolo

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Hampshire, England
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    103

    Default

    Sounds like not many people are familiar with it, and looking online, it seems like a very new piece of freeware. It is a great idea to be able to pre-download the TP stuff, and so be able to fly around the photoscenery at above 100 knots - kudos to the guy who put all the work into this and is giving it away for free.

    I plan to download it and try to get it working myself, I'll update this thread with any observations.
    Iain
    Windows XP, Core2Duo 2.4 GHz, 2GB RAM, NVidia 8800GT

  4. #4

    Default

    Just got the config file to work I found a cool pre-made one online that allowed the use of two sources (virtual earth and bing maps), each with beautiful hi-res textures that would make any flight sim fan drool

    I just downloaded my first set of textures, but I don't know how to properly load them into the sim. Does anybody know how to yet? I try to add it using the "add scenery" button in FSX, but when i navigate to the location, it just says that nothing is there Any help is appreciated

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dglove23 View Post
    I just downloaded my first set of textures, but I don't know how to properly load them into the sim. Does anybody know how to yet? I try to add it using the "add scenery" button in FSX, but when i navigate to the location, it just says that nothing is there Any help is appreciated
    Assuming you had FSET automatically ceate the BGLs when it was done downloading the tiles, you need to point the sim to the folder those are located in. Or copy/paste the BGLs to a location of your choice. Just keep in mind that FSX expects to find the BGLs in a folder called "Scenery". So, for instance, if the area is someplace called New York, create a New York folder with the "Scenery" folder in it. Point FSX to the New York folder and it'll "see" the BGLs.

  6. #6

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    can someone PLEASE give me a link

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedbird ATC View Post
    can someone PLEASE give me a link
    'Smatter, Google not working? http://www.fspassengers.com/forum/re...&i=6835&t=6835
    Mr Zippy Sent from my keyboard using "Whackamole", NudgeAKey + 2 Fingers

    Emachines T3418 AMD 3400+ processor 2GHZ/256KB L2 Cashe 2Gig Ram 160Gig HDD NVidia GEForce 6100 GPU Running WinXP Home Can't believe it still works! Running FSX Standard with SP1 and SP2

    Take everything I say with a grain of salt and maybe some pepper! There's no such thing as too much garlic!

  8. #8
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    Plus a three year old thread......lol
    Dell XPS X8300 Intel core i7-2600(3.4 GHZ,8 MB Cache) 8 GB memory 1.5 TB HDD 1 GB AMD Radeon HD 6770 graphics card Windows 7

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedbird ATC View Post
    can someone PLEASE give me a link
    AND there is someone worked on updating FSET over at AVSIM. Now you can get GM textures.

  10. Default

    Hi Speedbird.
    A couple of years ago Mark and I updated the original version from HB-100 and I do not think that the new version got uploaded since we were not the original authors. Mark implemented most the changes listed below.
    I no longer contribute / visit / post at the Other (A) site but you may be able to trace the development steps around March 2012, and see if you can get the file that way. The latest version should be 1.08. If you cannot get it I can send you the .rar file.
    Here are some of the changes / improvements and I also posted a Tutorial at the other site, I also included part of it below. If it does not display properly I can send you the .doc file
    A while back the other site (A) had some issues with the Library and the files may not be available. Post here for more help. TV

    FSEarthTiles 1.03 Updates
    MJS March 2012
    I have updated a number of items with the source code of FSET ver 1.0 that has been posted on the
    web. Refer to the original documentation on the normal program usage. This is just a quick doc
    describing the changes to the programs operation.
    The changes are:
    • Fixed bug with Google Map service.
    • Services now display a 'friendly' name
    • Tile images are cached to the hard disk
    • User can set the program to use previously cached tiles
    • User can select map areas not be downloaded and processed
    • User can draw areas directly onto the map to not download tiles
    • User can draw exclude areas in Google Earth then import them as a KML file
    FsearthTiles.ini Changes
    [Service1] #Google Maps
    ServiceName = Google # Name to display for this service
    ServiceCodeing = qrts
    ServiceUrl =http://khm0.gxxxxe.com/kh?t=t%s&n=404&v=106
    Referer = http://khm0.google.com
    UserAgent = Mozilla/4.0 # This needs to be used for Google Service to work
    ServerVariations = khm0,khm1,khm2,khm3
    A new entry called ServiceName has been added. You can set the name you wish displayed in the
    service selection drop down box.
    The UserAgent option has been correctly implemented in the code. This has to be set correctly for
    Google Maps to function. Previously the blue 'WWW' button had to be pressed to download tiles
    from this service. Google no longer needs the webpage to be opened to work.
    BlankTileColorRed = 0 # Set the Red value for the blank tiles
    BlankTileColorGreen = 30 # Set the Green value for the blank tiles
    BlankTileColorBlue = 35 # Set the Blue value for the blank tiles
    UseCache = Yes # Yes = save the tiles to disk, reuse them if needed
    When tiles are not to be downloaded then the image for that area is replaced with a uniformly
    colored tile. The user can set this color by modifying the Red, Green and Blue tile colors using the
    three entries above.
    The UseCache tag either enables or disables the use of the cache from startup.
    StartWithService = Google # The name of the default service to use
    This options value has to match one of the service entries friendly names.

