Tuesday, July 18, 2006

More fun with charts

One can have great fun flying the sim with a real, paper sectional charts. I love having the chart folded on my knee and then looking out of the virtual window to figure out exactly where I am. I ordered a few Alaska sectionals (got 'em cheap on Ebay) and have been studying them for hours. With a good mesh, and preferably with add-on, improved shoreline definitions, you can end up seeing a remarkably accurate representation of the world. (BTW, I'm using a freeware enhancement to this area, by Holger Sandmann. He has a very nice payware package for a larger region, but I've just been to frugal to buy that. Yet :-))

At the top of this post there's a bit from the Juneau sectional, just north of PAJN (Juneau Int'l Airport). In the first aerial you can see "Tee Harbor" that is listed on the chart. Note the highway going past this harbor. Any highway visible on a chart will also be visible in the simulator, more or less accurately. Not only that, but major power lines and railroads are represented.

The second aerial shot is a look up another bay, just north of Dotson's Landing, looking towards Eagle Glacier. On the chart, this is the area where there are a bunch of black squares and the word "bldgs".

The next chart excerpt shows Berners Bay, and the aerial shot following shows the same area. The geography is really interesting, and the flight simulator version is pretty good, but does not capture the full complexity. The many twists of the small rivers leading into the bay are simplified somewhat. Still, it is beautiful scenery and exciting to fly over at low altitude.

If you have not yet tried real sectional charts, I highly encourage you to buy a few and try it out. I find it endlessly fascinating to study them by themselves, and it is fun comparing them against the simulator.

In the final pair of images, I have a chart excerpt and aerial shot over Haines airport, further north from the previous images. Note the yellow region in the chart. This indicates a heavily populated area. You can see the the simulator adds more buildings in this area.

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