GAME OVER for detailed airport ground ? UPDATE 5

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Awol
Posts: 45

Post by Awol » Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:51 am

It's not that I wasn't satisfied, I was, and still am. Simply anticipating new features. Who wouldn't? Only this time those new features come at an unbelievable price, and am disappointed they had to screw with the textures. The word cartoonish comes to mind, which I heard repeated quite often when the demo came out.

But like you, I'm more than happy to stay with 9. It looks better than ever. :wink: So I guess I'll just be another "whiner" who refuses to move on to the brave, new world. :)
Ruahrc
Posts: 91

Post by Ruahrc » Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:32 pm

paavo wrote:One last thing, can you please explain to me the big advatage of this round earth stuff.
Those of us who fly in northern latitudes benefit greatly from the round earth. The global model in FS9 distorts the terrain at high latitudes (it is visible starting at probably 60 degrees N/S, and gets progressively worse as you near the pole) and prevents true polar flyovers. The new round earth model gets rid of these limitations. Considering that just about all of alaska looks a little skewed in FS9, the round earth model is a real boon for serious bush flyers.

No I don't have FSX though. Probably won't upgrade for a long while either, seeing's how the vast majority of my addons would not work. I have considered using a dual setup with FSX for bush flying/GA and FS9 for heavy iron but don't feel like putting out the effort just yet.

Ruahrc
skydvdan
Posts: 2121

Post by skydvdan » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:44 pm

Ruahrc wrote:
paavo wrote:One last thing, can you please explain to me the big advatage of this round earth stuff.
Those of us who fly in northern latitudes benefit greatly from the round earth. The global model in FS9 distorts the terrain at high latitudes (it is visible starting at probably 60 degrees N/S, and gets progressively worse as you near the pole) and prevents true polar flyovers. The new round earth model gets rid of these limitations. Considering that just about all of alaska looks a little skewed in FS9, the round earth model is a real boon for serious bush flyers.

No I don't have FSX though. Probably won't upgrade for a long while either, seeing's how the vast majority of my addons would not work. I have considered using a dual setup with FSX for bush flying/GA and FS9 for heavy iron but don't feel like putting out the effort just yet.

Ruahrc
Okay, I've put in some time up in Alaska, as has Paavo, and haven't seen anything that was so skewed as to make me notice that something was wrong. As of now I also can't see the benefit considering all the issues that it's actually created. Can you be more specific?
OSS-J.Nielsen
Posts: 51

Post by OSS-J.Nielsen » Fri Sep 07, 2007 8:15 am

Dan,

I hate to sound like the voice of moderation here, but that was a huge issue for the new version. It also helped to get rid of the atmospheric limitations that FS9 has as well as the 'brick wall' for quite a few polar long haul simmers.

The side effect though was the custom ground issue we/they are still trying to work out so that large scale ground work doesn't take an additional 5 years to complete.
skydvdan
Posts: 2121

Post by skydvdan » Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:29 am

OSS-J.Nielsen wrote:Dan,

I hate to sound like the voice of moderation here, but that was a huge issue for the new version. It also helped to get rid of the atmospheric limitations that FS9 has as well as the 'brick wall' for quite a few polar long haul simmers.

The side effect though was the custom ground issue we/they are still trying to work out so that large scale ground work doesn't take an additional 5 years to complete.
Again this isn't helping or explaining a whole lot with the distortion thing. As for what you're saying Jeff, I seem to remember some kind of issue when trying to fly to McMurdo Station in Antarctica maybe. But as I said can we please stop talking in generalities? Can I please get some specifics? Maybe something that can more clearly explain why the few times a year that I fly to Antarctica is worth me losing the ability to create the kind of airports that Fly Tampa and others make with the beautiful ground work? Come on guys... some specifics or nothing. I'm not saying that there aren't any but I'd like to see some examples that make it worth having. Because right now it just seems like another "hey guys, look what we can do" by Aces. Like the whole stars and constellations being accurate.... WTF, WHO CARES!! Who still navigates using cellestial navigation. Christopher Columbus has been dead for like 500 years. :?
OSS-J.Nielsen
Posts: 51

Post by OSS-J.Nielsen » Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:14 am

Dan,

I thought I was clearer then I was. the polar thing (arctic), not antartic 'brick wall' for all purposes prevented actual overflights while in LNav or any other heading mode for that matter. That was probably the biggest thing. Some people reported several hundred if not thousands of miles in error just to get around it. There are a lot if simmers who fly the KORD-VHHH and KIAD-(any far east destination), etc.

The atmospheric cap I believe might have actually helped in the flight dynamics if my memory serves me correct, or something similar. It wasn't just for the stars in the sky or for people who wanted to do space ops or something. What I mean by that, is it may ahve at least unlocked certain areas for performance abilities that already existed, if that makes any sense.

As I stated above the one side effect (a pretty large one) is that it really threw off and almost prevented detailed and custom ground work for those developers we all know and love. Creating ground work in FS9 was already bad enough and took up probably 80% of the dev time for any one project, depending. Those devs weren't looking foward to another 20% or more on top of the 80% just for creating ground work and still not having the ability (initially) to get everything they needed or had in their FS9 versions for FSX 'style' scenery.

I understand this issue seems to be coming around somewhat, or maybe other devs are just sucking it up, I don't really know.

What Martin and several other suggested was not that we have backward compatibility as much as we merely needed a much easier way to create (model) the ground work for FSX...it didn't matter really how, just that we had it in some shape or form.

Forgive me if I seem out of the loop somewhat; I've been selfishly enjoying just being a regular simmer these days so my recollection and terminology is probably way off now...lol.
skydvdan
Posts: 2121

Post by skydvdan » Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:35 am

OSS-J.Nielsen wrote:Dan,

I thought I was clearer then I was. the polar thing (arctic), not antartic 'brick wall' for all purposes prevented actual overflights while in LNav or any other heading mode for that matter. That was probably the biggest thing. Some people reported several hundred if not thousands of miles in error just to get around it. There are a lot if simmers who fly the KORD-VHHH and KIAD-(any far east destination), etc.

The atmospheric cap I believe might have actually helped in the flight dynamics if my memory serves me correct, or something similar. It wasn't just for the stars in the sky or for people who wanted to do space ops or something. What I mean by that, is it may ahve at least unlocked certain areas for performance abilities that already existed, if that makes any sense.

As I stated above the one side effect (a pretty large one) is that it really threw off and almost prevented detailed and custom ground work for those developers we all know and love. Creating ground work in FS9 was already bad enough and took up probably 80% of the dev time for any one project, depending. Those devs weren't looking foward to another 20% or more on top of the 80% just for creating ground work and still not having the ability (initially) to get everything they needed or had in their FS9 versions for FSX 'style' scenery.

I understand this issue seems to be coming around somewhat, or maybe other devs are just sucking it up, I don't really know.

What Martin and several other suggested was not that we have backward compatibility as much as we merely needed a much easier way to create (model) the ground work for FSX...it didn't matter really how, just that we had it in some shape or form.

Forgive me if I seem out of the loop somewhat; I've been selfishly enjoying just being a regular simmer these days so my recollection and terminology is probably way off now...lol.
I was using the antarctic as an example but this still dances around my original question a few posts up about distortions. As for polar routes, I'm not buying that as a reason to screw up the system to the point of making development even harder. I still think it's a "look at what we can do."

Anyway, it's midnight-thirty here in Japan. I'll pick this up tomorrow. :wink:
OSS-J.Nielsen
Posts: 51

Post by OSS-J.Nielsen » Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:54 am

Dan,

I'm not trying to dance around anything, and I think I've made it pretty clear my recollection of some things.

There's no need to get bent with each other over this. You know me and I know you; and I think as long as you've known me, I'm pretty neutral with most issues...sometimes optimistic, but no BS.

I'm not defending anyone here one way or the other even though I was more on the developer side of the issue as you can well imagine the reasons why.

I will however give credit where credit is due even if it doesn't benefit us. I think that's only fair. Roger--roger?

Get some sleep old friend, hope everything is working out for you in Japan.
skydvdan
Posts: 2121

Post by skydvdan » Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:07 pm

OSS-J.Nielsen wrote:Dan,

I'm not trying to dance around anything, and I think I've made it pretty clear my recollection of some things.

There's no need to get bent with each other over this. You know me and I know you; and I think as long as you've known me, I'm pretty neutral with most issues...sometimes optimistic, but no BS.

I'm not defending anyone here one way or the other even though I was more on the developer side of the issue as you can well imagine the reasons why.

I will however give credit where credit is due even if it doesn't benefit us. I think that's only fair. Roger--roger?

Get some sleep old friend, hope everything is working out for you in Japan.
I'm good to go dude. No bending here. :wink:

I just want to know about the distortions. I totally understand what you are saying about the polar routers being taken care of. I just want some insight on the distortions thing. Are we talking minor things that the average simmer wouldn't notice or huge issues? The only thing that I can figure that he was talking about is maybe the distortions that you get on a map when you pull it off of a globe? You know like we all learned back in school. How on a map Greenland appears WAY bigger than it actually is. Is that what he's talking about? I hate digging for my our answers for others incomplete statements. Jeff, you at least explained what you meant.
Considering that just about all of alaska looks a little skewed in FS9, the round earth model is a real boon for serious bush flyers.
Huh?

As for giving credit where credit is due, I'll give some. But I wish alot of this wouldn't have come at such a high price. Clearance, Clarence. :wink:
OSS-J.Nielsen
Posts: 51

Post by OSS-J.Nielsen » Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:29 pm

Ah yeah, to tell you the truth I'm not sure either about the distortions. Maybe that's not quite what he meant to say, don't know.

I totally understand what you're saying, the final outcome still doesn't help the majority of us regardless. We're definately on the same page there, including ACES (IMO). Honestly though, after several years prior to the FSX beta, and up to now, they could have just put it all off on their higher ups with deadlines and such, but instead they put up 'the buck stops here' sign, publicly no less, and committed to at least try and make things right (maybe not in the right order-lol) by themselves. Anyone that has that kind of brass when they are taking more repsonsibility then they should have at least deserves our respect. Again, IMO.

I guess that last paragraph was said for all general purposes. I know you know what I'm saying. :-) It's hard when at the end of the day we'd just like to have a sim running good. I still have hope though.
skydvdan
Posts: 2121

Post by skydvdan » Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:49 pm

OSS-J.Nielsen wrote:Ah yeah, to tell you the truth I'm not sure either about the distortions. Maybe that's not quite what he meant to say, don't know.

I totally understand what you're saying, the final outcome still doesn't help the majority of us regardless. We're definately on the same page there, including ACES (IMO). Honestly though, after several years prior to the FSX beta, and up to now, they could have just put it all off on their higher ups with deadlines and such, but instead they put up 'the buck stops here' sign, publicly no less, and committed to at least try and make things right (maybe not in the right order-lol) by themselves. Anyone that has that kind of brass when they are taking more repsonsibility then they should have at least deserves our respect. Again, IMO.

I guess that last paragraph was said for all general purposes. I know you know what I'm saying. :-) It's hard when at the end of the day we'd just like to have a sim running good. I still have hope though.
I'm holding out hold as well my friend. Hopefully we'll all be able to fly FSX at a reasonable rate soon. And hopefully the development issues for addon developers get solved, that's my biggest concern.
paavo
Posts: 1612

Post by paavo » Fri Sep 07, 2007 8:23 pm

So if I fly above 60 degrees latitude or to the poles this round earth helps, in other words, round earth helps a few ( those you really fly to or in such places ) at the cost of the many ( people who like detailed 3rd party airports like FlyTampa makes ), I think I get it now.
OSS-J.Nielsen
Posts: 51

Post by OSS-J.Nielsen » Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:05 pm

Pretty much, yes, I thought we stated that about a year ago...rofl. Any other questions there high speed?

:P Just a little good natured razzing bro.
mdaskalos
Posts: 7

Post by mdaskalos » Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:53 pm

What is better about modeling based upon a round earth? It is better mainly because it is RIGHT.

I have only recently gotten into flight simulation, FSX being my first non-combat flight sim, and I was astounded to learn that MSFS prior to FSX was based on a flat earth. A simulation that purports to support worldwide flights and navigation, but uses a flat earth model is bound to run into severe limitations, as all methods of depicting a round earth on a flat map produce distortion.

How much distortion? Well, that all depends upon the mapping projection method(s) used. Let's take Mercator's projection (you know, the one where the globe is mapped as a rectangle, and Antarctica and the Arctic Ocean run all the way across the top of the map), among the simplest cases, as an example.

All north-south distances on Mercator's projection are accurate. East-West distances are accurate only at the equator. Thus all paths that are not directly north-south have some distortion. How much? Well, at 45° Latitude, an East-west line would be only 70.71% as long as measured on a map using Mercator's projection. At 60° Latitude, an East-West line would be only 50% of the distance measured on the map, or expressed another way, is 100% too long. On Mercator's projection, the North and South Poles are 25,000 miles "long", or are infinitely distorted.

