51. Load Scenery Library Load Scenery Library

51.1. Quick Start

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

Note that the loading runs in background which means you can put the loading progress window aside and continue to plan a flight while loading.

From this dialog window you can select all detected Flight Simulators and load their scenery libraries into the database of Little Navmap.

An Empty Database indication is shown in the statusbar and a (empty) suffix is added in the related menu item if you skip this step. You will not be able to build flight plans for your simulator.

One database is kept for each simulator and can be changed on the fly in Scenery Library Menu. One disabled menu item is kept as an indicator in the Scenery Library menu if only one simulator is available.

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.

Little Navmap uses two database sources and data is merged if needed. See Navigation Databases for more information.

See Loading Airspaces for information about loading airspaces into the Little Navmap database.

Important

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.

Some functions like access to weather source files depend on the selected scenery library database. X-Plane 11 weather files are read if the X-Plane 11 scenery library is selected, for example.

See Scenery Library Menu for information on the scenery library menu and the following chapters for more details.

Note

Little Navmap does not keep you from using a X-Plane scenery database while being connected to FSX/Prepar3D/MSFS or vice versa, for example. You will get unwanted effects like wrong weather information if using such a setup.

An orange warning message is shown in the connect dialog ( Connecting to a Flight Simulator) if a mismatch is detected.

Note

Parking positions in flight plans might change when switching between scenery library databases. This can happen if airports have parking positions with different names or missing parking positions.

51.3. Dialog Load Scenery Library

The dialog window Load Scenery Library has the following controls:

  • Simulator: Select the simulator to load, show database statistics in the label above.

  • Reset Paths: Reset all paths back to default values.

  • Flight Simulator Base Path and Select ...: The path to the base directory of the selected flight simulator. This usually the directory containing the FSX.exe, Prepar3D.exe or x-plane.exe. For MSFS this is the folder Packages containing the folder Community.

  • Scenery Configuration File and Select ... (only FSX and P3D): The file scenery.cfg of the simulator. You can also create copies of the original file, modify them by removing or adding sceneries and select them here for loading.

  • Read inactive Scenery Entries: This will read all scenery entries, also the inactive/disabled ones. This applies to the FSX/P3D scenery.cfg as well as X-Plane’s scenery_packs.ini which both allow to disable scenery entries.

  • Read Prepar3D add-on.xml packages (only P3D v3, v4 and v5): If enabled, reads P3D add-on.xml packages.

  • Load: Starts the database loading process. You can stop the loading process at any time and the previous database is restored. The dialog is closed and the program will switch to show the loaded database once it is successfully loaded. Note that the loading runs in background which means you can continue to plan a flight while loading.

  • Close: Keep all settings and changes in the dialog and close it without loading anything.

FSX and Prepar3D: The base path and the scenery.cfg path will be shown in two text edit fields for the currently selected simulator. These fields are populated automatically, but can be changed to any other valid location.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020: The base path of the MSFS installation and its directories Community and Official is detected automatically. You can change the path manually if needed.

X-Plane: The base path of the first X-Plane installation is added. Select the base path manually if you like to read the scenery library of another X-Plane installation.

Important

Always reset the paths if your simulator installation location has changed.

Loading a scenery library can take from 2 to 10 minutes depending on your setup and amount of scenery add-ons. You can speed this up by excluding directories containing neither airport nor navigation data in the Options dialog on the page Scenery Library Database.

You can put the progress dialog window into the background and continue flight planning while loading.

If you cancel the loading process or if the loading process fails, the previous scenery library database is restored immediately.

The menu Scenery Library -> Flight Simulators is synchronized with the simulator selection in the dialog. Once a database is successfully loaded, the display, flight plan and search switch instantaneously to the newly loaded simulator data.

Note

The final number of airports, navaids and other objects shown in the Load Scenery Library dialog are lower than the counts shown in the progress dialog. After the data has been loaded, a separate process removes duplicates and deletes stock airports that were replaced by add-ons.

An error dialog is shown after loading, if any files could not be read or directories were not found. In this case you should check if the airports of the affected sceneries display correctly and show the correct information. The error dialog allows copy and paste of formatted text which is useful for error reporting.

The Load Scenery Library dialog shows the last time of loading (Last Update:), the program and the database version. Major database version differences indicate incompatible databases. The program will ask if the incompatible databases can be erased on startup before the scenery database can be reloaded. Minor database differences indicate compatible changes where a reload is recommended but not required.

