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1:500000 printable DCS/FC2.0 Tactical Chart (WIP)


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Since there was a long time since my last update of how are the things with the map going, I want to give you few information regarding to the progress of the map.

 

When I printed a small segment of the map to see how it would look like, I discovered a problem because roads, bridges, power-lines and railroads were so thin that were hardly visible. Having in mind that they are important references I’ve decided to redraw them completely, and it took SOME of my time to do it. Maybe it looks easy, but let me just say that there are more than 1300 bridges on the map, and don’t even let me start talking about roads… so it was very time-consuming. Now it is finished, and I’m sending you a segment to see the result. As you can see, power lines and railroads have new symbology now.

 

In the mean time (while waiting for the confirmation of MGRS grid precision) I plan to add antennas (which I will have to search visually), add many more altitudes of peaks, and few more things in the legend, and of course, to make a cover for the folded map.

So if everything goes as planned, I hope that the map will be finished in max 2 weeks from now.

 

I’m sending you also low res picture of roads and bridges layer only. See, there are more of them than you can imagine!:D

 

Salute!

 

 

You have become a cartography master my friend!

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Since there was a long time since my last update of how are the things with the map going, I want to give you few information regarding to the progress of the map.

 

When I printed a small segment of the map to see how it would look like, I discovered a problem because roads, bridges, power-lines and railroads were so thin that were hardly visible. Having in mind that they are important references I’ve decided to redraw them completely, and it took SOME of my time to do it. Maybe it looks easy, but let me just say that there are more than 1300 bridges on the map, and don’t even let me start talking about roads… so it was very time-consuming.

 

I'd suggest you take a look at the following set (together):

  • vector graphics
  • bitmap tracing (bitmap to vector)
  • applications: Inkscape, Autotrace (Inkscape built-in potrace can't vectorize to centerlines), Img2cad, Wintopo

 

Layered (know the value of this) Lithuania map in Inkscape http://www.inkscape.org/screenshots/index.php?lang=en&version=0.44

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Oh man I've been following your work, since you tipe the first post and is realy important this map for all the comunity, put some taste of reality to the sim and make more interesting.

 

I hope you finish soon, I m work with cartographic and maping in diferent scale, and i know the effort that you are put in on this proyect.

 

Thanks igormk :thumbup:

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Hi there,

 

Just passing by to say that you are doing a great work and I am glad to hear that ED is supporting your project.

 

You asked a few posts above what we would like to see in the map. Well I presume this map is for VFR navigation. I don't have any knowledge on specific military VFR maps apart from topographic ones used by the helo guys sometimes but I have some knowledge on civil VFR navigation maps.

 

I download you low resolution map and I already saw that you have quite a few characteristics that should be in a VFR navigation map.

 

You already have some maximum elevation figures there what you should do and I think this was already said is to have grid minimum off-route altitude (grid MORA), i.e., the height of the greatest obstacle in a lat-long grid plus 1000 feet below or 5000 feet (non mountainous area) or plus 2000 feet above or 5001 feet (mountainous area). Those are two numeric figures MORA = 9400 feet in the chart should read 94 with 9 being bigger than the 4.

 

You also should put the biggest elevation with a square box with bold numbers inside it and the coordinates of it.

 

Map should be with a correct scale and with a graduated scale line which you already have. Don't forget that latitude should be accurately graduated because 1º of lat is equal to 60' of lat and 60' of lat is 60 NM.

 

Map should have generally the following colors;

Water - Blue

Woods - Green

Roads - Red lines

Railways - Black lines

Large cities - Area of the city in yellow

Small cities/town - Sometimes a circle in yellow and the circle diameter representing the relative size of the city/town (at least on Jeppesen VFR map)

 

Other colors you should put in the legend.

 

I saw on your map that you already made a legend.

 

For the obstacles figures there are a bunch of them, you should try to see a VFR navigation map to see them, some are;

 

Unlighted, lighted, group unlighted, ground lighted, radio/tv tower, oil rig, wind power plant, water tower, cooling tower, etc.

