OSM2City 1st Worldbuild

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The 1st Worldbuild of OSM2City for FlightGear 2020.x, based on Open Street Map This is a link to a Wikipedia article (OSM) data was finished in late 2020. The build was generated by Merspeiler - see OSM2City worldbuilds .

The first experimental rollout of OSM2City output for the entire world was for the point release of FlightGear 2020.3.7 LTS in March 2021.

This page contains information, performance tips, and limitations with regards to the 1st rollout.

OSM2City 1st rollout information

  • This is an experimental 1st rollout. There will be more rollouts. Expect to download everything again :).
  • OSM2City provides 3d models of buildings, roads, bridges, railways, piers and other objects like pylons or wind-turbines, as well as some auto-generated scenery details like boats. OSM2City is based on Open Street Map (OSM) data.
  • FlightGear 2020.3.7+ is needed to download and unzip OSM2City objects. FlightGear 2020.3.6 and earlier will not download OSM2City data.


  • Remember to remove any custom scenery folders you have that contains object folders for buildings, roads, pylons to see the updated OSM2City objects on TerraSync! Old folders can be removed from where you added them - e.g. the Addons > Scenery folders section in the qt-launcher , or a command-line folders list. If FlightGear sees a folder of a certain type in custom scenery at a specific location it will use that, and it will not load TerraSync objects of that type from the folder for that location. If you have a custom scenery with subfolders for Terrain as well as object folders like buildings, roads or pylons, you can delete these object folders and FlightGear will then load the updated TerraSync object folders.
  • A limitation of the experimental rollout in 2020.3.7 is that FlightGear will not load OSM2City objects as part of the first scenery load on the first visit to an airport. You will see terrain and scenery as normal without OSM2City buildings. To force a 2nd scenery load go to in-sim GUI menu > Debug menu > Reload Scenery.


  • Performance will improve drastically in future rollouts. Please don't buy new hardware yet based on early rollouts (Before buying new hardware, it's a good idea to wait until /after/ the future LTS that contains WS3.0. This is because FlightGear's rendering and bottlenecks, will be changing so much in future - with WS 3.0, upcoming rendering features the compositor enables, future OSM2City, move to a higher version of OpenGL, and so on. It's best to wait as new hardware is also steadily getting faster, and hardware prices will also be expected to drop after the situation with the global pandemic eases.).
  • The limiting factor is the CPU, not the GPU in most systems. There is no need to lower graphics settings, or buy faster GPUs, if FPS is low in areas with a lot of OSM2City buildings and objects.
  • OSM2City has objects in new and old formats. The old format is CPU limited. The new format is fast. Objects in old format: Roads, Pylons, random scenery objects, and large buildings. Objects in new format: Smaller buildings, and randomly generated buildings.
  • If FPS is low try switching off pylons, random scenery objects, and roads until FPS is acceptable. Try flying with buildings only. Flying away from city centers of large cities means most buildings in view are smaller buildings in the new format, and will be fast.
  • If FPS is low try reducing the distance objects are loaded. This can be done by using smaller values for LoD:Rough in View menu > Adjust LOD ranges
  • Flightgear has an alternative random buildings feature. This is fast. It randomly creates buildings in the new OSM2City format. Random building density can be turned up in the property browser : Try setting /sim/rendering/building-density to 1-10 .


  • The appearance of OSM2City buildings and objects is placeholder. Contributions are welcome - see the scenery forum or the "fg-devel" mailing-list to help.
  • Currently there is limited change in appearance from one region to another.
  • Automatic generation of buildings and objects for areas without coverage in Open Street Map data is disabled for this rollout. Some custom sceneries like the Hawaii scenery may have detailed coverage for these areas.

Space and bandwidth

  • FlightGear will not download objects if they are not shown. To save bandwidth, or disk space, you can turn off objects that are less important to you.
  • Downloading OSM2City objects needs slightly more bandwidth than normal. More bandwidth is needed in areas with more objects. OSM2City is downloaded as compressed files, to reduce bandwidth.
  • OSM2City is more than 750GB uncompressed for the whole world in the current format. Future rollouts will need far less space and bandwidth. OSM2City is stored uncompressed on your hard drive. You won't need 750 GB of space as only areas that you visit will be downloaded by TerraSync, so don't worry too much about drive space.
  • Space saving tips: Pylons take up a lot of space uncompressed while being less noticeable. Try turning these off to save space. Roads also take up a lot of bandwidth and space. At a minimum you can run with just the buildings.
Innsbruck - 1st OSM2City worldbuild in FlightGear 2020.3.7
Innsbruck - 1st OSM2City worldbuild in FlightGear 2020.3.7. Click to enlarge.
A hazy dawn over Madrid in FlightGear 2020.3 LTS with the 1st world-build of OSM2City
Dawn over Madrid - 1st OSM2City world-build in FlightGear 2020.3.8 LTS.