    FSEarthTiles Basics (Ver 1.0) it should work for other versions.


    Subject:
    Using "FSEarthTiles" to generate Photo Real Scenery. This Document will be of most benefit if read from the beginning. If you skip you are most likely to miss something and get confused.
    Really good information in the file: "UserDocu.rtf" that comes with the "FSEarthTilesV1_0.zip" file.
    Disclaimer: Back up all your data, I can not be responsible for any errors and or data / information lost. If you have any feedback on how to improve this document, Find any Errors, please post here.

    Equipment needed:
    Computer, with at least 500MB of storage, "FSEarthTiles" program, may also need "Inkscape" free, if you want to generate .SVG ScalableVectorGraphics file, used for Drawing Water and Blend Vectors, DXTBMP, Paint Program like PhotoShop. There is a limitation imposed by the memory available when using "Inkscape" limited to blocks areas, around 6x6 NM.

    Goal:
    Impart sufficient information to get someone started without having to spend too much time, and have someone enjoy the utility's results in the shortest amount of time.
    Information exists, but it's patchy and it can be confusing. This document is intended to clarify some of those issues.

    Notes / Personal remarks:
    This is a compilation of information available, but laid out to make it easier to use by a beginner.
    "FSEarthTiles" is very useful utility, easy to use, but not real easy to set up / get started. This reminds me of the old "Hidden hand" techniques used by the Karate Masters. They would never show you the complete technique, it was up to you to discover it, the hard way.

    If you deal with the Coast select small areas and generate the masks, in case you decide to go back and clean things up, described later.

    The output generated will require a large data storage, if you decide to get a large area at one time, and you want to save your downloaded images for later processing, you should have at least 500GB free storage space, more if you can get it.
    If you want to save space you can use different CompressionQuality, and or Download resolution, more information found in the "FSEarthTiles.ini" file. At 80 % can be close to a .25-.5% of what it is at 100%.
    I, personally, like to get it done at 100%, 1m resolution, if 0 is selected you get 0.5m. More on that later.


    Installation

    Download "FSEarthTiles" here: http://www.fspassengers.com/forum/re...&i=6835&t=6835

    Create a folder "FSEarthTiles" for this application and unzip the package into this folder.

    Create a working folder. Drive Letter (C: \Name (FSEarthTiles)\Work (A folder where FSEarthTiles will store intermediate files required for the scenery generation. The folder will be created if non-existent.

    Create a scenery folder. Drive Letter (C: \Name (FSEarthTiles)\ Scenery\Name (A folder where FSEarthTiles will store the built scenery. The folder will be created if non-existent including the two sub folder's scenery and texture).

    "Hidden hand":
    This can all be avoided, it will be generated for you, if you modify your "FSEarthTiles.ini" file, see below, and Start / Execute the program.


    Make a Copy of your: "FSEarthTiles.ini"
    Open FSEarthTiles.ini in NotePad or MSWord

    The lines below are the most likely you will have (should) modify:


    [Service1]
    ServiceCodeing = qrts
    ServiceUrl = http://kh0.g****e.com/kh?t=t%s&n=404&v=24 #you need to replace the * with a service base url
    #Referer = http://kh0.g****e.com

    [Service2]
    ServiceCodeing = 0123
    ServiceUrl = http://a1.ortho.tiles.v******e***h.n...a%s.jpeg?g=104 #you need to replace the * with a service base url
    #Referer = http://a1.ortho.tiles.v******e***h.net

    [Service3]
    ServiceCodeing = xyz
    ServiceUrl = http://us.maps3.y**g.com/aerial.maps...g?%s&v=1.7&t=a # You need to replace both groups of y**g.com
    #Referer = http://us.maps3.y**g.com

    [Service4]
    ServiceCodeing = qrts
    ServiceUrl = http://kh0.g****e.com/kh?t=t%s&n=404&v=24

    Change / enter / verify (Drive letter (C is whatever your drive name / letter used:

    WorkingFolder= Drive Letter (C: \Name (FSEarthTiles)\Work

    SceneryFolder= Drive Letter (C: \Name (FSEarthTiles)\Scenery\Name

    DownloadResolution = 1 (corresponds to 1 meter/pixel, 0 is 0.5m.)

