Course designer - import elevation data from Google Maps (including consoles)

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ukjackbauer

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« on: July 20, 2017, 06:31:34 AM »
I realise this isn't a simple request, but considering how difficult it is to create real-world courses - especially when using the course designer on console - I can't help but think this would help.

So - Google Maps features elevation (or "terrain") data:



Apparently, an import feature existed for Greg Norman's design company:

It existed for Greg Norman's design company in TGC1 but HB never wanted to help the community designers do a better job. Might have been a licensed feature but I'm guessing any block would be gone for TGC2.

But it wasn't considered for TGC implementation due to data import issues with consoles (as well as being too complicated for the public):

Its not as simple as setting a flag.  First we want to make sure that console users can do everything that a PC user can.  I don't know of a way to import data into a PS4 or xbox like you could on a PC.  Also, what we had for Greg Norman's company was just designed to use their systems and wasn't easily extendable to the public.

However, with this data, I can't help but feel that created courses would have another level of realism and that a designer's job would be 10x easier when creating real-world courses if this could be integrated (and with such a great golf simulation, I honestly think you need courses that are equally-well simulated).

I had some thoughts on the above issues:

Firstly, you can import data onto the PS4 - in "PES 2017" (soccer game), unlicensed teams use fake names (for the team and the players), but the game allows you to export your data, unlocked (i.e. it can be used by any other PS4 console), shared on the internet and imported elsewhere.

It isn't a standard PS4 save file - it's not a "save game" or similar, it's a data file.

Maybe that's not an option for every developer, and the Xbox One I don't know about (I know Don Bradman Cricket has a central file sharing system for customised data, just like TGC has for courses, but that doesn't help).

However... Both consoles have web browsers you can access outside of, or inside of, a game.

So could it not be achieved by providing a page on the HB-studios website, that could be accessed within the course designer across all platforms, where you could access Google Maps, select the area of terrain you'd like to mimic, and have the page generate the necessary data, saving it to a server, and providing a "passcode" or similar that you could type in within the course editor to import it?

Thank you for reading!
« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 06:35:23 AM by ukjackbauer »

Eric-H

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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2017, 04:15:02 PM »
I think this is a great idea. I recently asked for something similar to this in another thread. I even asked for other tools or abilities for existing tools to make it easier to layout an existing plot of land, or to recreate parts of existing land.

Another game developer, Perfect Parallel, has created a golf game, originally called Perfect Golf and I was told is now Nicklaus Perfect Golf. They also created a course designer that is supposed to have the ability to import height data maps from various sources, provided they are compatible with Unity and/or Unity based. After you import it, you just have to open it up in their course designer and add the landscaping, such as the grass, trees, pavement, water, etc., to the bare terrain, and voila. You've got your existing terrain. It's pretty nifty.

Even being able to import an area of a map, that matches the scale of the editable area of land in the Greg Norman Designer, that can be overlayed to use as a guide you can "trace" to recreate existing terrain. Of course, you would want to be able to vary the opacity of the map so you can see the map well enough, and also be able to see the terrain in the designer.

I think a good way to import either the height data or map, would be to use a square window that represents the editable area in the designer, that you would position over the area of land on the map you want to use, click it and it would import that area at the appropriate scale and aligned with it as well.

Both ways would save so much time, and like you said, increase the accuracy.

I would really like to hear what HB Studios thinks about this.

Thank you!
Eric

HB_KeithC

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« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2017, 04:20:24 PM »
Do consoles even allow anything like that?  Of course PP is PC only so they can do those sort of things.

Eric-H

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« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2017, 10:39:28 PM »
Thanks for replying, but I don't know Keith. However, it would be pretty cool if you guys can make it happen. Do you agree? I'm sure the other designers would love it too.

I look forward to hearing more from you about it. I hope you can bring good news.

Thank you!
Eric
« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 11:10:31 PM by Eric-H »

TaS

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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2017, 12:25:20 AM »
Thanks for replying, but I don't know Keith. However, it would be pretty cool if you guys can make it happen. Do you agree? I'm sure the other designers would love it too.

I look forward to hearing more from you about it. I hope you can bring good news.

Thank you!
Eric
I'd pay $200 for that upgrade.   

MERACE

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« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2017, 12:49:42 AM »
Do consoles even allow anything like that?  Of course PP is PC only so they can do those sort of things.

Why place limits on the PC version of TGC2 due to inherent console limitations? ???


-MERACE

Dox

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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2017, 01:32:35 AM »
They couldn't add a simple feature for global height and coordinates like discussed here:
http://www.hb-studios.com/forum/index.php?topic=16713.msg232961#msg232961

So anything more complicated is less likely unless they build it from the start.

I didn't buy the 2nd game so forgive me if this is incorrect.
Completed courses:
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Foxhurst Valley
Ashford Pines Golf Club
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http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198116348594

Eric-H

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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2017, 04:41:22 AM »
TaS, Thanks for the support!

Merace, I agree, but it would be nice to be able to do this on consoles as well, so anybody that has the game, regardless of the platform, can import such data.

Dox, I read the thread your link sent me to. I didn't see that it said it couldn't be done. One from HB, Norm I believe, said they weren't looking to import real world data. My very strong impulse to this is, "Why not?" It doesn't make any sense at all why you wouldn't. It would make the designer so much better and easier to reproduce real world terrain. And the sheer amount of time it would save would be huge.

As it is, you can't draw or measure square or parallel to or from a line, or at a specific angle, except along the edges of the useable plot. Everything else has to be eyeballed and approximated. So when you want and need to be more precise, the options and tools that are needed simply aren't there. I certainly hope they will be sometime soon.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 02:34:01 PM by Eric-H »

Dusty Roads

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« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2017, 08:01:55 AM »
Quote
One from HB, Norm I believe, said they weren't looking to import real world data. My very strong impulse to this is, "Why not?"

Because it is their game and they don't want to would be my first impulse in answering your statement.

Not being facetious, just looking at it from all their posts concerning the direction of the game.

Dox

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« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2017, 08:46:30 PM »
I agree they certainly could do these things. My point was they don't seem inclined to add even minor features that could greatly help the time and effort of designers. I still support the company and hope they can turn things around.
Completed courses:
Aspinwall Motor Speedway Golf Course
Foxhurst Valley
Ashford Pines Golf Club
Ashford Pines Golf Club - Members
Ashford Pines Golf Club - Thur/Fri/Sat/Sun


http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198116348594

 

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