 

There is also waypoints and routes on a VFR map, although I don't think this is of importance on a map like you are doing, those are; compulsory report points, non-compulsory report points, reference point, VFR transit route (with magnetic bearings and distance in NM).

 

Then you should also put there airport information and navigation information.

 

I saw on your map that you put the name of the airport plus the elevation. To be a little more complete you should put the following;

 

ICAO Location Indicator

Location name

Airport name

Elevation and shortest LDA (Landing Distance Available (m))

Callsing with communication frequency

 

For the sake of simplicity I would say that you should put the following;

 

Airport name

Elevation

Tower frequency

 

For navaid you should put the icons of the navaid (NDB (Locators if they are used for navigation, VOR, ILS, etc) plus the frequency, identification and morse code.

 

Also very important is the isogonic line, this is the line with the magnetic variation, although I don't know if this is modeled within the simulation. If it's not, then it's not necessary or if the true North is different from the magnetic one at least putting an arrow with the variation.

 

Some maps also come with a few tools, in the case of your map I see you integrate a height conversion scale. You can also put there speed conversion with time marks, morse code table, cruising levels, etc.

 

Also there is a place with all the airports, navaids, relevant obstacles and all contain lat-long coordinates.

 

I don't know if this helps you or you already knew all of this but this are only my 2 euro cents on this one.

 

I don't recommend you putting anything on the map that can vary with mission, that's why the maps are laminated for and you use markers pens to make bullseye etc.

 

I hope I helped you.

 

Best regards.

 

EDIT: Maybe this helps you,

 

http://www.scribd.com/doc/2083495/VFR-Chart-Symbols

 

http://www.scribd.com/doc/2083488/VFR-Chart-Guide

 

http://www.avn.faa.gov/index.asp?xml=naco/online/aero_guide


Edited by Focha
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Hi there,

 

Just passing by to say that you are doing a great work and I am glad to hear that ED is supporting your project.

 

You asked a few posts above what we would like to see in the map. Well I presume this map is for VFR navigation. I don't have any knowledge on specific military VFR maps apart from topographic ones used by the helo guys sometimes but I have some knowledge on civil VFR navigation maps.

 

I download you low resolution map and I already saw that you have quite a few characteristics that should be in a VFR navigation map.

 

You already have some maximum elevation figures there what you should do and I think this was already said is to have grid minimum off-route altitude (grid MORA), i.e., the height of the greatest obstacle in a lat-long grid plus 1000 feet below or 5000 feet (non mountainous area) or plus 2000 feet above or 5001 feet (mountainous area). Those are two numeric figures MORA = 9400 feet in the chart should read 94 with 9 being bigger than the 4.

 

You also should put the biggest elevation with a square box with bold numbers inside it and the coordinates of it.

 

Map should be with a correct scale and with a graduated scale line which you already have. Don't forget that latitude should be accurately graduated because 1º of lat is equal to 60' of lat and 60' of lat is 60 NM.

 

Map should have generally the following colors;

Water - Blue

Woods - Green

Roads - Red lines

Railways - Black lines

Large cities - Area of the city in yellow

Small cities/town - Sometimes a circle in yellow and the circle diameter representing the relative size of the city/town (at least on Jeppesen VFR map)

 

Other colors you should put in the legend.

 

I saw on your map that you already made a legend.

 

For the obstacles figures there are a bunch of them, you should try to see a VFR navigation map to see them, some are;

 

Unlighted, lighted, group unlighted, ground lighted, radio/tv tower, oil rig, wind power plant, water tower, cooling tower, etc.

 

There is also waypoints and routes on a VFR map, although I don't think this is of importance on a map like you are doing, those are; compulsory report points, non-compulsory report points, reference point, VFR transit route (with magnetic bearings and distance in NM).

 

Then you should also put there airport information and navigation information.

 

I saw on your map that you put the name of the airport plus the elevation. To be a little more complete you should put the following;

 

ICAO Location Indicator

Location name

Airport name

Elevation and shortest LDA (Landing Distance Available (m))

Callsing with communication frequency

 

For the sake of simplicity I would say that you should put the following;

 

Airport name

Elevation

Tower frequency

 

For navaid you should put the icons of the navaid (NDB (Locators if they are used for navigation, VOR, ILS, etc) plus the frequency, identification and morse code.

