A sunday morning experiment

By default landclass is defined as grid data within FSX, so that means that for each area of roughly 1.2 x 1.2 kilometre you can define what kind of land usage it has. For some time already I wanted to test what effect landclass polygons would have on the looks of the terrain, so this morning I gave it a try.

I had some land usage data for the Netherlands available, which gives the type of land usage as vector polygons. So I wrote a quite translation tool to map those values on FSX landclass GUIDs. Below is a screenshot of the results in FSX. As you can see more detail becomes visible in the terrain, like smaller forest areas, dunes and beaches. Also towns and cities appear clearer at the location where they are in real world.

In the screenshot you can also see that the mapping is not always perfect yet (for example the dunes became sand as well), but for a quick sunday morning experiment I am quite happy with the results. If I could find some land usage data I could use freely (unfortunately that is not the case with the data I used in this test case), then this could be an interesting approach to make the terrain more recognisable without using huge aerial imagery.

5 thoughts on “A sunday morning experiment

  1. Christian says:

    You might be interested in this – Tim Barnes has been working on vector land class for the whole of New Zealand for a couple of years and is getting close to finish:


  2. arno says:

    Ah yes, I remember his posts and question on the FSDeveloper forum about that as well. If you have the right data it can give big improvements indeed.

  3. Stickbender says:

    Nice work Arno. I appreciate your work. I believe there are some sources for open use landclass. I recall experimenting with some in the Alaskan area some time back. I will see if I can locate that and let you know of the resource.

    Virtual Back Country Flight Association

  4. What's in a name says:

    Hi Arno,

    I assume you know about the Corine landclass data (e.g. http://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/data/clc-2006-vector-data-version-1)

    … but I suspect you didn’t use that as Corine is free to use. Also, Corine seems to be stuck in a timewarp (data as of 2006, as far as I can tell).

    I wonder if the government/Kadaster BAG dataset contains usable landclass data?

  5. arno says:

    Yes, I did use the Corine data for this experiment.

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