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Why does Flightgear use X-Plane airport data?

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Why does Flightgear use X-Plane airport data?

Postby Ernest1984 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:16 pm

Actually, why Flight Gear use the X-Plane stuffs?
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Re: Why does Flightgear use X-Plane airport data?

Postby f-ojac » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:46 am

Because it would be extremely dumb to try to maintain one ourselves with all the airports, navigation data, etc. And also because, this way, you can benefit from the tremendous work xplane users have done, especially when designing 850 data "ahead" of us.
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Re: Why does Flightgear use X-Plane airport data?

Postby Ernest1984 » Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:23 pm

But it would be better to develop a better solutions, which would give more freedom in simulator creation?
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Re: Why does Flightgear use X-Plane airport data?

Postby f-ojac » Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:39 pm

Ernest1984 wrote in Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:23 pm:But it would be better to develop a better solutions, which would give more freedom in simulator creation?


If you know:
- someone who is willing to develop, contruct and maitain the full airport diagrams database + its implementation ;
- a solution better than the formats used in XPlane ;
- someone who has the time to rebuild the whole toolchain to analyse this new format ;
- build a nice and crossplatform tool we can use to build airports ;
- with a GPL license.

Then, I'm willing to hear about him - or her.

I don't really understand what you mean by "better solution" and "more freedom" regarding the airport data format.
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Re: Why does Flightgear use X-Plane airport data?

Postby Ernest1984 » Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:59 pm

I fully understands it need a lot of effort, but maybe looking in a long-term perspective, it would be easier for us, to have own system?
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Re: Why does Flightgear use X-Plane airport data?

Postby Hooray » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:21 pm

I am not sure if I agree: There are so many advantages when reusing the X-Plane data and their format, they have a HUGE community of contributors - which FG simply doesn't have.

On the other hand, some web-based frontend to allow people to easily contribute and maintain airport/navdb data, would be great to have in my opinion:
Pretty much like a "GIS Wiki", possibly based on PSQL or even git - so that people could go to a website, open an airport/navaid and file merge requests, review entries and help maintain all the data there.

The new scenemodels submission process is actually a very good example here.

Something like this could be very useful, not just for airports (runways, taxiways, aprons etc), but also for navaids and terminal procedures (SIDs/STARs and IAPs).

And I guess we could even get the X-Plane community to contribute to something like this.
The whole work flow could be moved to a website, so that it would be easier contribute.

Using git as the backend (i.e. plain text files) would have the advantage, that we'd also get a revision history automatically.
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Re: Why does Flightgear use X-Plane airport data?

Postby robitabu » Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:48 am

Hooray wrote in Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:21 pm:On the other hand, some web-based frontend to allow people to easily contribute and maintain airport/navdb data, would be great to have in my opinion:
Pretty much like a "GIS Wiki", possibly based on PSQL or even git - so that people could go to a website, open an airport/navaid and file merge requests, review entries and help maintain all the data there.


I totally agree with that. The OpenStreetMap lesson has to be learned here :-)
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Re: Why does Flightgear use X-Plane airport data?

Postby Vinura » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:36 am

Why aren't there license issues with FG using X Plane stuff?

I mean, X Plane is commercial, we are open source.

I have always wondered about that...
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Re: Why does Flightgear use X-Plane airport data?

Postby F-JJTH » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:12 pm

Hi Vinura,
"commercial" and "open source" are not opposite. But I haven't all skill to explain more. (Hooray I think you can help about this subject ;) )
We haven't license issue with data from x-plane because these data are under GPL. You can read it in the "Terms of use" paragraph here : http://data.x-plane.com/

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Re: Why does Flightgear use X-Plane airport data?

Postby gooneybird » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:36 pm

:? Quote from X-Plane designer page:
Google Earth, Google Maps, Live Search Maps and TerraServer all have a role to play in airport design. Depending upon the imagery available, these tools can provide detailed aerial views of many airports. Ortho-rectification of the images is usually good, but remember to switch off any features that try to show 3D terrain (this can distort the images).

