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Greetings Mission Planners,

A new version of Excel2FV has been posted at Pablo's Mission Planning Page along with the PPT training presentation prepared by the MPSSF.  The only major new functionality is the ability to change drawing symbol line width at the request of Loogie.

If you didn't receive Willie Kramer's email about the TLM Update Disk set check out the news at  The TUD is a very good thing and will put new edition CADRG TLM's in your hands much faster.  Combined with NGA's eChart initiative you should be seeing charts months earlier than you have in the past.

I made my travel reservations to go to the Mission Planning User's Conference yesterday - have you made yours?  Those aisle seats (or PPR's to park at Nellis) will go quick.  You can register for MPUC on the MPSSF's website

Mission Planning Tip: VMap Level0 Part 2 (Part 1 Here)

Last time I discussed using the VMap Reference data that comes with VMap0.  Now we'll talk about using the VMap0 data.  First go to the Map - Options -Vector Smart Map menu and set up the options as you see below:

Now when you scale in past the 1:5M scale you'll shift to VMap Level 0 data.  The Feature group filters on the right turn on the Hydrology (water) at 1:2M and the Population and Transportation layers will at 1:1M.  This is the 1:2M scale VMap centered on Eglin AFB (KVPS):

This is the map at 1:1M with the hydrology, transportation and population features turned on:

This is the ONC chart over the same area:

VMap0 information is extracted from ONC's so you'll find their features are very similar.  When you turn on all the VMap layers this is how the map looks:

When you right click on the chart you'll see a Get info list of the features your mouse is on top of.  In the image above the mouse cursor is within range of a road, bridge, the United States, an island and a coastline.  You can display the Get info box on any item but won't find any more information than was on the source map. 

Even with all the VMap layers turned on you're missing some features from the paper chart.  You're expected to add your own aeronautical information (from DAFIF), Obstructions (from Vector Vertical Obstruction Database) and Lat/Long grid.  NGA will provide the VVOD by next summer.

You'll also notice a performance drag with VMap compared to CADRG.  Each time you reach a VMap tile edge FalconView has to load information stored in different files and combine it on screen.  As long as you remain within the same tile performance is pretty good - especially compared to the 30+ minutes it would have taken to render a comparable map when VPF first appeared.  Still, when it takes 50 seconds to scale in from 1:2M to 1:1M (with all the layers turned on) it doesn't make you feel that much better to know how much worse it was 10 years ago.  Using VMap as a base map works best when you keep most layers off.

 The VMap lines and icons will become outsized as you zoom in past their "native" resolution.  This shows they don't have enough detail for the displayed scale: