The methods mentioned in this tutorial are for research and learning purposes only. I am not responsible for any legal liabilities and losses caused by using or expanding this tutorial and method.
ALWAYS checkout latest version here first if you have trouble: https://github.com/derekhe/msfs2020-google-map/releases
Replace the local DNS and replace the Microsoft server with the local server. Please install the tools involved
- An HTTP proxy that can access Google
Abort virus report and https certificate error
Some virus app reports errors and when in game it promote for https certificate error. If so, please add the folder to whitelist and accept the certificate error.
The software is totally open source and you can check every piece of code here: https://github.com/derekhe/msfs2020-google-map
Can and can't
- Replace bing sattelite image with google's image
- Somewhere bing sattelite image not cover (which display as autogenerated image) can be replaced with google's image
- Google's image has better quality and more recent than bing's
- Remove microsoft's color correction, which bring the nature color back
- Autogenerated building, trees, roads stay same as before
- Photogrammetry not included
Steps for usage if you download from here
- Download the package and unzip it
- VERY IMPORTANT: install Python3 using default settings from here: https://www.python.org/ftp/python/3.9.7/python-3.9.7-amd64.exe Micrsoft store version doesn't work!!!
- Run run.bat in administrator mode to start the app, change the proxy setting
- Then Start flight simulation (If you start msfs2020 before, it may not work)
- Make sure you have "BING DATA WORLD GRAPHICS.." and "PHOTOGRAMMETRY" turn ON in game, otherwise you will get offline map
To restore the previous state, please delete The following two lines in the C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts file:
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 uses Bing's satellite map. However, the satellite map is relatively old, and many areas are not directly equipped with map settings a few years ago. This phenomenon occurs in different regions of the world. The map on the mainland is even 10 years ago. There are a large number of regions where satellite images are not available. Microsoft uses the program-generated map instead, and the quality is very poor. After the replacement, the image quality and details have been significantly improved, as shown in the figure below
History and related information
I have been studying the possibility of replacing it with Google Maps for a long time, and there are also YouTubers on the Internet who have provided [some ideas](https://flightsim.to/file/4074/google-earth-decoder-optimisation-tools?__cf_chl_jschl_tk__= pmd_2902fb008a3441de2f812b093625596ad796f737-1628304162-0-gqNtZGzNAk2jcnBszQjO), use a crawler to crawl the data from Google and import it into MSFS2020. But this method is more complicated and cannot be used on a large scale.
Later I studied the network request and found that MSFS will download pictures from Bing's server. In theory, it should be possible to replace the pictures with other pictures. And it happens that the slicing method of bing and google’s satellite images is similar and can be seamlessly switched, and even Microsoft also provides the converted [source code] (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/bingmaps/articles/ bing-maps-tile-system) (see this function QuadKeyToTileXY)
In the process of constant search, I found examples similar to my thinking. But his main purpose is to remove some unnecessary things to improve the quality of the landscape. He also built an additional warehouse to demonstrate a [method of using proxy to replace landscape] (https://github.com/muumimorko/MSFS2020_Proxy). Unfortunately, this warehouse lacks some necessary things and cannot operate normally.