Google Earth can be used to obtain latitude/longitude positions for many features (remember to set the format of the lat/lon to decimal degrees in the Tools/Options menu).
The 'birds eye' view on Live Search Maps offers extremely detailed imagery - good enough in many cases so that taxiway signs can be read. But coverage is limited.


So we can't use any lon/lat information from GE etc, but can use X-Plane data derived from the same source, no wonder people are so confused :? :?
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Re: Why does Flightgear use X-Plane airport data?

Postby Vikthor » Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:25 pm

There is an important difference - Unlike FlightGear, X-plane has backing of a commercial company so if they believe that what they are doing is legal and are willing take the risks - it's their decision. And since they share with us - kudos to them. But nobody should endanger our maintainers with possible lawsuits, however unlikely they might be, by doing the same.

As for the original question - It's been working for years so far*, so why fix something that's not broken?

*Apart for FlightGear not supporting v8.50 - but that's solved, or will be soon.
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Re: Why does Flightgear use X-Plane airport data?

Postby Soitanen » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:12 pm

Sorry for posting in old topic, but I didn't find suitable topic for my question.

Will FG support navaids not only from nav.dat.gz file, but from some files in custom sceneries?
For example, in ULLI airport there is problem with glideslope and NDB at Outer markers and there are missing NDB at Middle markers. I made right version of nav.dat.gz, but it works only on my computer. I can distribute my scenery with fixed nav.dat.gz, but if player have own modifications in own nav.dat, they will conflict. I can write instruction how to find bad data and replace it to right, but not every player wants to do some actions, especially, if he played MSFS earlier. That why I'm asking it.
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Re: Why does Flightgear use X-Plane airport data?

Postby Hooray » Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:06 am

robitabu wrote in Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:48 am:
Hooray wrote in Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:21 pm:On the other hand, some web-based frontend to allow people to easily contribute and maintain airport/navdb data, would be great to have in my opinion:
Pretty much like a "GIS Wiki", possibly based on PSQL or even git - so that people could go to a website, open an airport/navaid and file merge requests, review entries and help maintain all the data there.


I totally agree with that. The OpenStreetMap lesson has to be learned here :-)


Update: some recent progress:
http://navdata.fgx.ch/
The NavData project takes the latest xplane data, imports it to a postgis database spatially ready for querying on demand. It is intended as a "permanent" feed moving foward and making the latest xplane data available and updated for all, whether for caching local or online live. The data returned is formatted in a pratical way with a lot of the calculations already done, such as the middle of an airport, runway center point, orientation and displaced threshold etc. Also measures are returned in different units such as evelation both in metres and feet to make life easier for both calculation and presentation for end user application.
Please don't send support requests by PM, instead post your questions on the forum so that all users can contribute and benefit
Thanks & all the best,
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Re: Why does Flightgear use X-Plane airport data?

Postby ac001 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:11 pm

I'm the developer behind navdata.fgx.ch
and thanks to Hooray for alerting me as i dont follow the forums much...

So What I would want is to publich the xplane data..

But also have a way to "submit corrections", and maybe have a voting system of "yes this is correct".....

Problem is to create and automated way to send this upstream to Robin the xplane maintainer...

but am well into this stuff ;-)

Problem with navdata at the moment is I need some users to check the api and make it "usable" moving forward...
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Re: Why does Flightgear use X-Plane airport data?

Postby Hooray » Thu May 01, 2014 5:13 am

coordinating this with Robin Peel would be awesome, because of the sizable XP community, i.e. we could truly benefit here by leveraging our two communities to help update such data.
At some point, someone even came up with a script to extract such stuff procedurally from airnav/TPP charts. This is something that me worthwhile to explore again.
API-wise I'd just suggest to provide a mandatory version attribute, so that you can safely upgrade things later on, without features breaking.

Also see: http://sourceforge.net/p/flightgear/mai ... sg32324567
Last edited by Hooray on Sun May 11, 2014 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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