Overlaying FAA Sectional Charts into Google Earth?

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posted on Jul, 11 2012 @ 12:18 AM
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I would like to overlay FAA Sectional charts including the Special Use Airspaces into Google Earth so I can view them for offline use. Is there any place were I can download these charts so I can overlay them into Google Earth?

I would like to just be interested in the SUA areas like the R-2508 Complex area, R4808N (Groom Lake area) and etc. on Google Earth.

Even better, if I can download these charts for the whole entire US.

Thanks.




posted on Jul, 11 2012 @ 12:21 AM
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reply to post by darpa999
 


You can pull down all the USA Sectional charts at the following link. How to overlay them? No idea.

maps.avnwx.com...

When you open the site you will see regular maps, right click the area you wish to see in a sectional and click the blue "open in SkyVector" link.
edit on 11-7-2012 by Mamatus because: added more info



posted on Jul, 11 2012 @ 12:58 AM
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Originally posted by darpa999
I would like to overlay FAA Sectional charts including the Special Use Airspaces into Google Earth so I can view them for offline use. Is there any place were I can download these charts so I can overlay them into Google Earth?

I would like to just be interested in the SUA areas like the R-2508 Complex area, R4808N (Groom Lake area) and etc. on Google Earth.

Even better, if I can download these charts for the whole entire US.

Thanks.


Just wondering what you are looking for? What is the correlation you are hoping to find?
This is a tactic I never thought ot employ befor, as it gives me some of my own ideas.

and thx for the link Mamatis
edit on 11-7-2012 by coven83 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 11 2012 @ 03:37 AM
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You might want to join
nfdc.faa.gov...

I'm pretty sure I got my sector maps there. There is also a FAA FTP site.

Regarding overlays offline, there are two issues. One is storing google earth data offline. There is a hack for that.
offlinegoogleearth.blogspot.com...
I played with this once. I found it easier just to increase the site of the google earth cache and view what I wanted on the notebook before using it offline. My recollection is the program more or less does the panning over an area you specify.

Now the second problem is the google overlay "aperture". [Too many false hits doing a google search on this. I read about the aperture in one of the google earth forums. What happened was my image just plain failed to show up until I chopped it into 4 pieces.] Google prefers overlays to be a collection of small tiles, like 256x256. I have never found a firm number for the size of the google earth "aperture", but I have found 3600x3600 works for me. There are both free and paid versions to chop up images to be acceptable to google earth, but the free one didn't work. The pay program crashed, fortunately in the evaluation phase. I just chop up the images in GIMP.

However, I think someone put the FAA overlays on google earth about 5 years ago.
www.gelib.com...

My recollection was the maps were older than the project. The webpage says they are not up to date, but doesn't elaborate.

If outlines of the SUA will suffice, that is substantially easier to do. The SUAs have a series of waypoint to describe them. You just create a GPX file and GE can read it. Some programmer skilled in scripting could write a Perl script to do the conversion directly since GPX is a well defined standard.



posted on Jul, 11 2012 @ 06:52 PM
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I have GIS software on my computer (geography major). I can overlay anything into it if I have a website with the maps in it. Let me take a look and see if I can find one.



posted on Jul, 11 2012 @ 07:51 PM
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Here's a few quickies...let me know if this is kind of what your looking for and I can fine tune it.

First, simple overlay of the faa sectional charts with a basic US map geosynced together.



zoomed in to Area 51



FAA sectional charts with world imagery overlay in very high resolution 3meters a pixel




Here's where it gets hard to see. These charts have so many routes and crap on them, that when you zoom out to get a few states into the fold, you can't really make out the sectionals anymore. First without imagery overlay:



And with imagery overlay.



That last one is 30% transparency too. Very hard to see the charts anymore. I could make it more transparent but you will start to lose the imagery. I can try to find a simpler map with the charts, but it probably wouldn't be complete.

Another note, these are geosynced, using the same projection and coordinate system. I manually changed them so they would match up pretty good. if you want me to zoom in on a certain area, I believe I can take it all the way down to a scale of 1:25,000. And yes the scaling is correct...
edit on 11-7-2012 by boomer135 because: (no reason given)
edit on 11-7-2012 by boomer135 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 12 2012 @ 12:19 AM
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Yes thats what I want. But I want to see the overlay at 1:500K scale and be able to zoom out as well.

The point is this. I want this to be viewed while not connected to the internet or in case my Internet connection takes a dive.

Where did you download the US FAA Sectional chart?

And is ArcMap available to view offline also?

Thanks



posted on Jul, 12 2012 @ 01:27 AM
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reply to post by darpa999
 


As I stated earlier, you need to join FAA FADDS. Here is a screen shot of some of what I can download as a member.
www.lazygranch.com...

