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Author Topic: X-Plane Airport & Navigation Data: Information for data designers and scenery de  (Read 5815 times)
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« on: August 15, 2010, 07:42:40 PM »

X-Plane's data files are simple text files.  But creating reliable, accurate content for those files requires:

•Access to the best tools to help build the data.
•Access to 'real-world' information sources to help model X-Plane's data.
•Knowledge of the 'real-world' concepts that the data describes .  For example, it is helpful to be (or to have access to) an instrument-rated pilot to understand the nuances of ILS placement.
•Understanding of the data file formats.
•Knowledge of the techniques, tricks and tips that help create data that can be used most effectively and efficiently within X-Plane.
There are other resources available on the FAQ page of this web site, for data designers and for users..

World Editor (WED) is a free, open source tool that enables complex airport designs to be edited (for X-Plane 8.50 and later).  It has been written by the X-Plane development team.  All airport details can be seen with a CAD-like editor, and complex shapes and curves can be built to define taxiways, aprons, markings, lighting, along with many other airport features.  WED is a complex tool and the learning curve is steep (but short). It allows background aerial images from Terraserver to be automatically downloaded and aligned under the airport design (USA only).  Other images can also be sized, stretched and aligned manually as a background (eg. a screenshot from Google Maps, or a downloaded or scanned airport diagram).

TaxiDraw is a free tool that was developed to allow earlier versions of the airport data to be edited (prior to X-Plane 8.50).  It is simple to use and allows basic taxiway layouts to be constructed within the constraints of the earlier file formats (all taxiways are built from overlapping, rectangular blocks).  It allows background aerial images from Terraserver to be automatically aligned under the airport design (USA only).

Marginal's Overlay Editor (at X-Plane.org) allows objects to be placed into the X-Plane scenery, including  buildings and other items at airports.  Versions are available for Windows, Mac and Linux. It also allows overlays to be defined exclude roads and/or trees that may impinge upon your airport design in X-Plane.  There is an active discussion thread for this tool at X-Plane.org.

The Aviation Formulary is a treasure trove of useful formulae used in aviation, usually explained in easy-to-understand terms.

A good text editor is often useful, to review and search the data files.  For Windows, I recommend Notepad++.  Amongst other features, it will convert files between Windows, Mac and Linux formats.



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