6. Introduction

This chapter gives a brief overview of the most important topics with links to the more detailed chapters.

Little Navmap shows several dialogs and a web page on first startup to give hints about usage and other useful information. Once read you can disable these dialogs by clicking on Do not show this dialog again.

6.2. Loading the Scenery Database

Little Navmap will copy and prepare the included Navigraph database on the first startup.

Load Scenery Library will be shown once the preparation is finished. From there you can select all recognized Flight Simulators and load their scenery libraries into the database of Little Navmap.

An Empty Database indication is shown in the statusbar if you skip this step. You will not be able to build flight plans for your simulator.

Note that you have to reload the database to see changes when adding add-on airports.

Note

X-Plane cannot be always recognized automatically. You might have to set the path in the dialog Load Scenery Library before you can load the database.

One database is kept for each simulator and can be changed on the fly in Scenery Library Menu.

You can load the scenery library database later by going to the menu item Load Scenery Library in the menu Scenery Library.

Scenery library databases may need to be updated when you install a new version of Little Navmap. A question dialog will pop up prompting you to erase the now incompatible database. You can reload the scenery in Load Scenery Library after erasing the databases.

Note

Selecting the right scenery library for the simulator while flying is crucial since the selection also affects other functions of Little Navmap. The selected scenery library defines which weather files are read, for example.

6.3. Connecting to a Simulator

Once you close the Load Scenery Library the dialog Connecting to a Flight Simulator will be shown to connect to a running flight simulator.

See Connecting to a Flight Simulator for the next step to use Little Navmap as a moving map. The included Little Xpconnect plugin has to be installed for X-Plane.

6.5. How to run a Network Setup

The remote computer does not need a simulator installation and there is no need to share the scenery library of the simulator.

See Network Setup on information how to set up a remote/networked connection.

6.6. User Interface

6.6.1. Dock Windows and Tabs

See the chapters Dock Windows and Tabs for more information on these elements.

6.6.2. Context Menus

Context menus are an important element to build flight plans or get information and can be found in the following places:

The context menus provide functionality to get more information about an object at the clicked position or to build or edit a flight plan.

6.6.3. Tooltip Help, Help Buttons and Help Menu

The help menu of Little Navmap contains links to the online help, an included offline help PDF document, online tutorials and the map legend.

The program uses tooltips to provide help or to display more information on buttons and other controls. Tooltips are small labels which pop up if you hover the mouse above a control like a button or text edit field.

A more detailed description is also shown on the left side of the statusbar if you hover the mouse over a menu item.

Almost all dialogs and dock windows have buttons which are labeled Help or use the icon Help. Clicking these will open the corresponding sections of the online manual.

6.6.4. Window Title

The main window title shows the application name and version.

Furthermore, it indicates the currently selected simulator database (FSX, FSXSE, P3DV2, P3DV3, P3DV4, P3DV5, MSFS or XP11), the flight plan file name, the aircraft performance file name with trailing * for both if either has changed.

The AIRAC cycle is shown as a four digit number after the simulator and Navigraph database indication if available and if a database is selected.

The AIRAC cycle is only shown for X-Plane and the Navigraph database. Other simulators do not provide cycle information in their scenery libraries.

A N will be appended if the Navigraph database is used. Otherwise (N) is used. Example below for Prepar3D:

  • P3DV5 / (N): All features on the map and all information in dialogs and windows come from the flight simulator database. Navdata might be limited depending on simulator.
  • P3DV5 / N: Airports and ILS are shown and used from the flight simulator database. Navaids, airways and procedures are used from the Navigraph database.
  • (P3DV5) / N: All data is used from the Navigraph database. No aprons, no taxiways and no parking positions are available for airports.

See Scenery Library Menu, Load Scenery Library and Navigation Databases for more information.

