World Scenery 3.0 roadmap

From FlightGear wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
World Scenery 3.0
Started in 2019-Sep
Description New world-wide scenery
Contributor(s) Scott Giese
Richard Harrison
Stuart Buchanan
Status Active [1]


1rightarrow.png See Virtual Planet Builder for the main article about this subject.

Cquote1.png Virtual Planet Builder (VPB) is OSG's terrain-database-building tool.

It loads GIS elevation data for a region, combines it with imagery and produces a spatially-balanced quadtree tiled database that can be navigated simply by loading the top-level file. All of the LOD Ranges are pre-configured and the DatabasePager automatically loads and unloads different segments of terrain without any supporting userspace code required. VPB can build terrain models ranging from a small area to the entire planet. These databases can be fluidly navigated at 60fps from outer space down to ground level with no interruptions. The terrain models are built of regular grid arrays with optional edge-skirts to conceal any cracks caused by adjacent LOD differences.

OpenScenGraph's Virtual Planet Builder/OSGDEM. Published by AlphaPixel, LLC.
(powered by Instant-Cquotes)


Initial rendering of Edinburgh scenery using a raster landclass and texture lookup for city, water and grass
Screenshot showing a WS2.0 airport .btg file rendered with WS3.0 terrain
WS3.0 Edinburgh airport with runtime-generated roads from OSM data
WS30 view of West Lothian, with 25m resolution landclass data, vegetation, osm2city buildings, and OSM-based roads and rivers.
Edinburgh at night, with osm2city buildings, OSM-base roads, including whether they are lit or not. Note the road in the foreground which is lit near the buildings and unlit in the countryside.

Produce high-quality scenery using the best-known practices.

TerraGear becomes obsolete in favor of VPB.

  • OpenGL 3.3 Core Profile: WS3.0 will require us to eliminate the usage of the fixed-function pipeline.
  • Shader-based Rendering: All of the terrain renderings will be done via GLSL shaders.
  • OSG Core: OpenSceneGraph will require targeting of the OpenGL Core Profile.

WS3.0 will continue to cooperate with osm2city.

Easy upgrade: Airport layouts will be generated in real-time. Apt.dat will continue to be the primary source for airport layouts. Airports will be draped over the terrain. This eliminates the need to cut airport layouts into the underlying terrain.


Data Sources

Global Land Cover
Natural Earth
: (See,, for details)


As of 05/2021, WS30 is available on "next", and on the nightly builds.

Scenery is available for Scotland, but must be downloaded directly ( You need to add the downloaded and then extracted folder as additional scenery folder.

WS30 can be enabled from the Rendering Options menu, with fine-tuning from the LoD menu. Alternatively you can set --prop:/scenery/use-vpb=true to enable it as command line option.

Proof of Concept 100}% completed

  • VPB Done Done
  • osgOcean Done Done
  • osgVegetation Done Done
  • Generate terrain for Hawaii Done Done
  • Hack Hawaii VPB into FG Done Done

OSG 70}% completed

  • Core Profile: Done Done
  • GLVND Support: Done Done
  • glTF Plugin Support: Ongoing Ongoing

N00-N60 lat  
Africa Land Coverage  
Natural Earth  
Ocean Fill  

Standard-Fidelity - 90m SRTMGL3 - 100m Global Land Cover

Northern Hemisphere: 152.3 GB

Southern Hemisphere: 57.4 GB

Virtual Planet Builder 70}% completed

  • Procure Demographic Data: SRTMGL3.003 Paused Paused
    • Northern: 70}% completed
    • Southern: 70}% completed
  • Process through VPB Paused Paused
    • Northern: 70}% completed
    • Southern: 70}% completed
  • Ocean Done Done
    • Northern: 100}% completed
    • Southern: 100}% completed

High-Fidelity - 30m SRTMGL1 - Best Available Land Cover

Virtual Planet Builder 30}% completed

  • Procure Demographic Data: SRTMGL1.003 Paused Paused
    • Northern: 70}% completed
    • Southern: 0}% completed
  • Process through VPB Paused Paused
    • Northern: 70}% completed
    • Southern: 0}% completed

News / Updates

The northern hemisphere, up to N60, has been completed. The southern hemisphere, above S56, has been completed. SRTM data was not captured above N60 and below S56, so alternative data sources need to be procured.

Stuart has made good progress with the procedure needed to convert apt.dat into an airport object. Our goal is to utilize this to project/drape the airport layout over the terrain. This will enable localized edits of airports without requiring us to generate another world scenery build.

Oceans are complete.






Standard-Fidelity Gallery
WS3 Terrain Mesh  
Land Coverage  
Natural Earth  
Natural Earth  

For the experimental runtime generated mesh/landclassing engine - which may become WS3.0 - see Experimental terrain engine.