I’ve been driven over the Forth Road Bridge more times than I count, sat in the back of my dad’s car as we went to visit family. I’ve peered down upon the Deep Sea World, and watched the railway bridge be painted and re-painted and painted again. It’s unreasonably exciting to me, then, to see it in Microsoft Flight Simulator above. It’s one of many UK and Ireland landmarks being added to the game, alongside five new photogrammetry cities including London, in World Update 3.
Developers Asobo shared a little about the update in a post on the game’s site, while also noting a slight delay on its originally intended January 26th release.
This massive update contains new aerials, new DEM, over 70 POIs, 5 airports, two landing challenges, and will also introduce 5 brand-new photogrammetry cities for your enjoyment. Unfortunately, these new cities are causing a slight delay… it’s a new process and data source for us and the tools have to be updated for these cities to integrate seamlessly into the sim. The Bing Maps team is working hard to make this happen and the data provider, Bluesky, is helping as well. We believe that the remaining issues will be resolved within a few days so we are targeting the release one week later than originally planned.
The update also came with a couple more screenshots, showing castles Blarney and Windsor.
These are interesting “points of interest”, but the highlight is surely going to be those mentioned new photogrammetry cities. Photogrammetry is the process by which Flight Simulator builds cities based on satellite imagery, creating accurate 3D models with a density that’s impractical to recreate by hand. Previous updates have introduced similar revamps to Japan and the United States with great results, but Flight Sim is at its best when you’re exploring places you’ve been in real life. We know one of the cities they’re revamping is London, so I’m assuming the other four are Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kirkcaldy and Hamilton.