    AreaSnap= LatLong LatLong snaps the Area on whole minutes in Latitude and Longitude. That makes it simpler for you to keep track of an area coverage if you plan to attach more scenery in an region later.

    CompileScenery = No #Yes = Compile the Scenery, No = Download the Area only.

    CompressionQuality = 85 #FS default is 100%. Some like 80 better to generate smaller bgl's.

    KeepAreaMaskInfFile = Yes # Important if you want to Recompile later, if Yes then this keeps the AreaMask.inf File (used for FS scenery compilation with resample.exe with Water and/or Season Masks)


    CreateWaterMaskBitmap = Yes # yes = create Water/Blend Mask. (An Area Vectors file (.Kml or .svg) is required for this!)

    CreateNightBitmap = Yes # yes = create Night Texture

    Note: Other masks you may want / need, see the .ini file.

    I use these settings, you can later delete any of the files you do not need, like the Night, Water etc. If not generated you can get them generated later but it can / will be more difficult.


    Execute (Run) your "FSEarthTiles.exe"

    Top 2 rows: Verify your settings / folders etc.

    Input: OK if coordinates are accepted, correctly entered.
    Enter your coordinates: Center Mode, if Area Def. Mode (right side) set to 1, or Corner Mode if Area Def. Mode (right side) set to 2, in the form Deg (Hour=60 min) Min =60 seconds, Seconds, i.e. 33 44.9 is equivalent to 33 44Min (.9x60) 54 seconds
    Select N, E, S,W whatever area you are in, do not use negative numbers.
    You can drag one corner to your upper left and or your lower right to get a larger area, if you want. Make sure your area is not very large, it can take a long time to complete an area of 160x100NM can take around 5 days 120 Hrs., to compile.

    Display: Will show your screen / pic at the location selected.

    Area: You can enter the size of your selection, and below the Window will display what you selected, Snap On, Off, coordinates etc.
    Area Def. Mode: Allows you to select the Center coordinates and or Two points (corners, upper left and lower right).

    Start: Will download your data and proceed to manipulate it as per your settings chosen in your .ini file and your settings chosen.
    Download resolution: 1>1m, 0>0.5m resolution.
    Area and Tile Count: Will update after you make your selection.
    Earth Service: Allows you to select your Map / data source from what you have specified in the .ini file.
    Scen. Compiler: allows you to choose between FSX and FS2004
    Create Masks: Will generate Masks you have enabled in your .ini file. I suggest you generate Water and Night, alter you can delete them and recompile, if not needed see below
    Comp. Scenery: Will allow you to compile immediately after you download, or just get the maps, masks and compile later. If you download Coast scenery you may want to set it to NO and edit your maps before you compile. You can also edit them while you compile, but it can take while. See Method 2, below.
    Zoom: adjusts your viewing and area selected size. Higher number will generate larger areas compiled. If you want to keep your areas small, to be able to easier manipulate later, use 3-5.
    The rest of the buttons are mostly self explanatory.


    Operation:

    Method 1. If you do not need the Water, and or any other area modified.

    Execute "FsEarth tile"
    Select your area, if you want a large area set Zoom to 8-9,
    Select Download Resolution= 1 is what I use (1M / pixel, 0 is 0.5m/pixel) ,
    Create Masks - No
    Comp. Scenery - Yes
    Click -Start
    when it finishes look in the Folder you selected to put your finished Scenery (.bgl s), move it to where you want to use in the simulator, Install it and you are ready to enjoy it.

    Method 2. Describes on how to build Scenery using the modify, water etc., as you compile the Scenery. Not recommended, since editing the water line / coast, can take a while and you are limited to a small 6x6 NM area, dictated by the InkScape's file size. For this you will need to have the InkScape installed in the Folder you described in your "FSEarthTiles.ini" file, i.e.