Warning

Close Little Navmap when updating, copying or replacing its databases manually or using other programs to replace the databases. Little Navmap might crash or show wrong data otherwise.

_images/loadscenery.jpg

Load Scenery Dialog. Scenery data is already loaded for FSX.

_images/loadsceneryprogress.jpg

Progress dialog shown while loading the scenery library into Little Navmap’s internal database.

51.4. Linking Scenery

Little Navmap follows all linked scenery which is linked by:

  • Symbolic links (all operating systems)

  • Windows shortcuts

  • Windows junctions

  • macOS aliases

Note that this functionality is limited to the MSFS Community and X-Plane Custom Scenery directories.

Any directories added in the Options dialog on the page Scenery Library Database also support linking

51.5. Add-On Airports

For FSX and Prepar3D, all airports that are not located in the default Scenery directory of FSX/P3D are considered to be add-on airports.

For X-Plane, all airports located in the Custom Scenery directory of X-Plane are considered to be add-on airports. An exception is ...\X-Plane 11\Custom Scenery\Global Airports\Earth nav data\apt.dat

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020: All airports located in the Community directory and the Official\OneStore or Official\Steam are considered to be add-on airports. Exceptions are fs-base, fs-base-genericairports and fs-base-nav.

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.

If an add-on only corrects airport elevations or navigation data, it might be undesirable to display the updated airports as add-on airports on the map. You can exclude directories populated by this add-on from the add-on recognition in the Options dialog on the page Scenery Library Database.

51.6. Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Airports and Navdata

  • If you use the Navigraph update for MSFS: Update the Little Navmap database with the FMS Data Manager as well to keep the program in sync with the MSFS scenery library. Use the scenery mode Use Navigraph for Navaids and Procedures in the menu Scenery Library to get access to all procedures in Little Navmap. This is the default.

    Also check the selection in menu Scenery Library -> Airspace Libraries. Select Navigraph and uncheck Simulator there.

  • If you do not use the Navigraph update for MSFS: Use the scenery mode Do not use Navigraph Database in the menu Scenery Library to avoid issues with missing or changed navaids.

    The selection in menu Scenery Library -> Airspace Libraries should have Simulator checked. Uncheck Navigraph there.

See Navigation Databases and FSX, Prepar3D and MSFS Airspaces for more background information on these settings.

See appendix Known Problems and Frequently asked Questions for information about MSFS limitations and issues.

51.7. X-Plane Airports and Navdata

Little Navmap reads airport and navaid data from X-Plane’s *.dat files. To check a version of a file you can open it in a text editor that is capable of dealing with large files. The first lines of the file will look like:

A
1100 Generated by WorldEditor 1.6.0r1

1   1549 0 0 0A4 Johnson City STOLport
...

Little Navmap can read the following X-Plane scenery files:

  • Airports ( apt.dat ): From version 850. This covers X-Plane 10 airports and older add-on scenery.

  • Navdata ( earth_awy.dat , earth_fix.dat and earth_nav.dat ): From version 1100. This excludes X-Plane 10 navdata files.

  • Procedures ( ICAO.dat in the CIFP directory): All procedures from X-Plane 11 and 12.

  • Airspaces ( *.txt ): The included usa.txt and all files in OpenAir format. See next chapter for more information.

Additionally the files user_fix.dat and user_nav.dat in the X-Plane directory Custom Data are read.

51.8. Magnetic Declination

Little Navmap reads the magnetic declination from different sources or calculates it using the world magnetic model (WMM) depending on simulator and navaid.

The data is updated when loading the scenery library and is also stored in the scenery library database for each simulator.

See also Magnetic Declination for more information.

51.8.1. FSX, Prepar3D and Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020

The magnetic declination used to calculate the magnetic course is taken from the magdec.bgl file in the scenery database of FSX, Prepar3D or MSFS.

Little Navmap falls back to the world magnetic model if the file magdec.bgl is not available for some reason.

Updates for this file in FSX and P3D are available here: FSX/P3D Navaids update.

51.8.2. X-Plane

The magnetic declination values for X-Plane (airports and all navaids except VORs) are calculated using the world magnetic model based on the real current year and month. This is calculated while loading the scenery library and saved in X-Plane scenery library database.

VOR stations come with their own calibrated declination values which might differ from the calculated declination values in their environment as mentioned above.