All those websites with FAA data are just regular schmucks that signed up with the FAA to download documents. I'm not entirely sure what you can upload to your own website and still be within your end user agreement. Personally, I don't even see why you should have to join at all, but I don't make the rules.

There is also a FTP site for the FAA. The raw data is too much for me to handle (brain overload), but I have contacts that can massage the data to the point where I can use it.

The FAA website is one of the most convoluted federal clusters. Much worse than the FCC, which at least created a drupal version of their old cluster. So possibly the data is on the FAA website without joining, but there is no hurdle to join other than to ask. Since I'm a member, the link to join doesn't show up, so you will have to google and look for it.



posted on Jul, 12 2012 @ 02:04 AM
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I don't think the overlay will ever really look good. You have two complicated images that won't blend well. One solution would be to use gimp and create a transparent alpha channel for everything but the text on the sectional. Then you can overlay that altered sectional onto google earth. You do not need arcgis. Overlays in google earth are simple to create. All you really need are the coordinates of a bounding box so that google earth knows where to put the image. Again, as I have stated earlier, there is a limit to how big of an overlay you can put into google earth. As I stated earlier, you need to chop up the image into multiple images and then array them into one image. That is how all the overlays I created were done. I used a google earth aperture size of 3600x3600.

Repeating myself again, it makes far better sense to get the physical descriptions of all the elements (routes, fixes, SUA), and create a GPX file. From that, you can convert it to KMZ in a number of ways. One way is to simply load the GPX file into google earth, then save it as a KMZ.

I have a garmin MPS file that I created in 2002 of the restricted air space around the Nellis range. I just converted it to a GPX and then converted that to a KMZ. If you click on the link below, google earth should start up and the outline of the restricted air space should appear.
www.lazygranch.com/google_earth/restricted.kmz
I suppose there is a way to prevent the waypoints from showing up. This really isn't a project I want to invest much time in, but I am willing to help with the basics.

My first post in this thread indicated how to save the google earth imagery for offline use.



posted on Jul, 12 2012 @ 12:39 PM
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The Google Earth thing is too complicate I guess.

I was more thinking of a PDF file with the US Sectionals in it and be able to zoom right into that area.
Is there such a file out there? So basically, I want a PDF file which is overlayed with athe US Sectional chart.
I recall seeing one, but that was a long time ago and I dont know where I got it from.

And I did register now here:
nfdc.faa.gov...

Maybe be its the worng area to join, but I entered my requests for FADDS and I listed the charts that I wanted similar to gariac's list under the Description.
edit on 12-7Jul-122012 by darpa999 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 12:04 AM
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Originally posted by darpa999
Yes thats what I want. But I want to see the overlay at 1:500K scale and be able to zoom out as well.

The point is this. I want this to be viewed while not connected to the internet or in case my Internet connection takes a dive.

Where did you download the US FAA Sectional chart?

And is ArcMap available to view offline also?

Thanks


I downloaded the sectional charts straight off of the data base on ArcMap. It takes you to an online place where you can find just about any map you could think of. ArcMap is free for a sixty day trial if you want to use it. If you want to go longer than sixty days it costs money. And ArcMap is not an online program, it's only online when you go and add the chart to ArcMap. Once you get a basic map of the US, and overlay it with the sectional charts, you can zoom in and out all you want, all day all night, and without the internet. No need to mess with saving files or chopping up images and such.

The sectional charts are actually very easy to see when they are not overlaid with imagery such as google earth, or the one I used from ArcMap. After getting ArcGIS installed on my computer, I will never use google earth again! I don't know what the resolution of google earth is but I know that ArcMap's resolution is way better in my opinion.



posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 01:56 AM
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Just a FYI, I archived the Nellis Range Map here:
www.lazygranch.com...
This used to be on the NGA website. In fact, wiki says it is still there. ;-) You might already have this map on your PC. The name the NGA used when I downloaded it was "plugin-Nevada_Range_Chart.pdf". But it is small enough to load again.

Note that the NTTR range map isn't a sectional per se. It differs from the FAA sectional.

edit on 13-7-2012 by gariac because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 02:08 AM
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reply to post by boomer135
 


I would get the sectionals right from the FAA. They can't be any more up to date than from the official source. Note (and you probably know this) that frequencies listed on FAA maps can't be trusted. The FAA doesn't update the maps often enough, so you need to check the NOTAMs.

I don't see arcgis as a substitute for google earth unless they have access to google earths imagery or similar.

Incidentally a free GIS program is GRASS. However, it is a kick in the user groin. When the Divine Strake blast was scheduled, I used GRASS plus the USGS 1/3 arcsecond DEMS to find a viewing location for "ground zero". I must have cranked for two days on my PC but I had all the spots located. Of course the test was cancelled.

