The global scenery ships with current
versions of X-Plane. It covers the world, except for the extreme
northern and southern latitudes.
Where do I get the new global
How is the global scenery
As 7 double layer DVDs. (It's big. You're going to need 60GB of HD
space to hold it all.) The complete kit contains either 7 or 8 DVDs,
depending on version. In the 7 DVD kit, X-Plane itself is packaged on
the US scenery DVD. In the 8 DVD kit, X-Plane is on a separate DVD.
I don't have that much space
You don't have to install all of it.
It's organized by region - install as much or little as you want.
What does it look like?
What areas does the global
The entire earth from 60 degrees north
to 54 degrees south latitude.
What about the rest of the world?
60 degrees north / 54 south is the area
covered by the SRTM elevation data. The available elevation data for
the rest of the world (Gtopo30) is of substantially poorer quality and
incorporating it in the global scenery did not fit in the production
schedule because of its different format.
What's the difference between
"Global Scenery" and "Real Scenery"?
Several differences. Real Scenery
is a set of 3rd
party payware that covers a couple of specific areas. The terrain
textures are based on actual satellite or aerial photos of the area, so
as long as you're high enough that the resolution isn't an issue, it
will look just like the real thing. The descriptions don't say
anything about 3D structures, so I can't comment on what it will look
like at low altitude.
The Global Scenery is indeed global. (See above for exact coverage.)
You can count on having every
little island in the Caribbean, south Pacific, etc.
The global scenery is all generic, however. It uses land use data and
highway databases to figure out what textures to use and where to put
streets and what kind of buildings. The textures and buildings all come
from a generic library (an extensive one!) and are not the actual ones.
From any kind of distance any major city will look quite realistic
because the land use data results in the right kind
of buildings, but look up close and the buildings won't be the same as
the real ones there.
The strong point about the global scenery (other than that it's truly
global) is the buildings. Many photo scenery packages look great at
10,000 feet, but get low and they're worthless, because all you see is
flat surface painted with colored blobs. Get low in the global scenery
and you'll be dodging detailed buildings. To
understand what I'm talking about, see the screenshots at the Global
scenery web page.
Understand that the level of realism
will vary. The quality of highway and land use data varies for
different parts of the world, and I've seen some bogus land use just in
Will the global scenery be
available as a download?
Not real likely, considering its size
Does the global scenery support
Yes! The global scenery files work with
X-Plane Linux 8.20 and later, but there is no Linux installer on the
early kits. Look for an installer on the DVD; if it's there, use it. If
installers are available from the Linux download page
here, click the link to the latest version of the installer.
Note there are two different installers listed here.
is the installer for network updates. You want this for the next
X-Plane update, but not now.
is the installer for X-Plane and all scenery from DVD.
How do I
You need to start with the primary DVD
(labeled X-Plane v8). Just load it and run the installer. This will
install the X-Plane version on the DVD - 8.21 in the 7 DVD kit and 8.40
in the 8 DVD kit. With the 7 DVD kit, it also installs the US scenery.
each other DVD in turn and run the installer to install that area of
scenery. Each DVD covers a region of the earth, indicated by the
picture on the DVD.
Just like other installer-based X-Plane
, if you point the
installer at an existing older X-Plane folder it will upgrade the
version 8.21 or 8.40 and install the scenery. If you point it at an
folder it will install a new copy of X-Plane 8.21 or 8.40 and the
- When you are installing the additional scenery discs, make sure
the installer destination is the top level X-Plane 8.21 or X-Plane 8.40
folder. Do not select a subfolder or
anywhere else as the destination, or the scenery will be installed in
the wrong place, X-Plane won't find it, and the world will be all
water. 50% of all missing scenery problems are caused by installing the
scenery in the wrong folder. The other 49% are caused by installing an
update in the wrong place and ending up with a new demo install instead
of an update.
