[OSM-dev] OpenStreeetMap and X-Plane for collecting GIS data

Ben Supnik bsupnik at xsquawkbox.net
Thu Oct 30 16:41:19 GMT 2008

Hi Guys,

Tom Hughes wrote:

> Which are not generally considered good practice... You tag what an 
> object is, not how you want it rendered.

Right - I was discussing this with another X-Plane scenery guy off-list, 
and this is the key to why X-Plane and OSM can play nicely together:

The input source data that we use is based on a "real world" standard - 
that is, reality defines what the data strives to duplicate.  The output 
of our render is "specification based" - that is, it's just a giant pile 
of triangles for an OpenGL engine, and the rule is "draw it exactly like 

But since OSM would be on the input side, tags that describe what is in 
the real world are exactly what we need -- tagging art assets for our 
content generation system is a real edge case, and one that can be kept 
entirely outside OSM.

This is already how we do airports - Robin Peel maintains a user-created 
database of airport layouts...runway attributes are things like 
"concrete" and "asphalt", not "concrete_texure_number_3.png".  This 
means that the  client apps (flight-gear and x-plane share this data) 
have leeway to interpret "concrete" in any sane way - the app's goal is 
to make the most "concrete-like" concrete possible. :-)


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