St.Helena island imagery

The textures of the island of saint helena are generic textures for almost the entire island while Bing has very good quality satellite photos for the entire island. That does not make any sense…

Microsoft never promised to have the highest detailed Bing imagery in every part of the world. It is clear you feel St Helena is very important, but so do people who live in other parts of this globe. To be totally honest I can see why they spend more time on making Manhattan look as good as possible as they do on what Wikipedia calls “a remote volcanic outpost in the South Atlantic Ocean”. 4.255 people live there (and I am assuming you are one of those) and I doubt a serious amount of flight simmers will ever get close.

Now, without a doubt, you will feel I am incorrect and St. Helena deserves a lot of love from Microsoft. But just look at the map.

I a pilot, Yes, I feel St-Helena is important, as this airport is quite famous for it epic approche. And it’s make no sence to have some littles spot of satellite imagery on the island when you have all the island radily dispo on bing.

I’m not asking for photogrammetry, or update of the mesh, or anything really complicated. Only to use the actual bing imagery.


Which is an appropriate request imho. Makes no sense to me to not use the bing data for this island when it actually is already available.


I agree, I voted.

And like I stated, Microsoft did not promise that.

To be serious, how many MS customers will ever land on a very small island in the middle of an ocean between Angola and Brazil? If you want to sell software like MSFS you cover the places where your customers are. Now we have sold millions of add-ons, but in all our records I can only find one single customer based on St Helen. And that is in 29 years of customer data. Might be you!

We get emails every day saying we are crazy not to do an add-on covering this and that airport. Most of the time that airport is one that gets a few flights a day but is very close to where that person lives. The simple fact is that there is a direct relation between the distance to a location and the chance a customer will buy it. Does not apply to our Antarctica, but generally, it fits. And St Helens is about as bad as you can get in that calculation.

And yes, I know the approach. I also know there are just a few aircraft a week landing and departing. If you read the Wiki page you see that many flights are actually mentioned specifically (“one a month” etc. That is not really a sign of an airport that is important. Not to aviation in general and even less to Joe Average flightsim customer.

Again, I fully appreciate this is an important location to you and if you get a few tens of thousands of others to agree, even Aerosoft would consider doing a DLC to cover this fine island.

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However, one should assume that the Bing satellite data is also used in the game globe, even if it is not implemented one-to-one in the game itself. Especially because it is advertised to stream and map the game world from the Bing satellite data.

I like the game a lot and respect the technological achievement behind it. Still though you shouldn’t advertise something you can’t deliver. This is true for many areas by the way.


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It does use the Bing satellite data as a base dataset. Nothing lied there. It can be that the st helena pictures are new and are placed after the bing snapshot was taken. In that case it wil get ingested at some point in the future.


Maybe you missed the fact, that Napoleon was banned to St. Helena. This and the remote nature of the island makes it famous. I would love to visit it in MSFS. It is far from unknown.

If you search on YouTube there is a strong interest in St. Helenas new airport with videos close to 1M views.

But the fact remains it handles around 5 aircraft a week. Some airports do that per minute and those will be far more attractive for Microsoft and 3rd party developers. And indeed, the fact Napoleon was banned on that island is its biggest claim to fame. Not really something that attracts flightsimmers.

Look, everybody has their own personal beef with the sim. A place you feel should be far better covered. I sure have, but I understand my wishes are my wishes and not really representative of the hundreds of thousands of people using the sim.

Maybe you could create own scenery.

for the airport, you can try this in pc

and for the bing data not a solution for your part

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Just wanted to add that the sims version of … Saint Helena … is still, well, not good.

The airport (FHSH) is still not part of the official sim list of airports. This means you can not click it in the map as a point of departure.

OpenStreetMap has the runway and related roads and buildings in its dataset, so it is somewhat strange to me, that MSFS did (still) not produce a matching representation inside the sim world.

Saint Helena and ROME were not built in a day.

If you expect EVERYTHING to be in MSFS when you purchased it. and Asobo were to attempt to do that, you would still be waiting for MSFS release in 2030 !!

If an airport, island, plane , building are missing, and you are that passionate that they should be there, then maybe research it, and learn how to make it yourself, and then share your work with the community.

This is how so much of the Freeware (and payware) addons got created - by community members, getting down to it, and getting it done.

This is a major part of what MSFS is, a live, growing simulator, that anyone, with the drive & determination can contribute to.

In FSX or other sims where the world content is purely “hand-made” your point is 100% correct.

However, I think your argument is not related to the problem which this thread is trying to raise awareness about.

The goal (and slogan) of MSFS was always: “Fly anywhere in the world you want” (or that like).

The solution Asobo+MFS use(d) was/is:

  • combine Bing sat images
  • with OpenStreetMap data
  • and other available data sources (weather, etc)
  • and … autogenerate … the world.

So, this thread IMHO is not about “MS+Asobo are lazy and greedy and I insist on everything being for free” … but more that it somehow seems like they have a bug in their “earth creation engine (control data)” which caused them to totally “miss” this interesting island. At least the autogeneration process seems to have made some easy to spot mistakes (like a missing airport, which exists in OSM).

Regarding the Bing sat images of Saint Helene, which seem to be of very good quality, I fear that the data is not provided “for free” by MS to MS. Perhaps they have some internal “profit center payment rules” in place between MS projects … and since MSFS needs a consistent planet, MSFS most likely uses a copy of the entire Bing data and so they might try to optimize their storage cost by reducing the sat image LOD for certain places.

I stumbled over this issue because I wanted to visit Saint Helena … but there are other place that I have not yet seen, so I will try to return to this island in 2024.

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Just to add some more context. This is a MSFS screenshot of St. Helena “airport”:

One can see a number of things:

  • There is an island … so “some” elevation data for St. Helena has been processed
  • … and there is “some” ground texture
  • … but it clearly is not the “Bing” texture
  • There are streets and buildings, which match the OSM data
  • … but the airport lacks its runway, as one can only see the building and the parking lot

So for what ever reason, MSFS decided to not (yet) “invest” in this interesting island. The lack of good data is clearly not the reason.

But there are lots of other regions where the same can be said. So St. Helena is not alone.

What about this one: FHSH - St Helena Airport für Microsoft Flight Simulator | MSFS