Microsoft Flight Simulator has a tree problem in Italy – it looks like Jurassic Park

The new free update released on May 17 for Microsoft Flight Simulator is called “World Update IX: Italy and Malta“, and brings specific graphic improvements for the scenarios of the two countries. In Italy, however, it seems that something has gone wrong, because our peninsula has been conquered by trees, which also stand out in the center of Milan.

What are World Updates and why Microsoft Flight Simulator is a revolution

World Update updates for Microsoft’s new flight simulator began in September 2020 – the first was for Japan. With the World Updates some of the most important airports and points of interest are redesigned, and the altimetry of the territories is better redefinedto make sure, for example, that the cliffs overlooking the Gargano are more realistic.

As for the graphic aspect, in the field of flight simulators the release of Microsoft Flight Simulator in the summer of 2020 amounted to a Copernican revolution. Leveraging Bing maps, Microsoft’s Azure network and photogrammetry algorithms to extrapolate 3D data from 2D images, Flight Simulator has managed to make the whole world fly over in a detail never seen before.


For photogrammetry, the flight simulator created by Asobo Studios also made use of the work of the Blackshark.ai company, which had already collaborated with Microsoft for the creation of Bing maps, and which the algorithms to determine how and which trees to place, the color of the roofs of the houses and the three-dimensionality of the buildings themselves.

At the launch of the simulator an impressive figure was provided: the algorithms calculated the position and heights of more than 1.5 billion trees based on biological and probabilistic dataadded missing buildings and improved the starting quality of Bing maps.

Nothing seen in Microsoft Flight Simulator would have been possible without algorithm-driven photogrammetry, because redrawing the whole world in 3D by hand would have been an impossible task or that it would take an untold number of years.

The World Update updates fix a few things through manual human interventions and give particular value to the most famous points of interest in a country, such as some monuments, areas relevant to their landscape and even some of the most famous airports are redesigned.

However, photogrammetry is not completely put aside, e in World Update IX caused a dramatic increase in the number and heights of treesso much so that in some screenshots captured by users the immortalized Italy recalls the post-pandemic scenarios of the film “I am a legend”.

Forests near the Milan Cathedral and Jurassic condominiums

Indeed the center of Milan looks like a natural park, with trees a few hundred meters from Piazza del Duomo, just as users have highlighted trees in the inner courtyards of the buildings, or forests about ten meters high surrounding condominium complexes.

Open original

A screenshot from the World Update IX trailer

Open original

1653073813 957 Microsoft Flight Simulator has a tree problem in Italy

The same image collected by a user after installing World Update IX

On the Microsoft Flight Simulator Facebook page a user he said: “Just a flight over Rome and in 30 seconds you will be able to recognize the Jurassic Park set instead of the capital of Italy.

Microsoft Flight Simulator has a tree problem in Italy

Fix in place: no patch needed

The Asobo Studios have noticed the problem both on the Facebook page and on the official forum they communicated yesterday afternoon: “Based on the feedback received, a reduction of the vegetation was carried out for a more realistic representation of the size of the trees in all the Italian photogrammetric cities affected by the problem. This is a server-side fix that requires no download.

The developers have substantially corrected the shooting of some algorithm variables in order to reduce the generation and heights of the trees calculated from the probabilistic data. A patch was not needed because the data is that managed directly by Microsoft’s Azure network while flying over the planet.

Some users have seen improvements in the luxuriance of pure green Italy, others continue to complain of too many trees. It is not excluded that the latter have cache problems or have disabled the Internet connection and fly “offline”, therefore without the photogrammetric data provided by the network but calculated locally.

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Microsoft Flight Simulator has a tree problem in Italy – it looks like Jurassic Park


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