FSHost and FSHostSpy > Wish List

Airport information

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PeterR:
A very handy feature would be a database of airport info or the ability of FSHost to connect to an existing database (local or on the web). Then, have a chat command to request the info. For example:

?airport pakt

FSHost Airport Info
FAA Identifier:       KTN
Lat/Long:       55-21-20.000N / 131-42-49.500W
Elevation:       88 ft.
Runway(s): 11/29; 7500 x 150 ft.; asphalt/grooved
Runway 11: elev. 78.8 ft; right traffic; VASI; ILS; 103 ft. trees, 3300 ft. from runway, 30:1 slope to clear
Runway 29: elev. 86.3 ft; left traffic; VASI; no obstacles

I've currently linked the "Near" field of the FSHost status page to the AirNav database but having it in-game and on-demand would be excellent!

Russell Gilbert:
Cool idea.  I looked at the full page for PAKT, which I assume is:

http://www.airnav.com/airport/PAKT

The only difficulty I see is that it's not in a nice easy-to-parse format.  So I'd have to search through their html to get what I needed, and if they changed the format of the page, it'd break that version of fshost.  I wonder if they have an XML interface, or something that's easier for programs to read?  I didn't find anything on their site, but let me know if you do.

The other idea is for fshost to have its own info, similar to the airports.txt file that's already included in the zip file.  Currently that file is only used to calculate the nearest airport, so it just has the airport ID and lat/lon coordinates.  But I already have a program that will extract a lot of the other info that's mentioned on the AirNav page.  I think that would probably be easier to work with, since it'd always be local and loaded into memory.

For example, for PAKT I have this (note that altitude is in meters):

ICAO|MagVar,Altitude,Length,Width,Type,Heading, Surface
PAKT|27.0,26.82,7497,150,N,11/29,ASPHALT

There's a bunch of other information also, such as airport name, city, state, country... And some things that might be a bit overkill, like gates, towers, taxiways, radio frequencies, timezones, etc.

Anyway, great idea for a future release.

Russell

PeterR:
Yes, a local database would be easier to deal with. Unless an online source specifically worked with you to provide the data, I'd say go for a local database. I wouldn't feel good about scarfing off someone else's server without their permission.

Currently, I just link to AirNav so you get their full page with their name, banners, etc. to give them full credit for the info.

If you decide to implement this kind of info, it'd also be great if FSHost's airport database included a field to indicate whether the airport was real or fictional. We use a lot of fictional sceneries since there isn't much in the default wilderness areas.

PeterR:
Actually, it just dawned on me, why couldn't you get the data out of FS? The scenery obviously defines the runway location, direction, texture type, length, width, elevation. That way, if the scenery is messed up, it'll still be accurate. If you use a real database, it may not coincide.

What you'd need is a tool that the server admin would use to extract the info out of FS (assuming the admin also had all the desired add-on sceneries installed) and put it on the server.

Russell Gilbert:
Sorry, I should've mentioned that the data I have actually was taken directly from FS2002, via a program someone else on the net wrote.  It lets me extract just about everything that FS knows about, so I can then convert it however I want and include just the parts I need.

Russell

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