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Howto create the parking positions

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Howto create the parking positions

Postby kuifje09 » Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:28 pm

Hi dev's, can you tell or point to some doc's about how to create the parking positions for airplane's and
how the taxiway signs would look like to point to them ?
I could not find info about it, only parking positions in the groundnet.xml. But that's a lot work to do by hand ?
About the taxi-way signs pointing to a parking position, I am afraid there ar not ?
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Re: Howto create the parking positions

Postby f-ojac » Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:48 pm

For the taxiway signs, they are now generated from apt.dat. Wed takes that into account. I already saw somes cases in FG where there are clearly indicated with the new scenery.
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Re: Howto create the parking positions

Postby pommesschranke » Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:54 pm

use the WED editor to create parking positions. they will be saved in apt.dat
(future versions of ) Flightgear read them from apt.dat
If Flightgear does not read it from apt.dat yet, then a script can read apt.dat and
generate groundnet.xml files from it.

taxi-way signs : also with WED
http://wiki.flightgear.org/Signs
http://wiki.flightgear.org/FGSignMaker
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Re: Howto create the parking positions

Postby elgaton » Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:57 pm

Parking positions are currently defined in groundnet.xml. As you saw, it's a lot of work to create the ground network by hand, so you might want to:
  1. create them in WED;
  2. convert them to a ground network using this Python script written by VaLeo;
  3. refine the ground network in TaxiDraw.

Signs are a lot easier, you just place them in WED and they are rendered in the scenery - the "Signs" wiki page has many examples and the required syntax. (Ground signs are not supported yet - a hack involves modeling them in Blender, see Modeling Ground Signs with Blender; I don't remember at the moment if it was proposed to add ground signs to the X-Plane apt.dat format specification, that would be a better solution).

Finally, some tips to make your work easier:
  1. Do follow the tips on X-Plane's Airport Layouts Guidelines page, especially the "Correct Formation of T Junctions" section. (Rationale: if two taxilines are not connected correctly, the ground network will have some discontinuities and planes will suddenly "stop" at a junction and/or behave weirdly).
  2. Add exclusion zones in WED (i.e. zones where no building/tree/street overlays will be applied in X-Plane - most of the time the zone corresponds to the region inside the airport boundary). That's a mandatory requirement should you wish to submit the airport to the X-Plane Gateway when it's done.
  3. Make sure to check the latest charts and NOTAMs (taxiways/parking positions change often).
  4. Add parking positions and also ATC flows (my dream is to edit the FlightGear core to make the AI system use exclusively the apt.dat file instead of a separate, duplicate ground network. While I'm skeptical about adding it soon due to a chronic lack of time on my part, one day it will be - I hope.)
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Re: Howto create the parking positions

Postby kuifje09 » Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:00 pm

Ah thank you both.

Funny, I now have the taxy way-signs in the 3366736.btg file ? which is done I by terragear.

But a last question, not in the text of any doc I found yet, How would a sign toward a parking place look like ?

EDIT: Hi Elgaton, thank you also. Have to check that out.
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Re: Howto create the parking positions

Postby legoboyvdlp » Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:11 pm

There is no such thing as a "sign towards a parking place". You can only make a sign with an arrow like this: --> APRON
My own question--- how do I get the signs in WED to FlightGear? Wait for X-Plane to release new scenery for us?
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Re: Howto create the parking positions

Postby IAHM-COL » Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:29 pm

@LEGO
The signs in WED appear in the airports after you build the airport with Terragear yourself. (if you use your local scenery drive)

But to get it in terrasync...
we'll that's a completely different story :S
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Re: Howto create the parking positions

Postby psadro_gm » Fri Nov 21, 2014 6:09 pm

I submitted a proposal to Robin for groundsigns about 6 months ago. No response yet.
8.50 airport parser, textured roads and streams...
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Re: Howto create the parking positions

Postby elgaton » Fri Nov 21, 2014 6:21 pm

@kuifjie09:
generally speaking, there are no fixed signs (at most one or two like the "APRON" one that legoboydvlp mentioned); instead, parking positions are marked by ground signs.