    ScalableVectorGraphicsTool = D:\Inkscape\inkscape.exe #Used for Drawing Water and Blend Vectors creating a .SVG File

    Note: you need to use / set your own Drive location. There is another program that you can use "Google Earth", but this will Not be described here. There is a document called "WaterUserReadMe" that describes this in more detail.

    Inkscape will be started from FSEarthTiles after each downloaded area.

    To do this you need to change the FSEarthTiles.ini config file to:
    CompileScenery = Yes #Yes = Compile the Scenery, No = Download the Area only.

    #--- Third Party Tools ---
    UseAreaKMLFile = No
    UseScalableVectorGraphicsTool = Yes
    ScalableVectorGraphicsTool = D:\Inkscape\inkscape.exe

    Where of course you have to use your path where you installed Inkscape.
    You can also leave the UseAreaKMLFile to Yes but when it finds a AreaKML.kml file it will be used then also (mixes both together)

    Execute FSEarthTiles.
    Make sure Create Masks, is set to Yes.
    And Scen. Compiler is set to FSX.
    Then start the Download, Click on Start.

    After Downloading the image area, FSEarthTiles will execute InkScape where you draw a line very detailed and as close to your coast line as you need, name it "Coast" (Object properties, ctrl-shift-o), and a line further away, somewhat parallel to the Coast line, but it does not need to be as detailed, from the shore named "DeepWater" line. Give them unique names by adding numbers. (Object properties, ctrl-shift-o). You can add a number like Coast1......2..3... etc or DeepWater 1....2..3...
    Note: Make sure you extend your lines outside the active shown area otherwise you may not get a good blend, if there is a gap between the lines.

    Check and see if the name was accepted by reopening the properties again. If it's not assigned make sure you assigned a unique name to each / all.
    After you edited your area Save the file and make sure you delete the ".bmp" extension and save it as ".svg"
    After you Close InkScape you will get the rest of the things Compiled and you should have a ".bgl" generated in the folder you selected. Move it to your FSX Scenery location, Install and enjoy.

    Method 3.
    If you need the Water, and or any other area modified, just Download the Images / tiles, Edit your areas, and Compile later.

    Execute "FsEarth tile"
    Select your area, if you want to edit a smaller area may be easier to handle, Zoom to 3-5,
    Select Download Resolution= 1 is what I use (1M / pixel, 0 is 0.5m/pixel) ,
    Create Masks - Yes
    Comp. Scenery - No
    Click -Start
    After you downloaded your images you are ready to Edit your "Area_...bmp", "AreaMask_...bmp", "AreaNight_...bmp" files and compile them.
    You can open your "AreaMask_...bmp" file in PhotoShop or any other paint program, paint the Water area where you want your area shown in black (0,0,0), you can also use a dark Blue color for transition near the coast, you can also do rivers, creeks, lakes etc. and Save.
    Edit your "Area_...bmp", file any way you want, I use Auto Level and Save it.

    To Compile, just Drag the AreaFSInfo_..inf _.. file over the "resampleFSXSP2.exe", or whatever version you want, located in the same Folder as your "FSEarthTiles.exe"
    Do the same with the AreaFSXMasksInfo_..inf and AreaFSXMasksSeasonsInfo_ inf files
    Note the extension ".inf" are the files you need to move.
    You should have the .bgl s in your Scenery folder you selected to put your files.

    Method 4.
    If you Do not have a Mask generated but you still want to edit your areas.
    Note: I was not able to find a clean / good procedure to accomplish this task. While the end result is somewhat acceptable is not as good as generating your Water masks during Download.
    This is the process that I found to work best:
    Tools: PhotoShop, and or other Paint program that can generate Alpha channels, to edit your "Area_Lp1_SnapOff_YY_YY_XX_XX.bmp", could be SnapOn, and a Notepad editor for "AreaInfo_Lp1_SnapOff_ YY_YY_XX_XX.inf", lots of time and patience.
    Load your "Area_Lp1_SnapOff_YY_YY_XX_XX.bmp" in PhotoShop.
    Select the Water area, Magnetic Lasso Tool works well you may also be able to do it with the Magic Wand. Fill the water area with Dark blue, Red=0, Green=30, blue=35. You can also Dodge an area with lighter blue if you like to smooth out the transition.
    You may lso be able to create a Texture to fill the area in with possible better results.
    Go into Channels mode and generate an Alpha channel, LClick on the Rectangle within a rectangle, "Create a new Channel"

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