Australian Scenery Screenshots

  • Great work Chris!

    There seem to be quite a few steps and effort involved for the average player to create their own scenery.

    Will there be a way to merely download terrain scenery in the near future?

    I also wonder if it's worth crowd funding to purchase license to some quality aerial photography.

    Very much looking forward to your Aussie scenery.

  • Thanks Greg,


    Yep, it was a steep learning curve to run all the steps with all the correct values and get a decent result in FS2. The tutorials don't contain all the info you need, so I had to troll the forums to get enough information to be proficient. Luckily IPACS forum members love sharing.


    There is a tool being developed that will allow you to easily download your own photorealistic scenery yourself. It is not ready for release yet but will be a quick and easy way to get the images on your computer and up and running in FS2. You'll be able to select what areas you want and what quality of images you require for individual areas. The only limitation is the amount of hard disk space you have. So no point in creating high resolution images of Wop Wop if you are only going to sail over them at 35,000 feet, lower resolution images will do. My happy medium between scenery size and scenery quality was to have lower imagery in areas without an airport, then add progressively more detailed imagery as you get closer to an airport. So in an area where you would normally be getting closer to the ground, the imagery quality is increased. This seems to work well in FS2.


    There are 2 sets of photorealistic map data you can use. One from Google Maps and another from Microsoft's Bing maps. Which looks better often depends on what area you are downloading. Unfortunately Google's map data comes with a "copyright Google 2018" watermark in all the images, and these are faintly visible in FS2. Bing maps doesn't currently have a watermark.


    Its not clear from the legal fluff on both Google and Microsoft's map sites whether you can distribute scenery you have created from their source maps for FS2, although Microsoft seems to indicate it OK if its not for profit. Its just not clear in relation to FS2.


    Because of this and also as the scenery tool is being developed, I won't be releasing any photorealistic scenery I have extracted. However once the tool is available, and you can easily create the photo realistic scenery yourself, the airport building, runways and static planes I have created to enhance the airport areas can be easily downloaded from Fscloudport and installed in FS2. In fact you can download them now, but they look a bit odd in FS2 if you don't have the supporting photorealistic scenery.

    Thanks, Chris

    Win 10 64-bit, 24GB RAM, i5-9400F @ 3.9, 6GB Nvidia RTX-2060

  • I also wonder if it's worth crowd funding to purchase license to some quality aerial photography.

    Very much looking forward to your Aussie scenery.

    Great idea, I would be in.

    Windows 10 64bit | iCore7-7770K| ASUS STRIX Z270E |KHX2400C15D4 - 32GB | Gigabyte Ge-Force GTX 1080Ti| SSD Intel 520 Series | 40" Philips BDM4065UC/75 4K - Oculus Rift

  • I checked with Microsoft's legal area and surprisingly they responded. I assumed they'd just ignore it. They advised they had no issue with sharing anything created using their map data.

    Thanks, Chris

    Win 10 64-bit, 24GB RAM, i5-9400F @ 3.9, 6GB Nvidia RTX-2060

  • I checked with Microsoft's legal area and surprisingly they responded. I assumed they'd just ignore it. They advised they had no issue with sharing anything created using their map data.

    Chris,

    Could you publish that answer please?

    It even would be better, if they will write it into their FAQs.

  • So I'm a little surprised by that answer. :/

    When I called BING, I was told that downloading aerial photos using SBuilderX or similar software is illegal. For the licensing of two aerial photos of small ferry ports in Germany and Denmark I should pay 900 Euro per picture.

    Therefore I would be a bit cautious and would have a written license sent to me.

    Greetings to all the salt skins and tar pigtails!

    and also the unlucky ones who don't live on the coast.


    Manfred

  • Perhaps their response was positive because I mentioned in my request that the use was "not for profit"and that the distribution was to others with the same hobby . I'm sure you could argue that the email from Bing giving permission to distribute imagery created from their maps constitutes a written license. After all, it came from the Business Development Manager of the Bings Maps Licensing section, so the response was from a person of responsibility in the appropriate area.

    Thanks, Chris

    Win 10 64-bit, 24GB RAM, i5-9400F @ 3.9, 6GB Nvidia RTX-2060

  • We have received legal opinion on the sharing of ortho imagery and, with the exception of using USGS data, it is illegal to use Bing or any other source to share such files on a public medium for download. It is however legal to use such data for personal use. In order to use USGS to allow others to download it we would have to personally verify the source before this is posted and we opt to not do this as it takes time away from our work.


