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Airline logos are comming


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In next version when looking at airline details (and other new places to be discussed at a later time) the program will now show a logo for the airline/company. A big thank you to AIG (Alpha India Group) for allowing access to their +1250 logos.




The logo requirement for AIG and Flightplan Visualiser (FV) are different. AIG uses airline logos for their flightplans whereas FV users it for the airlines (carrier and/or operator). So while AIG might need to have a logo for "United Exress" FV in stead needs logos for all the operators (e.g. Mesa Airlines, Republic Airways, SkyWest Airlines, ExpressJet Airlines, GoJet Airlines and so on). So beside the logos available from AIG, the next installer will come bundled with +150 logos (not available from AIG), partly for these operators, but mostly for older biz-jet flightplans not available from AIG. So in total there will be +1400 logos available.




However the airline database contains some +6500 airlines, so there will not be logos available for each and every airline. However for the airlines in use as carrier/operator of the flightplans bundled with the installer, there will most likely be one (not all, but many of them). Adding additional logos to the installer will not be my main focus, as I guess my time is better spend writing code, however a few more logos will probably be added in future versions.


The bundled logos are optional (you don't have to install them). Likewise the downloading (and caching) of those logos available from AIG can be disabled in settings if you don't want to spend your download-bandwidth/disk-space on these (by default its enabled). The AIG logos are downloaded/cached one at a time when needed. So even though AIG have some +1200 logos available, only those for airlines you have viewed (where it can display a logo) will be downloaded. Once downloaded it will be added to a new LogoCache folder (in AppData) where it will remain, so its only necessary to download it the first time it needs to be displayed.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Since writing the previous post, the number of logos to be bundled with the next version of FV have grown to +260 (beside the +1250 available thanks to AIG). So by far there are now logos for most of the airlines in use (as operator or carrier) in the bundled flightplans (still a few are missing). The logos obtained from AIG and those bundled with the program are stored in the new LogoCache folder (in AppData), and these are stored in a proprietary format with the ".CAL" extension.


Even though if logo-files are named "correctly" (see below) it is not trivial to always find the correct logo for the correct airline. When trying to locate the correct logo for an airline, it might look for as little as 5 different/potential logo file-names or it might look for as much as +80 different/potential logo file-names (depending on how the airline is named). This ensure that for most part it will find the logo-file if it is there, but on the other hand it might sometimes locate a "false-positive" (a logo-file it shouldn't have used). In the airline database I have added some extra "hidden fields" that assist picking the correct logo, or in some cases NOT picking the wrong logo. I have tested A LOT of different airlines/logos, but I am sure there will be logos that are not matched even though a logo might exists, and there can be cases where the wrong logo is picked (but at least none of these issues are known at this time). If you do find cases where a logo from a different airline/company is picked, or a logo is not picked when it should be, please let me know so I can fix this in future versions.


Add your own/missing logos
If a logo for your favorite airline is missing, you can add it yourself. You simply create and crop the graphical logo in your graphic-program of your choice. The logo-file should be constrained to a maximum size of 550x250, but it can be smaller and have a different aspect-ratio. Both the logos bundled with next version and those from AIG are transparent PNG-files, but JPG-files should work as well (however not transparent, and not tested at this time). You simply copy your own logo-files to the LogoCache folder in AppData, and restart FV (as it only looks for cached logo-files when starting up). For the program being able to detect which logo-file to use for which airline, they need to be named in a special way. The first 3 letters are the ICAO-code, then an underscore ("_"), then the name of the airline (as spelled in the airline-DB, without spaces) and finally a fixed text of "_Logo" is appended. So for example a PNG-logo for British Airways (ICAO: BAW) should be called: "BAW_BritishAirways_Logo.png".


AIG already have a logo for British Airways, but in FV its cached in a proparitary file-format with the ".CAL" extension, hence the cached AIG logo would be stored as "BAW_BritishAirways_Logo.CAL". If the same filename is available in multiple formats (e.g both as ".CAL" and ".PNG") the PNG-file will have a higher priority, hence it will be the one that is used. PNG-files have the highest priority, then JPG-files and finally the CAL-files. So if for some reason you don't like a particular logo (with a ".CAL" extension) you can simply make your own PNG/JPG-file with the same filename, and then this will be the logo that will be used by the software. Don't use the ".CAL" extension for your own files, as the program will expect these to be a different format than PNG/JPG-files.


The airline database bundled with FV also contains "airlines" for airlines, companies, government and military without official ICAO-codes. In the database these are all added with a fictitious ICAO "---" and the 2 letter IATA-code will either contain "BZ" (Biz-jet), "PX" (Passenger), "FR" (Freight), "GV" (Government) or "ML" (Military). Many of the AIG Biz-jet flightplans for companies without official ICAO code, AIG will in stead use a "BJO" prefix (I guess it is short for "Business Jet Operator" or something along those lines). Likewise many of the AIG logos will instead use the "MIL" prefix for military or the "GOV" prefix for government. Hence the a logo for an airline with the ICAO/IATA-codes "---/BZ" will begin with a "BJO" prefix, logos for airlines with the ICAO/IATA-codes "---/ML" will begin with a "MIL" prefix, and finally a logo for an airline with the ICAO/IATA-codes "---/GV" will begin with a "GOV" prefix. An example of each:


  • Logo for company "[---/BZ] AbbVie" should be called "BJO_AbbVie_Logo" (with PNG/JPG-extension)
  • Logo for government "[---/GV] Armenia Government" should be called "GOV_ArmeniaGovernment_Logo" (with PNG/JPG-extension)
  • Logo for military "[---/ML] US Army" should be called "MIL_USArmy_Logo" (with PNG/JPG-extension)

How logos are cached (disk or memory)
The +260 logos bundled with the next version of FV, will (if you choose so during installation) always be installed into the new LogoCache folder, as these are not available online (hence the program cannot download these at run-time). In the first implementation of this new feature, all downloaded (AIG) logos would always be stored in the LogoCache folder, if download of these was enabled (which it is by default). Since I have added a setting that decide if these downloaded logos should be cached to disk. By default the settings dictate that logos are to be download, and they are to be cached to disk (so they only needs to be downloaded once). If you disable that these logos should be cached to disk, they are in stead cached to memory. In that case when looking at the airline-info for a particular airline (e.g. British Airways) the AIG logo is in stead downloaded to memory. To reduce the need to re-download the same logo multiple times while the program is running, these logos will remain cached in memory (for at least 15 minutes). In normal operation people will not be looking a many different airlines (hence only a few logos will be cached in memory at the same time). Unless disk-space is a big problem for you, I suggest that you cache these logos to disk, as this will will reduce the need to re-download these, and they will still be available if there is an issue connecting to the servers (don't forget you can move the physical LogoCache folder to a separate drive, simply using symbolic-links in Windows - I have previous posted another note regarding symbolic-links).


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