Elevation Data Above and below 60 Degrees

Before I start I’ve read the blog post if you haven’t read it here. This is not a #features feature request If you want to make one for this I’ll be more than happy to help. I’m not an expert in computer science and I am 100% not a developer of one of the worlds biggest mobile flight sims. This is more constructive criticism and not a ‘We need dis now 4 free plz’ type posts, just hear me out.

I’ve been doing a school project about the polar regions and how different the logistics, lifestyle, economic value and resources help the rest of the world and I used Google Maps Pro for the geographical part, and above 60 degrees of latitude it has terrain elevation data. And Mods have said for a while that ‘When we have data we will implement it’. And the data is there, is available and can be looked at by anyone with eyes and an internet signal. And I’ll address the 2 conflicting ideas sited in Jason’s post

1.“This can often be tricky due to the fact that the data may be hundreds of gigabytes in size.”
Again I’m not a professional coder however could some form of compression be used. (If you don’t understand is here is a link to a Tom Scott video which does a good job of explaining it.) Although he talks about it being used in video, data compression is used all over the place from YouTube to Instagram to Jet Photos. Couldn’t that be used for the terrain data, I would think that the below 60 degree data is compressed to whether it is to the same compression ratio or a higher compression ration can be up to developers due to the amount of factors in this.

Example: Below 60 Degree Terrain is streamed at 32000kBs
Above 60 Degree Terrain is streamed at 16000kBs

2.“Once it’s available and processed, we’ll be able to stream it straight to your devices.”
So, The data is available, which is amazing! However it does need to be processed, and I understand the limitations of that time wise and physically and data transfer does take ages thunderbolt 3 maxes out at 40Gbps and if downloading over the internet at best maybe 100Mbps. To transfer 50TB of data would take 500,000 Seconds or about 138 Hours and the Terrain Data would be in the hunderds of Gigabytes neglecting slow spikes

This is more a question rather than a features request and ‘give free plz’. No its a idea for something that the sim has never had. If I’m being a bit too radical let me know. If a fact is wrong let me know. If something seems off let me know. And if someone knows Google denied the request before than let me know.


Correct, anyone can view it (like you did with Google Earth), but in order to use Google’s satellite/terrain data for commercial purposes you would likely have to get permission or purchase it from Google - which I imagine is not cheap.

I’m sure a staff member will be able to elaborate in more detail about the situation regarding your query.

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Seeing Google’s representation of the data doesn’t equal having access to the data for Infinite Flight’s own implementation.

You linked a video about compression of videos over TV or YouTube… the issue here is that even if Infinite Flight had access to the data right now, they would have to process hundreds of gigabytes of it. This takes time.

I’m not sure what you’re getting at with your second point… Infinite Flight already streams terrain to your device. Once they have data for the poles, they’ll be able to stream it over the same way.

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This information was covered in the blog article you linked.

What does this mean for Infinite Flight? We use SRTM data to create a virtual terrain database. Without it, all of our satellite imagery is flat. We’re limited by the data that we have at our disposal. In addition to this, we also have to make sure that streaming this data while you fly is possible.

We are currently looking at new datasets that will include the missing data. This can often be tricky due to the fact that the data may be hundreds of gigabytes in size. Once it’s available and processed, we’ll be able to stream it straight to your devices. Until then, sorry, glacier hunters. Your expeditions will have to wait.

The size is not for just for delivery to your devices but also to cut the data up into manageable pieces to make it IF ready. So regardless how you want to do it the data needs to be processed first to get the data that is needed.

Once it’s available and processed, we’ll be able to stream it straight to your devices.

I think you misunderstand this part. The data is not sitting there waiting to be sent to your device. This goes back to the previous point that the data needs to be scrubbed and massaged to get it to a point to get the data to you. They aren’t saying that above and below 60 require a different model to get it to you, it needs to all be processed internally first and then it can be delivered.

There is no a conspiracy theory on why it is not available. They have been very transparent on the issue on the web, social media, and live streams. It takes them time to parse everything out. Time that is spent on the 500 other things people ask for. Then you have to prioritize it with other things like Project Metal which may need to dictate what order some things will come.

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I have been waiting for this post for a while. When they advertise global flight in the pro subscription i found it quite misleading because it doesn’t say that quite a significant and very beautiful chunk of the scenery is as flat as a pancake. I haven’t really seen much urgency with this issue and in my opinion it should be right up there on the priority list so we can have truly global flight.

Who says it’s not? We can’t do anything, until the data becomes available for us in a way that would work with the app.

Bring us the appropriate data and we’ll get right on it ;)
2/3 of my own country is flat, it’s not like i would personally accept us not deploying it if we had it.

(Saying Google has it doesn’t really work, we’re not Google. Not many companies in this world are)


Thank you, sorry for wasting your time

No waste at all :)