Examples: Little Navmap 2.6.8 - XP11 2001 / N 2011 LOAG_LOWW.lnmpln * - PA30 Twin Comanche.lnmperf

Version 2.6.8, X-Plane selected with AIRAC cycle 2001, Navigraph database in use with AIRAC cycle 2011, flight plan LOAG_LOWW.lnmpln changed and performance profile PA30 Twin Comanche.lnmperf unchanged.

Little Navmap 2.6.4.beta - (XP11) / N 2012 IFR Frankfurt Am Main (EDDF) to Fiumicino (LIRF).lnmpln - PA30 Twin Comanche.lnmperf *

Version 2.6.4.beta (a test version), X-Plane not selected - using Navigraph only, Navigraph database in use with AIRAC cycle 2012, flight plan unchanged and performance profile PA30 Twin Comanche.lnmperf changed.

Little Navmap 2.6.5.rc1 - XP11 2012 / (N) - *

Version 2.6.5.rc1 (a release candidate), X-Plane selected, not using Navigraph, no flight plan loaded and new and empty default performance profile loaded.

6.6.5. Information and Simulator Aircraft Text

You can change the text size permanently in the options dialog for these windows. See options dialog on page Display and Text.

This page also allows to change the font for the whole program interface.

Tip

A quick way to change the text size is to use the mouse wheel and Ctrl key. This setting won’t be saved across sessions, though.

6.6.6. Error Messages

Little Navmap shows error messages with white text on red background for problems with the aircraft performance, top of descent/climb calculation or other issues.

Tooltips on these error messages give more help in most cases. Click these messages or hover the mouse cursor above to see more information.

6.6.7. Activating and raising Windows and Tabs

Little Navmap opens and raises dock windows and tabs for certain actions like File -> New Flight Plan or Aircraft -> Open Aircraft Performance ... to avoid confusion for new users. This behavior can be disabled in the options dialog on tab User Interface by disabling the option Raise related windows on actions.

6.6.8. Copy and Paste

Almost all dialogs, text labels and all information windows in Little Navmap allow to copy and paste the formatted text to the clipboard.

You can select the text using the mouse and then either use Ctrl+C or the context menu to copy it to the clipboard.

The table views for the flight plan or airport/navaid search results allow copying of the results in CSV format to the clipboard which can be pasted into a spreadsheet program like LibreOffice Calc or Microsoft Excel.

6.6.9. Translation and Locale

Little Navmap is currently available in several languages, although not all translations are complete.

Your system language is used if supported. Otherwise Little Navmap falls back to English. The language for the user interface can be change in Options on page User Interface.

I will happily support anybody who would like to translate the user interface or manual into another language. Language packages can be added to a Little Navmap installation later once they are available. See Translating in the GitHub Little Navmap wiki for more information.

Despite using the English language in the user interface the locale settings of the operating system will be used. So, e.g. on a German version of Windows you will see comma as a decimal separator instead of the English dot.

The language and locale settings can be forced to English in the dialog Options on the page User Interface.

6.6.10. Map Legend

The legend explains all the map icons and the Flight Plan Elevation Profile icons. It is available in Legend.

6.6.11. Rating

Airports get a zero to five star rating depending on facilities. Airports that have no rating will be displayed using a gray symbol below all other airports on the map (Empty Airport). This behavior can be switched off in the Options dialog on the page Map.

This helps to avoid airports with no scenery elements.

The criteria below are used to calculate the rating. Each item gives one star:

  1. Add-on (or 3D for X-Plane)
  2. Parking positions (ramp or gate)
  3. Taxiways
  4. Aprons
  5. Tower building (only if at least one of the other conditions is met).

All airports that are not located in the default Scenery directory of FSX/P3D or are located in the Custom Scenery directory of X-Plane are considered add-on airports which raises the rating by one star.

Airports having the 3D label in X-Plane are 3D airports which raises the rating by one star too.

Star airports in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 will always get a five star rating.

Add-on airports are highlighted on the map with a yellow ring which can be disabled in the options dialog on page Map Display.

Using emphasized (bold and underlined) text highlights add-on airports in the search result table, flight plan table, information windows and map tooltips.