Lyndiman’s New Zealand Ortho Photography Set (X-Plane)

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Lyndiman’s New Zealand Ortho Photography Set (X-Plane)

Postby toprob » Sat Nov 18, 2017 5:34 pm

This guy has built an X-plane Ortho scenery for all of New Zealand, and distributes it via torrent. I've been meaning to try this out, but it needs some serious commitment, as it's a couple of huge files.
I have been looking at ways to distribute very large scenery files, so this is a good experiment. If any X-plane users are interested in this scenery, then now would be a good time to fire up a torrent -- I'm currently downloading the North Island (49GB), and there are three seeds. I'm happy to seed this for a week, once (and if) it's done, provided I get some help. Torrents rely on people actually leaving any downloads seeded after downloading, so that others can download from them. The experiment part is to see how many people actually seed, and whether it is 'self sustaining' -- while torrents are an ideal way to distribute large files, it wouldn't be a good choice if there weren't enough seeders to keep it active and available.
Here's the link to the scenery files-- note that I'm just downloading the North Island at the moment, so this is what I'm wanting to test -- if you have a very fast connection, you might want to try the South Island, so that there's are plenty of seeders when I get around to it:)
There's some info on torrents on the site if you haven't used these before. You will need a torrent client, there's a link on the scenery site as well.
The goal is to get a good group (10+) seeding with a fast connection, so that those with less than fast connections can also get a steady download by sharing with all the seeders.
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Re: Lyndiman’s New Zealand Ortho Photography Set (X-Plane)

Postby toprob » Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:51 am

Thanks to those who have given this a go, I finished the download last night, and I'm currently seeding. Note that a torrent client normally seeds while you are downloading, so you can be serving the file long before you have finished downloading. It pays to check your bandwidth settings in the torrent client to make sure you are on top of your usage.
My client was set to unlimited uploads overnight, but I've now put the brakes on -- it was serving at 3.0MB/s, but I've limited it to 1.0MB/s now just to fit my ISP's fair use terms. However they shouldn't worry too much as a lot of this is remaining in NZ...
I've learnt a bit about torrents watching this, at the moment I'm uploading to four slots, but I suspect that two are the same system -- one IPv4 and one IPv6 address, but they do match in download amounts/speeds. The four current downloaders have a total bandwidth usage of 3.2MB/s, so it looks like they are nicely sharing amongst themselves, which is the way its meant to work.
The real test is whether the current downloaders keep seeding once their download is finished. The hope is that I could turn mine off at some stage and it wouldn't have too much effect on the pool.
I've been talking with a few people about using torrents, including Doug who has some major scenery files to distribute. We've been using a torrent sync tool, Resilio Sync, which allows the sharing of a folder or file on your PC, via torrent technology. This is a bit different from using a normal torrent client, and would probably be a better solution for our purposes. But it still relies on lots of users keeping it actively serving.
Just looking at this particular file, at ~50GB, a single user could wrack up a lot of bandwidth on a fast system, so sharing the load is a major factor. On my system I could serve 3TB a month if I wasn't careful -- I suspect my ISP would have something to say about that:) A hundred people serving a little each would make a lot more sense, but I suspect that NZFF might not work that way...
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Re: Lyndiman’s New Zealand Ortho Photography Set (X-Plane)

Postby MichaelBasler » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:10 am

I'm a bit hesitant, I don't have an ISP capping, however, like you I am not sure my ISP may like me to download/reupload such amounts of data, even more as I am downloading already enough for other sims (AeroflyFS2).

Anyway, as far as I see these are pure orthophotos. In other words, we'd need something like W2XP in addition if we don't want to fly over pancakes. As far as I heard, OSM data for NZ are not really good, thus I wouldn't expect W2XP-based sceneries to be good either. Plus I found the old W2XP library (XP10) buildings are quite poor in comparison to XP11 native buildings... at least that's what I observed in Europe.