@legoboydvlp and @IAHM-COL:
as per this thread, once the airport is finished it must be submitted to the X-Plane Scenery Gateway. Gijs is currently speaking with the X-Plane gateway team, there will be a way for us to get the new global apt.dat file. From there, the scenery will need to be rebuilt and then published. (This happens every few years because scenery generation is a resource heavy process - to give you an idea, rebuilding the LIPX scenery from scratch takes about 30/40 minutes on my machine. The only alternative to do it more quickly, in my opinion, would be using a distributed architecture - e.g. BOINC - or a cluster of servers.)
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Re: Howto create the parking positions

Postby kuifje09 » Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:21 pm

Hi elgaton, Yep, thank for the addition, I already took for sure there in no sign for direction to parkings...

And after reading the docs you referred to, I cannot find how to make an parking position, other then a sign/sticker on the ground ?
Do I miss the point or just be misunderstanding. The only thing left for me is the xml file, which is nearly impossible.
You have to fill in lon and lat and ... just too much. What to think of 40 positions or more...

Is it for the flightgear scenery realy needed to concetenate or join all taxylines as for x-plane? It is just a line on the ground .
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Re: Howto create the parking positions

Postby legoboyvdlp » Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:34 pm

The parking positions in WED can be converted by a python script. Ask IHAM-COL to do it for you if you dont have python
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Re: Howto create the parking positions

Postby wlbragg » Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:47 pm

The only thing left for me is the xml file

You have to use a program to create that xml file, IE: Taxidraw or WED.
If WED, then it has to go through yet another Python conversion to get the xml.

I think this is still pertinent http://wiki.flightgear.org/Interactive_traffic
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Re: Howto create the parking positions

Postby elgaton » Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:07 pm

kuifje09 wrote in Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:21 pm:And after reading the docs you referred to, I cannot find how to make an parking position, other then a sign/sticker on the ground ?

  1. Use the Parking position tool in WED to add a parking position at the desired place. Save your work.
  2. Click on File ->Export apt.dat... and export the apt.dat file.
  3. Run VaLeo's script (I posted the link before) on the apt.dat file you exported, it will convert the parking positions you added to parking positions in the XML file.

kuifje09 wrote in Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:21 pm:Is it for the flightgear scenery realy needed to concetenate or join all taxylines as for x-plane? It is just a line on the ground .

Although it is not truly needed, please create T-junctions correctly. That's because:
  • even if you might believe the junction appears correctly in WED, it might not be so in X-Plane/FlightGear (they may use different approximations) and the line might appear disconnected there - I have personally noticed this problem at a few airports;
  • VaLeo's script, in addition to creating parking positions, also converts taxilines to a full ground network. This enables AI planes to appear, follow the taxiways and take off/land automatically. However, if you don't form the junctions correctly, FlightGear will believe the "joined" taxiways to be independent; as a result, planes will stop at the end of a taxiway before reaching the runway/go back and forth/...
Even if it might be a harmless thing to do, it will bite you (and other contributors) in the long run (for example, I used VaLeo's script to generate a ground network for an airport where taxiways were joined incorrectly, had to adjust something like one or two hundred nodes by hand - lost more than a day on that). So, just follow the guidelines and you'll be fine :wink:
The Airport Boundaries and Global Scenery wiki page on the X-Plane site has some examples and shows visually how to join taxiways the correct way.
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Re: Howto create the parking positions

Postby wlbragg » Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:25 pm

@elgaton, does Taxidraw create proper or valid t-junctions?
Or am I think about two different ideas.

Is the following right
In WED, draw the taxi-lines and it generates the information in the apt.dat export with the caveat that the drawn lines t-junctions are correct. Python converts part of this apt-dat data to the same thing Taxidraw exports, the groundnet.xml?
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Re: Howto create the parking positions

Postby elgaton » Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:56 pm

wlbragg wrote in Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:25 pm:@elgaton, does Taxidraw create proper or valid t-junctions?
Or am I think about two different ideas.

Both TaxiDraw and WED can create proper junctions using the technique explained in the guidelines, that is:
  1. splitting an existing line in two, adding a node at the middle, and
  2. merging the newly created middle node of the first line with the end node of the second line.
None of them have, currently, a validator to check this - it is up to the contributor to make sure junctions are formed correctly.

wlbragg wrote in Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:25 pm:Is the following right
In WED, draw the taxi-lines and it generates the information in the apt.dat export with the caveat that the drawn lines t-junctions are correct. Python converts part of this apt-dat data to the same thing Taxidraw exports, the groundnet.xml?

That's correct.
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