MyFsTools - Database files (*.geo)

Overview

Covering the whole world would require a really huge database, so there are only some examples included or are available as separate downloads.

To add the countries you are interested in, you have to download raw data for this country and convert it to MyFsTools's data format.

Step 1 of 2: Download raw data

There are two sources of raw data that are directly supported by MyFsTools, which together cover the whole world:

NGA-GNS (world except U.S.)

The "National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGS)" provides the "GEOnet Names Server (GNS)" that covers all countries of the world except U.S. states:

http://earth-info.nga.mil/gns/html/cntry_files.html

Just download the wanted country files and unzip them.

USGS-GNIS (U.S.)

The "U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)" provides the "Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)" that covers all U.S. states:

http://geonames.usgs.gov/stategaz/index.html

Please note that only the files below "Delimited Format Files using pipe symbol" are supported, i. e. the files ending with "_deci". The files below "Columnar Format Files" are NOT supported!

Just download the wanted state files and (if you have chosen the .zip version) unzip them.

Step 2 of 2: Convert to MyFsTools format

The raw data files from above sources are text files with extension ".txt". Just copy these files to the MyFsTools folder where "ConvertToGeo.exe" is stored.

Then start "ConvertToGeo.exe" (just double-click it in explorer windows) and wait for it to finish, that's all.

Notes:

Conversion details

By default, ConvertToGeo only converts a subset of contained data to keep the number of data files and locations small. In most cases there are much more detailed items in the raw files that you might be interested in, though it is not very helpful for flying in FS to list details such as single buildings.

Another problem is, that I didn't know for sure what some items in the raw data files are, so I just added those which looked promising for my own, well known local area. I may have missed some significant landmarks this way, though I've added a few that I got aware of (e. g. craters).

Every item in the raw files has an (undocumented) type designator that describes what the item is. Most of these designators are recognizable abbreviations like "MTN" for "mountain" or "LK" for "lake".

The items to be converted are defined in files "ConvertNgaToGeo.ini" for NGA-GNS data and "ConvertUsgsToGeo.ini" for USGS-GNIS data. These files are automatically created with default settings, but after that you can modify these files and repeat conversion with your modifications.

If you open these files with an editor, you will see lines that look like:

    <designator>=<type>,<description>

"<designator>" is the classification as contained in the raw data files, "<type>" and "<description>" are the values which ConvertToGeo uses to convert such items.

Supported "<type>" values are:

0 = ignore such items
4 = populated place (city, town, village)
5 = hypsographic location (mountain, hill, valley)
6 = hydrographic location (lake, reservoir)
7 = spot feature (airport, tower, building).

"<description>" is a short description for the item to be shown in MyFsLocator.

File format

Data files (db-*.geo)

The database files used by MyFsTools are plain text files with the pattern "db-*.geo".

Data lines in such a ".geo" file start with the uppercase letter "P", all other lines are in fact ignored, though character "#" is intended to mark comments.

Each data line contains 6 values separated by a "pipe" character ("|", ASCII-124):

  1. "P" (="point")
     
  2. Type of point
    "4"=populated places (city, town, village)
    "5"=hypsographic (hill, mountain, valley)
    "6"=hydrographic (lake, reservoir)
    "7"=spot feature (airport, tower, building)
     
  3. Name of point
    Important points in an area (e. g. larger cities) may be marked with a leading "*" charactor.
    A description may be appended with "&d=".
     
  4. Longitude
    Decimal value multiplied by 1000000 (1 million)
    "East" values have to be given positive, "West" values negative.
     
  5. Latitude
    Decimal value multiplied by 1000000 (1 million)
    "North" values have to be given positive, "South" values negative.
     
  6. Altitude in meters, "0" if unknown.
     

Examples

# 4=city, name=Berlin (*="large"), lon=E 13,400000, lat=N 52,516700, alt=(0=unknown)
P|4|*Berlin&d=DE-BE-B|13400000|52516700|0

# 5=hill, name=Matterhorn, lon=E 7,658680, lat=N 45,976400, alt=4477m
P|5|Matterhorn&d=CH|7658680|45976400|4477

Index file (db-index.ini)

The index file "db-index.ini" contains longitude and latitude ranges of every "db-*.geo" data file together with a time stamp of every file.

Like the scenery database of FS, this file is updated automatically whenever MyFsTools is started, so there is no need to bother with it.

Copyright (c) 2004-2006 by Juergen Haible, www.elbiah.de