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Plan-G V3 release imminent

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The popular flight planner "Plan-G" from TA Software is almost ready for take off in it's latest major version update, V3.

Released in 2009, Plan‐G was the first Flight Simulator planning software tool to use the acclaimed and versatile Google Maps mapping tool. Hitherto, the inbuilt planner and third party external flight planners have extrapolated geographic data from the Simulator program itself, with the limitation which that entails.

Plan‐G was instantly popular and widely acclaimed across the flight simulator enthusiast world, and in August 2011 won the prestigious Mutley’s Hangar Award for Flight Simulator Addon excellence.

Using a public domain global map, Plan‐G overlays features pertinent to Flight and Flight Planning – Airports, Controlled Airspace, Prohibited and Restricted Areas, Instrument Approach Paths and many more.

Flight Plans can be graphically modified; adding, deleting or dragging waypoints to new positions with the mouse. User defined waypoints can be created “on the fly” as you build a plan.

Plan‐G Version 3 is a brand new, completely revised version, and now uses Open Street Maps as its mapping base. Although terrain modelling and shading is not currently available in OSM, the vertical terrain profile feature in Plan‐G‐v2 has been enhanced and simplified to provide the same vertical navigation planning capability.

The several information panes are now presented as floating windows, allowing the user to place information anywhere on the screen, or not, as they wish.

Many new features have been added to Version 3 to make Plan‐G v3 the essential Flight-simmers utility application.

As well as working with FS9 and FSX, Plan‐Gv3 now interfaces with X‐Plane, and with VATSIM if the user is connected to the Internet.

From the manual, avaiable here, are the highlights..

  • OpenStreetMaps interface (replaces Google Maps) for comprehensive topographical detail including railways (traditional VFR navaid) woodland, parkland and watercourses.
  • “Snippets” ‐ multiple waypoints which can be inserted into a plan either by “quick” entry” or from a snippets format (.snip) file.
  • Now supports X‐Plane Versions 9 & 10. Fully editable flight plans can be saved in the X‐Plane format (.fms), or in Plan‐G’s own format (.plg).
  • VATSIM Support – show all VATSIM controllers and active pilots on the map.
  • RADIAL menu allows you to click on multiple VORs or NDBs and display specified radials from them for easy identification of intersections.
  • A COM/NAV Radio Stack which simplifies changing frequencies, especially if Plan‐G is run on a separate display to FS or X‐Plane.
  • Additional options added to the main map context menu.
  • KML (& KMZ) files can now be stored on your PC.
  • Revised Elevation Plot display.
  • Aircraft Performance Profiles. Can your chosen aircraft fly at the cruising airspeed or altitude you have set?
  • Data Tools allow data to be moved between MSFS and X‐Plane databases.
  • PDF Charts display. Copy your airport charts, approach plates etc into (e.g.) Plan‐GFiles\Charts\EGKB and they will automatically be available when you right click the EGKB airport.

We will, of course make an announcement when the program is available. Oh! and did we mention, it's freeware. However, there there is a donation button on the TA Software home page to show your appreciation!

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I'll defer to Tim as I am not sure how long the Google service will remain live .

As you probably know, Google have started charging if a program accesses the services more than 10K times a day. Bearing in mind how popular Plan-G is that is likely to happen in the future.

So, the v2.xx will carry on working as far as I know for some time to come, but could be pulled.

It's Tim's baby, hopefully he will be able to comment but I've heard he's a miserable git and shuns public contact!!!

(Only kidding :D )

Cheers,

Joe

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Speaking to a net guru, recently, I raised this Google Access problem. He thought the 10K threshold was related to the url from which the Google Map Access was requested. So, if many Plan-G users (i.e. >10K) accessed Google Maps per day, as they would have separate url's, the threshold wouldn't be exceeded.

I'm getting used to OpenStreetMaps on V3, but, if I'm honest, I do prefer Google's format, especially with the contour shading. Still, we'll see...

Cheers - Dai. :cool:

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Dai, I think it is calculated by the Google API key used by the program, there is only 1 key so we all use the same. It would be good to get clarification though :thum:

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I wonder how many Map Requests there are when:

1. You're route planning, and

2. Flying the route with Plan-G connected to FSX/FS9 (i.e. moving map)

And the Google Static Maps API threshold is, apparently, 25K requests per day.

Lastly, if Plan-G V2 is still installed - and in use by users who haven't migrated to V3 - will Tim be liable to API over-threshold charges? Interesting... :whis:

Cheers - Dai. :cool:

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There is always the 3D texture shading and traffic mod for the default GPS units as a stand by.

abgps.jpg

Still very much looking forward to the new release of PlanG. Hurry :D

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Oh, I always liked the Google Earth bit, but hey! Tim has put great work into this, and I'm really excited to see what the new updates would be like! Can't wait!

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I wonder how many Map Requests there are when:

1. You're route planning, and

2. Flying the route with Plan-G connected to FSX/FS9 (i.e. moving map)

And the Google Static Maps API threshold is, apparently, 25K requests per day.

Lastly, if Plan-G V2 is still installed - and in use by users who haven't migrated to V3 - will Tim be liable to API over-threshold charges? Interesting... :whis:

Cheers - Dai. :cool:

Google counts everything you do within a session as part of a single "request". So if you start Plan-G, do some planning, shut it down, then start Plan-G again. That counts as 2 requests. The free limit before Google starts charging is 25K requests. But Plan-G has 60K users. So if half the users run Plan-G once in a day, that has more than blown the free limit. (btw, other map providers count every trip to the server as a separate request, so google is actually quite generous in that regard)

Now, Google refuse to say whether their metering is done on the API key or the originating IP address. Given the size of the fees that google charge, it would be foolish of me to gamble it isn't done on the API key. And since I can't afford $10,000 per year for google's licence, the google maps version is sadly no longer available.

Existing V2 installs will still run in parallel with v3. But if google come knocking at my door asking for money, they will be instructed to block the API key, and v2 will stop working.

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