Kind regards, Michael
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Re: Lyndiman’s New Zealand Ortho Photography Set (X-Plane)

Postby toprob » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:50 am

Hey, I can certainly understand that Michael. This was just one way to test the concept, but the goal would be to distribute MSFS-style freeware scenery which currently exceeds the limits of the freeware libraries. For example, AVSIM limit uploads to 500MB, and it is entirely likely that we could have downloads of 1 -- 2GB at some point. It wouldn't make sense to pay for bandwidth to serve these as freeware, so torrents -- or more specifically, syncing -- is one solution. So I'm not looking at files quite as large as this one, at least for a while.

This particular scenery is of interest to me simply because I've been looking at whether it would make sense to make X-plane scenery. It may be that I stick to airports only in X-plane, as photoscenery is a tricky thing to make and sell. Not least of which is the community, which seems to have a very vocal group who don't want payware developers in the market. If there was a choice of 'base' scenery for NZ, then I might look at adding airports, but unlike Aerofly, I'm just not keen to do the base scenery work myself. (I haven't yet found a way to make large areas of photoscenery in X-plane, without constant crashing of the tools I use.)

Actually installing this scenery is not something I'm looking forward to. This seems to be a major theme of X-plane, I have looked at a lot of tools and scenery, and I always end up 'huh?', what ever happened to a nice simple installer? This scenery is a bit more understandable, in that it is huge so it needs some work -- the 50GB download needs to be unzipped (25 minutes for me) and then the supplied JPGs need to be converted to DDS, apparently. By the way, one thing I didn't mention was that the 50MB download for the NI expands a lot, so you'd need 100s of GB of free disc space.

I was hoping someone else would install it and give it a thorough review here:) I'm in no hurry to download the SI until I've had a good look at the NI, but I'm in no hurry to do that either...

I am determined to give X-plane a chance as part of my multi-sim project, but it is my, um, 'least favourite' at the moment. Part of this is to do with the community, but there are also a number of technical issues. The community in general is very positive about Aerofly and Flightsim World, but X-plane is weirdly different. And as I said, most of the negativity seems to come from X-plane fans themselves.

I'm currently awaiting SDK tools for Flightsim World, but every now and then I fire it up and have a look at their constant updates -- it is certainly turning into a lovely sim, that's for sure. And I'm made no secret of my liking for Aerofly. X-plane is a great sim, but trying to build scenery for it annoys the hell out of me...

EDIT: one thing I forgot to mention, any discussion on the concept of syncing/sharing files would be appreciated!
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Re: Lyndiman’s New Zealand Ortho Photography Set (X-Plane)

Postby Roy » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:57 am

Hi,toprob,I installed this scenery two months ago and i have to say it is awesome.Its great to fly NZ over good photo scenery.
The overlays supplied with the ortho photo is ok and most of the default 3D airports that come with Xplane sit nicely
on the photography. I have played around with the WED tool to update some of smaller airports but it would cool to have your
airports ported into Xplane.

Cheers,Roy
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Re: Lyndiman’s New Zealand Ortho Photography Set (X-Plane)

Postby toprob » Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:53 pm

Cheers, Roy, I appreciate the info.

Hmm, the torrent idea didn't really seem to work out, there's one person left downloading after a few others finished, and I seem to be the only one still seeding... well, maybe someone else is, but at a very low speed. I forgot to mention that uTorrent, which is the tool recommended on the scenery site, does by default put the brakes on uploads when the download is finished, so you do need to prevent that from happening through the bandwidth settings.

EDIT: oops, belay that, I think I was interpreting the stats wrong.
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Re: Lyndiman’s New Zealand Ortho Photography Set (X-Plane)

Postby chopper_nut » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:07 am

Just working my way through the unread posts now.... I'm using that Ortho scenery. It's pretty good and a lot better than anything else that's available. What it really needs is the autogen doing. I constantly find trees where they shouldn't be. Also, I'm not sure about the quality of some of the photos. They seem a little lo res to me but if you're above about 500ft then it's OK. I think a good place to start Robin is as you say, doing the airports. NZ is crying out for some payware quality places to park. There are some really good freeware offerings at the moment but there's definitely room for improvement.
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