 

Also very important is the isogonic line, this is the line with the magnetic variation, although I don't know if this is modeled within the simulation. If it's not, then it's not necessary or if the true North is different from the magnetic one at least putting an arrow with the variation.

 

Some maps also come with a few tools, in the case of your map I see you integrate a height conversion scale. You can also put there speed conversion with time marks, morse code table, cruising levels, etc.

 

Also there is a place with all the airports, navaids, relevant obstacles and all contain lat-long coordinates.

 

I don't know if this helps you or you already knew all of this but this are only my 2 euro cents on this one.

 

I don't recommend you putting anything on the map that can vary with mission, that's why the maps are laminated for and you use markers pens to make bullseye etc.

 

I hope I helped you.

 

Best regards.

 

EDIT: Maybe this helps you,

 

http://www.scribd.com/doc/2083495/VFR-Chart-Symbols

 

http://www.scribd.com/doc/2083488/VFR-Chart-Guide

 

http://www.avn.faa.gov/index.asp?xml=naco/online/aero_guide

 

Wow, very usefull hints.

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Moving map display with touchscreen features

 

Hi,

 

May I ask a stupid question, and one which is possibly off topic.

 

Can such a detailed map with all its topographical and infrastructure details be considered for adaptation to a touch screen phone or tablet.

 

Note this .... I did not necessarily say 'iphone' or 'ipad'

 

It could be used as a type of electronic flight bag.

 

Anyway, you can probably imagine where this idea could go .....:pilotfly:

 

 

Thanks.

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Hey Focha,

 

I saw on your map that you put the name of the airport plus the elevation. To be a little more complete you should put the following;

 

ICAO Location Indicator

Location name

Airport name

Elevation and shortest LDA (Landing Distance Available (m))

Callsing with communication frequency

 

Wouldn't it be more useful to have the longest LDA?

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Hey Focha,

 

 

 

Wouldn't it be more useful to have the longest LDA?

 

The shortest is more restrictive than the longest. In real aviation it's always best to know the more restrictive than the least for obvious reasons.

 

Also I forgot to say on my post, the map can be Lambert, Mercator or Polar Stereographic. They all have different properties and projections.

 

The most used for medium latitudes is the Lambert Conformal, it looks like the projection you have in the low resolution map.

 

You may ask, what is the importance of this?

 

Well, maybe it's not so important when you plot a route with small distances, but if you plot a straight route from an extreme of the map to the other one you would notice that the track heading that you start with is not the same when you finish. This have to do with the meridians convergence. Plus, this track it's not a great circle, meaning that it's not the smallest distance you would travel.

 

But again that can be disregarded for small routes.

 

As long as the lat-long graticule is correctly scaled that shouldn't pose a problem.

 

Anyway if you have anymore doubt be sure to ask and I'll try the best I can do.

 

Best regards.

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Hi Focha,

 

I ask since the FAA publishes only the longest LDA on all US sectionals next to each airport, as during an emergency, it becomes very easy to determine what airport you are going to alternate to by looking at that.

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I download you low resolution map and I already saw that you have quite a few characteristics that should be in a VFR navigation map...

 

Thanks Focha!

 

I must say I’m very impressed by your very constructive notes on my map, and it is great that we have community members with such knowledge that are ready to share with others.

 

First of all yes, this map is intended to be VFR map for military use, and that is why it have and don’t have some features. Once again I must stress out during my work on the map I was using references primarily from real life TPC type of charts, and some other military maps in different scales.

Initially I did want to include a lot of other information, but decided to go with the same level of details used on TPCs, and respecting the fact that the map is in 1:500000 scale. I even did a test with Maykop airport, putting more info on it (like runway length, headings…), but it seemed overloaded for my taste. Then I decided to go with less information, BUT later to make also A5 size Airport Chart for each airport, which will cover all those information.

 

Regarding to MORA (minimum off-route altitude) for each grid, I was thinking to put MEF (Maximum Elevation Figures - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximum_Elevation_Figure). It is similar, but I think for military flying more suitable. Still, putting coordinates of the highest peak in each grid box would overload the map. It could be more useful for IFR flying, but if someone wants to get coordinates of that point, he can do it easy with the graduated scale lines attached to grid lines.

Actually adding more peaks and including MEFs will be very complicated thing to do since I have to do it manually from the game. So imagine “flying” around with free camera and exploring peaks… I have tried to do it following contour lines in the mission editor and comparing the altitude with the altitude showed next to coordinates, but it was too complicated and imprecise.

 

The grids and graduated scale lines are done with a lot of care and the last 4 days I’ve spent on checking coordinate precision on more than 100 locations, and according to those checks I had to do small corrections on the grid in order to minimize the errors.

 

I was also trying to respect real life colors and symbology of the map. That is another reason why I redraw power lines and railroads. I did color the roads in red, but since on this map all roads are present and not only the main roads like on most RL 1:500000s, the map was “funny” looking that way, so I will probably color them back to yellowish-orange. I also have some RL topographic maps where secondary roads are yellow/orange, so it is acceptable way to do it.

 

Regarding to obstacles, only TV and Comm Towers and Sea Oil Rigs will be included here. Everything else (smokestacks etc ) would overload the map, and me. :D

 

Compulsory report points, non-compulsory report points, reference point, VFR transit route, radio-frequencies are things still not developed in DCS and FC2, despite I support the idea. It would be nice to have MP with human air-traffic controllers like we have in FSX for example.

 

Only NDBs are present because they are the only Nav aids in use so far. But you are right, and I will add Morse codes next to each NDB.

 

 

So, what do you think about my idea not to overload the map with data, but to make additional Airport Charts, later standardized Check lists with conversation tables and things like that. Maybe we can work together on those?

 

Once again Focha, thanks for all your notes! :thumbup:

 

Salute!

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You're welcome! :thumbup: The idea of not overloading the map is important of course. But that also have to do with the scale you choose for the icons and alphanumeric characters. Rough numbers so you can make a figure, in a 1:500.000 scale map 30' of latitude measures more or less 11 cm an NDB icon should measure more or less 0,5 cm of diameter (this must depend on the time of map of course) and each character 0,1 cm in length and 0,2 cm in height.

 

This are just rough figures and not a rule. And from what I saw from your map they are fine as they are. Maybe just using a lighter blue so it can be seen more easily.

 

About the roads, I forgot to tell you that the major roads are in fact red and the secondary ones are dark yellow.

 

You can use only MEF, it will work fine for the purpose it has. About the coordinates of the highest peak, I mean the highest peak of the whole map and not of a lat-long graticule. That would not overload much the map.

 

About the quantities of bridges icons there are, in my humble opinion I would just put the major or larger ones (I don't know if they are different in the simulation). This is because if you have a blue line that is a river and a red/yellow line which is a road over the first we could presume that should be a bridge there. And that way you would finish up with a cleaner map.

 

Another thing is the fact that city/town areas are all there. To make a VFR navigation good you have some principles for selecting the best features of the ground;

 

It as to be large, but not so large that you could not pin point an accurate navigation point, i.e., you can have a large city or large lake, but you have to pin point an intersection for example or a large road.

It has to be unique so you would not mistaken that for a similar feature on the map.

If it has some vertical extend it's better and towers, masts, mountains make perfect visual checkpoints. You said that you will include TV towers, COM towers, sea oil rigs, I think that is perfectly enough. You already have the NDBs there, those also help in VFR flight, let's hope ED will put a VOR/DME or VORTAC.

And contrast, but this one is always changing, even with clouds.

 

This tips are to be used by the pilot when planning and plotting the mission but the map should also help the pilot on this one.

 

The low resolution map you release it's great for the purpose it will have. You just need to retouch some aspects of it.

 

About the frequencies, don't forget that in Black Shark it's possible to select the tower frequencies. Also in BS it's possible to ident the radio transmitter thence the need for the morse code.

 

Ok mate, anything you need, I'll do my best to help you.