As an exercise, how far is it from Reykjavik to Helsinki, or Reykjavik to Stockholm? In real life, on a globe?? How about in a straight line on the FSX flight planner? How about in the flight planner on previous MSFS versions? I'm looking for a volunteer here, as I don't have FS9 or earlier for the comparison.

Another problem with using a flat earth is, if I plan a route (again using Mercator's projection as an example) between two points at the same latitude, I will travel directly east or directly west in a straight line to get from the starting point to the destination. But that is not the way global navigation is done. The shortest distance between two points on the earth is found using the Great Circle Method. In short, stretch a tape measure across a globe between two points on it. Say, New York and London. Now, on a map using Mercator's projection, scribe a straight line between new York and London. Look and see what points the two lines pass by along the route, on the map, and on the globe. Different, ain't it?? Flattening the earth distorts distances, as well as distorts what parts of the world you will pass by or over along the route. If Captain Smith had thought about it at about five minutes until midnight on April 14, 1912, he probably would have wished the world really was shaped like Mercator's projection. But being busy, he probably had other things on his mind at the time.

Look on a globe and make that straight (not "straight", but "direct") path from New York to London. Goes over Nova Scotia, doesnt it? Now do the same thing on a map generated with Mercator's projection. Nova Scotia is several hundered miles off to the North doing it that way, isn't it? Land that should be squarely under your belly but is shown several hundred miles away would constitute a severe distortion of scenery, wouldn't it? Not to mention if you're simulating failures in flight, and en route from NYC to London, if a failure made you have to divert, say, to Halifax, it'd be pretty nice if Halifax were on the way like it really is, rather than several hundered miles off, no?

Now, I don't claim to know what flat mapping methods earlier versions of MSFS use, but the foregoing demonstrates that distortions due to flat earth modeling of a global environment can be quite large. There are other map projections that can reduce distortions, but they only reduce it in certain portions of the map, and it increases in others, and there would be a great many navigational and physics "fudges" and splices that would be necessary to minimize the most obvious effects. Lambert's conic projection would get you around significant portions with minimal distortion, but get to far afield from where the projection is valid, and the distortion gets pretty large. One could code the software to generate new Lambert's conic projections every so often in flight, I suppose, but then that would be in effect "rounding the earth under your feet" (or wings), after a fashion. But if you're doing some kind of in-flight correction like that, sooner or later it becomes easier to just implement a round earth.

I do computer simulation for a living. Autombile racing, to be exact, doing the full car simulation on a track. My simulated environment is seldom more than a mile across any dimension, and flat-earth modeling for my own purposes is sufficient. However, I do run into flat-earth vs. round earth issues. Lots of race tracks are unwilling to fork over design or construction drawings, and there isn't always time to go take direct measurements, so sometimes I use satellite imagery from the U.S. Geological survey or Google Earth to map out a track. Now, both organizations will do "perspective correction", prismatically/diagonally stretching the picture to try to present an accurate top-down picture, for photos taken where the satellite is not directly over the photographed area. If the terrain in the photo has significant elevation changes, and the satellite taking the photo was at a relatively low angle, the vertical information gets into the horizontal layout due to the perspective correction. So, elevation changes and banking end up looking like kinks in straight areas of tracks. Sometimes you can compare photos from two satellites and see different distortion effects because the vertical information is photographed at different angles.

It seems to me the main area that benefits from "flat earth" is scenery, and that is because photographs and site drawings present the round world on a flat surface, and it's mathematically easier to represent it that way. But, round the earth is, and sooner or later the "flat earth simmers" are going to have to come to grips with the round earth facts, much as did the post-1492 scientific world (although Archimedes presented the world the same conclusions some 2000 years or so prior).

Of course scenery is not a trivial thing. I mean, here I am at a scenery publisher's website and forum, looking for some good FSX scenery, so I identify with the gripes about the lack of good FSX scenery. I mean, I don't wan't my aircraft sinking down in the runway at both ends and hovering above it in the middle, just like you guys don't. But if I were generating the stuff myself, I'd doubtlessly want to work in Cartesian coordinates (flat earth), rather than sperical coordinates. But I'm sure tools can be (or even are being) developed that will make this easier someday. Perhaps not as easy as FS9, but easier than the present state of affairs.

And for any of you that don't get the Captain Smith reference, he was Captain of the Titanic. Had the world really been shaped like Mercator's projection, the ice fields and icebergs would have been several hundred miles to the north that night.

[edit(s)] fixing spelling mistakes along the way... too late at night, no coffee.

mdaskalos
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