GRASS is one of the oldest open source projects, predating Linux itself.
grass.fbk.eu...
The US Army open sourced it at one point in their development cycle. It is not for the timid. In fact, just installing the program can be tricky. There are so many options that you really need to compile the source code.



posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 02:42 AM
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Originally posted by gariac
reply to post by boomer135
 


I would get the sectionals right from the FAA. They can't be any more up to date than from the official source. Note (and you probably know this) that frequencies listed on FAA maps can't be trusted. The FAA doesn't update the maps often enough, so you need to check the NOTAMs.

I don't see arcgis as a substitute for google earth unless they have access to google earths imagery or similar.

Incidentally a free GIS program is GRASS. However, it is a kick in the user groin. When the Divine Strake blast was scheduled, I used GRASS plus the USGS 1/3 arcsecond DEMS to find a viewing location for "ground zero". I must have cranked for two days on my PC but I had all the spots located. Of course the test was cancelled.

GRASS is one of the oldest open source projects, predating Linux itself.
grass.fbk.eu...
The US Army open sourced it at one point in their development cycle. It is not for the timid. In fact, just installing the program can be tricky. There are so many options that you really need to compile the source code.






The sectionals are from the FAA. If you go to ESRI.com, the maker of ArcGIS, you can see that most of the maps they get are from the source directly. The map I got was made for the FAA and the metadata shows this too. The imagery from ArcGIS is different from google earths but I think it's better. You can download the imagery from the same place as the FAA. In fact, I just looked and you can download google earth's imagery from there as well to use. But there's probably about 20 different imagery overlays on there to use.

I've used other GIS programs before, but none as easy to use as ArcGIS. It's so user friendly that it's unreal. I've never heard of GRASS though. but I am kind of a newbie when it comes to GIS. Only taken GIS 1 and 2 so far!



posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 12:21 PM
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Someone told me about FalconView originally developed for the DoD.
And guess what...They do have the US FAA Sectional charts here to download as an add-on map overlay.
And its free!!!!!!

www.falconview.org...
www.falconview.org...
(FAA_Sectionals_20090730.zip)

I will also try the 60-day trial for ArcGiS. But I am also confused on this....Is ArcGIS the same as ArcMap?

Thanks.



posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 04:37 PM
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reply to post by boomer135
 


But those sectionals are old. The FAA website has the current sectionals.

So how recent is the imagery of the TTR?



posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 04:40 PM
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A bit OT, but I hope everyone knows you can view FAA sectionals on this website:
skyvector.com...

Sometimes it is useful to know what is available then go try to find where to download them.



posted on Jul, 14 2012 @ 05:24 PM
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I put some sectionals covering western states here. About 400Mbytes.
sectionals

You will need this program to unzip them.
www.7-zip.org...



posted on Jul, 14 2012 @ 10:57 PM
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Originally posted by gariac
reply to post by boomer135
 


But those sectionals are old. The FAA website has the current sectionals.

So how recent is the imagery of the TTR?



The sectionals from ArcGIS are from Feb 21, 2012. Here's some screen shots





You got to remember that ESRI's ArcGIS is the most widely used GIS program in the world. They have to have the maps up to date because hundreds of thousands of companies use their maps on a daily basis to conduct their work. The sectionals are created by the US department of transportation, FAA, AeroNav products. I went to the FAA website and they do have newer sectionals for certain areas, but some of them are older than february. For our purposes, I would think that Feb is current enough in my opinion

The newest Web Mercator Projection imagery that I found on the ArcGIS server was 6/5/2012. So that's pretty good too. I know that the company I work for, Union Pacific, has their GIS maps in near real time imagery. It's pretty nuts to see it work. I can't access it from home, but i can at work. I can take some screen shots tomorrow when i go to work and show you the real time maps. dont ask me how they do it, but somehow they do...
edit on 14-7-2012 by boomer135 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 14 2012 @ 11:08 PM
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Originally posted by darpa999
Someone told me about FalconView originally developed for the DoD.
And guess what...They do have the US FAA Sectional charts here to download as an add-on map overlay.
And its free!!!!!!

www.falconview.org...
www.falconview.org...
(FAA_Sectionals_20090730.zip)

I will also try the 60-day trial for ArcGiS. But I am also confused on this....Is ArcGIS the same as ArcMap?

Thanks.


Haha I remember falcon view. Funny thing about falcon view, it's what we used when I was in the Air Force for our Link 16 system to see the battle field. it's a pretty cool program.

As for ArcGIS: ArcGIS is the main software from ESRI. Here's a link to their 60 day trial. www.esri.com... Think of ArcGIS as the parent program. When you get the trial, you get ArcMap, ArcGlobe, ArcScene, and ArcCatalog. ArcCatalog is kind of like the program where all the metadata is held and created. But you probably will only use ArcMap. Just make sure you are getting ArcGIS for desktop version 10.





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