 

Regards.

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Actually adding more peaks and including MEFs will be very complicated thing to do since I have to do it manually from the game. So imagine “flying” around with free camera and exploring peaks… I have tried to do it following contour lines in the mission editor and comparing the altitude with the altitude showed next to coordinates, but it was too complicated and imprecise.

 

 

Realy?

 

In the ABRIS exists the "Info"-cursor under MAP/INFO-submode.

- You have the whole map with terrain-colors, which shows you the terrain-peaks

- you have the exact coordinates of the cursor

- you have the exact altitude/hight of the cursor-position in meter-steps

- but you dont have the grids

 

By the way

- i would prefer to show the altitudes in meters OR in feets. There is no need for showing the altitudes in meters AND in feets. Everyone knows the quick calculation from feet to meter or vice versa. Standardmeasurement of hights is feet. But maybe here its different because we are more or less in the russian area.

 

- The biggest issues i have with the printable map is

1.) the resolution: 1 cm is 2 km or something like that is IMO for helicopter-combat-planing way to small.

2.) is the absence of all the city-houses. IMO for contour- or NOE-flying a bad thing.

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Realy?

 

In the ABRIS exists the "Info"-cursor under MAP/INFO-submode.

- You have the whole map with terrain-colors, which shows you the terrain-peaks

- you have the exact coordinates of the cursor

- you have the exact altitude/hight of the cursor-position in meter-steps

- but you dont have the grids

 

By the way

- i would prefer to show the altitudes in meters OR in feets. There is no need for showing the altitudes in meters AND in feets. Everyone knows the quick calculation from feet to meter or vice versa. Standardmeasurement of hights is feet. But maybe here its different because we are more or less in the russian area.

 

- The biggest issues i have with the printable map is

1.) the resolution: 1 cm is 2 km or something like that is IMO for helicopter-combat-planing way to small.

2.) is the absence of all the city-houses. IMO for contour- or NOE-flying a bad thing.

 

We are talking about a 1:500000 scale VFR map and not a 1:25000 military topographical map. It's really different. In the 25k you would easily put the houses there in the 500k it's really different stuff. The scale being 1:500000 means that 1 cm in the map are 500000 cm in reality meaning that 1 cm is 5 km. It's really hard to make a 1:25000 map, that would be huge stuff. And for VFR navigational purpose I think 1:500000 fits perfectly.

 

In real life what I use for flying (although not NOE but ~1500 AGL) VFR navigations is the 1:500000 map. I only use 1:25000 topo map for landing where there aren't any VFR approach charts. It's pretty impossible/hard to make VFR navigations with a 1:25000 even with a 1:50000 is hard.

I think 500k it's the best for both rotary and fixed wing.

 

Regards.

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Everyone knows the quick calculation from feet to meter or vice versa. Standardmeasurement of hights is feet. But maybe here its different because we are more or less in the russian area.

 

Like you noticed in the last sentence there: standard height measurement is NOT feet for the area depicted. It is meters and kilometres, because russians use the superior metric system. ;)

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Like you noticed in the last sentence there: standard height measurement is NOT feet for the area depicted. It is meters and kilometres, because russians use the superior metric system. ;)

 

 

Metric, superior, NEVER!!!!!:lol:

 

Personally I think standard aviation units of feet and nm would be better, but if I had to constantly covert newfangled metric in to proper units I'd still make some use of the map. Even if I did have to write proper measurements all over it. :cry:

 

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IMHO should be metric system.... maybe both? Who likes feet will buy feet, who meters will buy this one ;]

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Eddie, my point is - "feet" and "nm" are NOT "standard aviation units". They are "standard aviation units" in the west.

 

In the area covered by this map, "standard aviation units" are kilometres and meters, and that's the units you would get from ATC if you were flying there IRL.

 

As for which is the superior - my personal preference is the one that does not require conversion at all for any scale; that being the metric system. Could be a fun separate thread, that. :P

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We in the colonies converted to metric years ago with a few exceptions and I prefer it. Although here the aviation field is still Imperial, I'd like a metric chart.

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Please use METRIC system on the map.

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