8°C, few showers, sun, no cycling. Recovery: a week of undefined illness has sapped most of my energy. Now it’s lifting I can’t feel the cold, and yes I know the air has dipped below 5C. So, I spent the day recovering.
I became quite geeky later in the afternoon. Geekiness is fuelled by a feeling. It’s a feeling with deep roots, all the way back to childhood.
With a cold like mine, any activities today had to beundemanding, so I spent time looking round Google Earth. In a few places, there are circular mountain ranges that are just too perfect a circle. With a little research, it turns out that many are impact craters. Some are as young as 3.5 million years, which doesn’t sound that old, relatively, geologically. The earth is peppered with them, though some are only detected by their gravity anomalies One contributer has uploaded a .kml file that shows loads more. I was, by now, hooked.
And, this is where it gets geeky, I decided to see how they look in the flight simulator FSX. Some are quite clear, often a near circular lake, or an obvious crater. One, in far eastern Siberia, is not actually an impact crater but an eroded intrusive pipe (Kondyor Massif). Now it’s one of Russia’s biggest platinum mines.
Peleliu looks much better in FSX. The island, like most in the Pacific is built on a seamount (a volcano), with some jungle and edged with coral reefs. Waves actually break offshore over the reefs and not so much on the beaches which is the tricky bit in FSX.
This screenshot shows it from the top, there should be shallow white water with coral to the right (East side). After all these years I have learnt new stuff about the way the sim handles water. The sea surface is generic but tiles placed underneath give the water its colour. FSX documentation is uneven on this, but it claims to cover everything from muddy river deltas to oceanic depths with or without plankton. There are, it’s said, sixty textures to choose from.
Ill and off work but after a monster sleep, you find me feeling better.
Making Scenery for FSX like old times. The default land texture for Peleliu in the Pacific is a joke. It should be all tropical jungle, but MS have put dry farmland on the little coral & volcanic island.
What is should be like is closer to this:
The island’s shape is still wrong, but I’m not sure how much more I want to do on this one. There is plenty of detail that could be added, there are coral reefs, beaches with black sands and channels in shallow waters (The German Channel) and of course, other small islands slightly to the north. Visually, the result could be rather appealing. All this tropical island paradise conceals a grim human history- The Battle for Peleliu during WW2. The US Marines invaded and forced the Japanese occupying forces out with a huge loss of life to both sides. The jungles now conceal tank wrecks, demolished bunkers and crashed planes. There are, of course, memorials on important sites there.
I’ve been watching a series called Pacific on blu-ray which tells the story from the USA side.
So there is an ugly story hidden under the canopy of palm trees on this beautiful tropical island paradise.
Description: Trees were knocked down and burned over hundreds of square km by the Tunguska meteoroid impact.
14°C, rain which arrived late.
This is a day off work, blame backache. At one stage I had to lift my legs out of bed. These things make you feel rotten, it’s the kind of thing old folks supposedly experience.
So here I am, a little housebound so I fired up the computer upstairs. I still have some old Flight Sims files that are worth uploading. There are some compatibility problems with software that is new. GoogleEarth 6 doesn’t work properly with the scenery app FSX-KML. there is a workaround, but it’s a pain. Still, I have fixed up a file for the area of the Tunguska Event (1909). There is no real impact crater, but there is a convenient marsh area shown on GE.
The other files I fiddled with are Siberian airfields in the Sakha Republic. Some of the files are a mess of naming conventions. I don’t yet know how best to release the files. There are about a dozen airfield files in total, along with nearby scenery. Perhaps later, I may upload some pictures.
FSX scenery remains a therapeutic thing to do. I used to, years ago, get really hooked on this.
First vapour trails lace the sky again, it’s been six days and the media are rambling on conspiracy theories. FSX: back into making addons for FSX (the flight sim). After Poland’s disaster last week, I decided to add these missing airports (doing Smolensk South too). It fits in nicely with previous projects because there are RBMK-1000 Nuclear reactors in the East of the city. They are of the same type that blew up in Chernobyl in ’86. They even look alike.
Scenery for FSX: to replace a 380 miles section of this major river that drains from Lake Baikal in Siberia to the North.
From N58° 57.191′ / E101° 14.592′
N58° 6.028′ / E92° 59.629′
The default section of the river are left untouched.
The default scenery shows this river empty, except for coastlines. For a waterway that is up to 3 miles wide, and a source of hydro-electric power, this is some omission. This scenery fills the gap. I have tried to set the river’s shape to fit seamlessly with the default water shapes, this includes using a similar number of corner points.
As a bonus, I have placed autogen polygons to represent the some of the bigger villages/towns from Kezhma to Strelka.
To install, simply drop these files into your addon scenery folder and run FSX. Make sure, of course, that Addon scenery is listed in the Scenery manager.
The optional file VFRBratsk R_Angara can be placed in:
My Documents>Flight Simulator X Files
It is a flight plan you can use to make finding the river easier if you are unfamiliar with Siberia.
Hope they like it, the last one has now just about reached 1,000 downloads from one site, good eh?
The Harlech & Llanbedr area is starting to look right. It should be ready fairly soon, I’ll show you another day.