    I work on the development team of IPACS yet I live in America, not in Germany where the rest of the team resides, so the legal opinion I have is from American law, the laws of other countries differ somewhat causing even more confusion for us.


    So to summarize the best I can;


    * Americans can share scenery developed only from USGS sources but we would have to fully verify the source before you upload it for public downloading, which we don't really have the time to do.

    * The distribution of Bing (BI), Google, etc. ortho images are not permitted to be freely distributed unless such orthos receive a paid certificate directly from the source to allow for such distribution. Meaning you need to buy the orthos you wish to distribute (free or paid)

    * Any distributed orthos from government sources must seek written approval to use their data in a commercial application that customers purchase globally.

    * ALL ortho imagery obtained from an accessible source can be used for personal use, however, it's still questionable as to how such orthos are obtained; example, the use of FSET rips the imagery from the servers of private sources, we still aren't 100% sure if doing this without the source holder knowing is even legal.

    * We have no legal opinion on the use of ortho imagery derived from sources outside of America. We do know that we had to purchase imagery for some of our DLC's.

    * Also, aside from the above, there is the size of the packages and the ability to host. In order to host downloads of actual scenery packages you would need a lot of server storage space and high I/O (bandwidth) due to the traffic and sizes of the packages.

    IPACS Development Team Member

    I'm just a cook, I don't own the restaurant.
    On behalf of Torsten, Marc, and the rest of the IPACS team, we would all like to thank you for your continued support.


    Regards,


    Jeff

  • We have received legal opinion on the sharing of ortho imagery and, with the exception of using USGS data, it is illegal to use Bing or any other source to share such files on a public medium for download.

    So was that opinion sought from Bing themselves or from a 3rd party like a lawyer who then looked at Bing and Google's EULA's. The response I got was by asking Bing themselves, I just contacted Bing's email address for map licensing, so their response is most likely from the US. However if there is any doubt, then the best advice is always not to distribute anything.


    In my case Its probably all a bit academic now, as I have found that reasonable quality scenery would result in data that is too large to share. But with new tools like AeroScenery, users will soon be able to easily create their own scenery. To that end I have done a bit of testing an come up with 3 different combinations of settings using AeroScenery, that would give different "effort/size vs quality" scenarios that would allow users to pick the best option that suits their FS2 needs and computer resources available.

    Thanks, Chris

    Win 10 64-bit, 24GB RAM, i5-9400F @ 3.9, 6GB Nvidia RTX-2060

  • Believe me I wish that I can just build a storage server and let everyone share away but there are just too many discrepancies both legal and capacity that really muddies the water for us and the community.

    Yes, we fully support the development of Aeroscenery and hope that it truly does make it easier for our userbase to make and enjoy areas of the world that we (or other 3rd party scenery developers) didn't get to.

    We believe that both our paid DLC's, 3rd party paid DLC's and user created sceneries can coexist peacefully.


    And to answer your question, being a government CIO as my second full time job I have access to quite a few civic and public federal lawyers that dug in pretty deep with this, and one did directly contact the general council for Bing.

    IPACS Development Team Member

    I'm just a cook, I don't own the restaurant.
    On behalf of Torsten, Marc, and the rest of the IPACS team, we would all like to thank you for your continued support.


    Regards,


    Jeff

  • Yes, we fully support the development of Aeroscenery and hope that it truly does make it easier for our userbase to make and enjoy areas of the world that we (or other 3rd party scenery developers) didn't get to.

    It is very much appreciated. :thumbup:

    AeroScenery has already simplified this process - which is an important component I am convinced that will increase interest in this flight simulator.

  • It is really very confusing and financially not entirely harmless due to the different legislations. You may have a lawsuit on your hands faster than you think.

    Therefore I decided to draw the floor pictures for my sceneries myself. It's a lot of work, but it's easy on your nerves and your wallet.

    Greetings to all the salt skins and tar pigtails!

    and also the unlucky ones who don't live on the coast.


    Manfred

  • Thanks again to Chris for publishing your reply from Bing.


    I contacted the same chap and have had a very positive response too.


    The ONLY difference from Bing was that mine asked if I would give them credit for the imagery.


    All my You Tube videos plus pictures ALWAYS state "Satellite images courtesy of Bing"


    Job done no more questions asked.


    Head down making more photo scenery.....................................Kindest regards to everyone Michael.