- If you use a disc image to avoid having the DVD loaded while you
run X-Plane, dismount the disc image before you install. The installer
looks for a volume named XPLANE8; having two volumes of that name will
confuse it. (Same thing applies to having your old X-Plane 8 DVD in a
second DVD reader!)
- Run the installer from the DVD. Do not use the installer you
downloaded from X-Plane.com. The X-Plane.com installer is a network
installer and only looks for X-Plane versions on the network. The
installer on the DVD only installs the version (and scenery) on the DVD.
- After you install the X-Plane 8.21 and scenery kit, the X-Plane
folder is named X-Plane V8.20 (not 8.21). To avoid confusion you might
want to change the name on the folder. Do this after you've installed all the
scenery to avoid confusing the installer. Note that if you change the
name, the folder name will no longer match the name recorded in the
installer prefs. This means the next time you upgrade you'll have to
select your destination folder explicitly.
I've installed global scenery and now I get
an error when I start X-Plane
I get an error message like
Unable to Locate terrain definition
(C++/design++/HLutils/Files/io-dsf.cpp line 380)
You've tried to install global scenery into an incomplete V8.50 or
later X-Plane install. Either you started out with a demo download, or
you tried to manually merge an 8.50 demo install with an earlier
version full install (like 8.40). X-Plane updates after 8.40 modify
some scenery resource files, while other files are still available only
from the base kit DVD. Manually merging the files is too complicated to
explain, and it's unlikely you'll get it right. The only way to get
this to work right is to first install the base X-Plane DVD, then
scenery DVDs, and finally update to the latest version. See below
I'd like to
install smaller areas of scenery
If you want to be more selective about
what areas of scenery you want
to install, you'll have to install pieces of it manually. Each scenery
DVD contains a folder with the name of its region, like Europe or
Africa, etc. In there is a folder named All. From there follow the path
Resources/Default Scenery/DSF 820 Earth/Earth Nav Data. There you'll
collection of numbered folders; in each numbered folders are files with
names like +nn-nnn.dsf.zip. Each of those zip files is a compressed
scenery file. What you need to do is to replicate the path on the DVD
in your X-Plane folder, so you end up with Resources/Default
Scenery/DSF 820 Earth/Earth Nav Data containing the numbered folders.
those numbered folders you need to put the expanded contents of the zip
files (i.e., the +nn-nnn.dsf scenery files)
Each dsf file covers one square degree of land. Its name is the
latitude and longitude of the southwest corner. For details, see the scenery page.
I manually installed the +10+090
and +10+100 folders to cover Bangkok, Thailand, and I see only water
Not exactly a Frequently Asked Question
(got this from one guy on the tech list) but the answer is instructive.
It turns out this area is right on the boundary between the Russia and
Australia DVDs and you need folders from both. Moreover, the +10+100
folder is present on both DVDs. Most of the scenery is in the Australia
DVD, but the +1n+100.dsf stripe is on the Russia DVD. (Guess where
Bangkok is.) You need to install both. I'll bet this happens in some
other places as well.
some of the global
scenery and have since upgraded X-Plane versions; now I'd like to
started out by installing at least the base X-Plane 8.21 (with US
scenery) or 8.40 DVD:
It's easy: Just load the DVD for the area
you want to install and run the installer on the DVD. Repeating the two
notes from above
- Don't use the network installer - only the installer on the DVD
knows to read from the DVD.
- Dismount your XPLANE8 disc image (if you have one) or DVD (if you
have it in another drive).
I've verified that none of the DSF 820 Earth files have been updated by
later X-Plane versions, so you won't get anything out of date with this
procedure. (Some of the other scenery resource files have been updated.)
This procedure only works if you originally installed the base X-Plane
DVD! The base kit installs a set of resource files (terrain textures
the like) that are not included in the demo download but are needed by
all areas of the global scenery.
demo installed and just bought the global scenery kit
Basically you need to install the DVD
kit over the top of your existing demo install. This works even if your
current demo install is a later version than what's on the DVD, but if
you take some care you can minimize the overall effort:
- Run the installer on each DVD, starting with the primary X-Plane
v8 disc and continuing with the rest of the scenery discs.
