Players are fixing Microsoft Flight Simulator’s missing monuments with Google Maps

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A screenshot from Microsoft Flight Sim showing a plane flying over a stadium - but a detailed one that has been modded in using Google Maps data

Poor Bing Maps. Microsoft Flight Simulator‘s usage of the mapping services data is so bloody awe-inspiring that any errors or gaps in the data stand out like giant, monolithic thumbs. It is missing some major landmarks, where the autogen tech has swapped out famous stadia and shiny palaces with bizarre, brutalist replacements. And the slightly humiliating solution the community has come up with is to use Google Maps to fill in the gaps.

The method of creating them is pretty involved. You don’t just drag and drop the models. You have to rip and convert them through a number of programs. It’s all far too much to summarise, but the FDS2020Creation subreddit has a handy collection of tutorials if you want to try. The process lets players share the files, which they have been doing, so all you need to do to install a landmark is place it into your Community folder within the game’s folder.

“High_Frame_Rates” on Reddit has slowly been rebuilding Australia with the help of Google. The default bridge that sits in place of the Sydney Harbour Bridge can now be wiped off the map, replaced with the world-famous arch. I need this for when I attempt to convince my dad that I’m on a trip to Sydney to learn to fly. Really, I’ll be having a nice nap.

[Release | Download] Sydney Harbour Bridge from r/MicrosoftFlightSim

They’ve also swapped out the officey oval that represented Melbourne’s cricket ground for a sleek facsimile that looks like something out of Star Trek: Lens Flare.

Melbourne Cricket Ground Using Google 3D Maps – Colour corrected – (download) – Current vs New from r/MicrosoftFlightSim

Local hero “SirLeinad4” found Murrayfield Stadium, Scotland’s egg-chasing capital, to be a sad reflection of its spindly self. He has plans to work on the Edinburgh Castle and the Forth Bridges, too.

Edinburgh Scenery V1 – Murrayfield Stadium from r/FS2020Creation

You can add entire skylines, too. Budding cartographer “mbiebel872” is building Atlantic City.

Project: AC Skyline – WIP Update from r/FS2020Creation

If you’re into it, the small but busy FS2020Creation is the best place to keep track of the growing Google takeover of Microsoft’s superb sim.

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