It’s been a while – Ortho Update

Hello there!

It’s been over a year since I did anything with the NZ Ortho set. In fact, I’ve hardly touched X-Plane.

That should change as I get a fancy VR Headset at some point.

I’ve not been editing the photographs in any way for an update to the Ortho. In fact, I’m pretty happy with where it is.

However, one thing I have changed is the flat blurry lack of detail at ground level. Ortho is best seen from above 1500 feet, where the resolution of the ortho starts to come together to form a coherent image.


Previously, as you get down to ground level you enter the sub-pixel realm of the ortho and get lost is a soupy flat mess. This isn’t great when you want to look out the window in a flare and judge your final few feet of descent.

Fortunately, X-Plane features decals which become visible as you get closer to the ground. This rises into focus and gives you a sense of depth, helping pilots fly at low level and land.

Here I am parked up on a grass taxiway. The orthophoto next to the taxiway looks like dirt, gravel, and grass. Capture.PNG

As we go up, you can see the texture of the ground, without seeing any detail of the ortho yet.


To illustrate this, here’s a short video zooming in from the ortho, to the decal textures.

Do I need to download another 250 GB of data to get this?

Probably no, you simply need to copy amended terrain files. This should be reasonably straight forward to patch over your existing installation.


Categories: Flight Simulation

5 replies

  1. Great that you’re back with us! Looking forward to whatever you come up with. Regards Brian SIG

  2. Awesome! Thanks and welcome again!!

  3. I’m planning an X-Plane tour of New Zealand during the coronavirus lockdown. Not much chance of visiting in person for the forseeable future unfortnunately. I started downloading your ortho for South Island and managed to get four of the files intact. However, the Canterbury file got stuck at 90%. Is there some way I can get it going again?

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