Specify your current X-Plane folder as the destination. You will get a
bunch of warnings about files having been modified. Select the option
to keep the modified files - these are files that have been updated by
your current X-Plane version.
- Run the network installer to verify and repair any files from the
current version that might have been modified by the scenery
installation process. In theory, there shouldn't be any if the
installer has respected your request to leave modified files alone, but
the installer sometimes has a mind of its own...
I installed the global scenery,
and I still see occasional large rectangular areas of the old scenery.
You have custom scenery installed. The
global scenery is default scenery, so any custom scenery packages will
replace the global scenery in the areas that the custom scenery covers.
I'd like to fly in Alaska (or
other parts of the world north of 60 degrees)
You can install the northern parts of
the generation 7 global scenery (or the X-Plane SRTM scenery
, which goes
even farther north). To avoid blocking out the gen 8 global scenery,
- don't install scenery areas south of 60 degrees north latitude
(or north of 54 degrees south), or
- put the files in the Resources/Earth Nav Data folder, where they
will be searched after the gen
8 global scenery.
If you install scenery as packages in the Default Scenery folder,
remember that scenery is searched for alphabetically, so that packages
appearing earlier in the alphabet will be loaded preferentially.
For more information about installing scenery and how the scenery
system works, see the scenery page
Why are there no buildings
outside the continental US?
Update to X-Plane 8.50. It adds
buildings for the rest of the world.
I installed just the European
scenery DVD, and there's no scenery
The printed labels on the Europe and
Africa DVDs are swapped. Install the DVD that says "Africa" and you'll
get Europe (and vice versa). This is a problem in the initial
production run of the DVDs only and should be long gone by now.
Will the new global scenery be
available in the X-Plane demo?
A subset of the global scenery is
available in the demo. However, the size of the demo area has been
reduced to a single square degree around San Bernardino airport.
Every time I load the install
DVD on Windows the installer starts up
The installer is set up as an autostart
for Windows. To prevent it from starting, hold down the left shift key
while you load the DVD. (This behavior is true of the initial run of
global scenery DVDs, and will probably change in later production runs.)
Since I've installed the global
scenery my frame rate has gone way down
The global scenery has a lot more
detail in it than the initial generation 8 scenery, in terms of
elevation mesh density, texture detail and variety, and building
density and variety. In effect, the detail level of the rendering
options has been increased by about one step. To get your frame rate
back where it was (and go back to the level of detail you had with the
old scenery), reduce all your scenery detail settings by one step or so.
Here's what Ben Supnik has to say about the global scenery and frame
If you use the US DSFs, you will have to go down one notch on some
setting, because there is more 'stuff' in these renders. The overall
efficiency of the sim with these DSFs is actually slightly better on
most video cards.
The way I look at it, we have a budget of VRAM, polygons, batches, etc.
with which to make a nice looking world...we have changed our budget
allocation such that if you measure the settings in the sim, it'll look
like you get less, but actually it's just a reallocation of resources.
To give a concrete example, consider VRAM. We can spend our pixels on
making textures that cover more area (meaning less repetition) or cover
more detail (meaning less blurriness when close up). With this render
we have definitely done the former...we have done this by adding more
textures, which forces you to turn down your res one notch, which makes
you lose detail. Total VRAM usage remains constant, but VRAM is used to
hide repetition rather than add detail.
Why not just make the textures smaller? Well, there are going to be a
few crazy users with 512 MB of VRAM. So we figure...why not give you
the original full quality textures that the artists did, and that way
if you ever do happen to get a bigger machine, you can scale up, rather
than have VRAM go to waste.
Where can I learn more about the
Are there any scenery
editing tools for the global scenery?
Complete scenery editing tools are
still under development. For some preliminary tools, tutorials, and
examples, see Jonathan Harris's scenery web
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