FDS to release 3D Worldwide Moving Map

Published: Tuesday, May 10, 2016

FDS plans to release the latest version of its aircraft Worldwide Moving Map—a 3D map—in the third quarter of this year. The current 2D moving map is included in the FDS do Capsule, the company’s wireless streaming platform, which streams entertainment content and the moving map to aircraft passengers’ mobile devices and bulkhead monitors such as FDS’s Edge 4K and HD displays.

The 2D and 3D map use a 15-square-meter per pixel resolution terrain database, but customers can opt for 1.5-square-meter resolution for areas surrounding frequently visited airports, according to FDS Marketing Director Dave Dodson. The significant change with the 3D moving map is that it includes an exocentric view of the aircraft, and FDS can customize the view to depict the customer’s particular aircraft, including the model and its paint scheme. The aircraft are shown in the 3D map also replicates the movements of the real aircraft, including climbing and banking, by connecting the do Capsule to GPS information from the aircraft’s FMS.

Both 2D and 3D systems feature an exploration mode, where passengers can touch pre-programmed spots on the moving map and learn more about those areas. This can include popular tourist destinations, for example, or anything else that customers want on their systems. “The exploration mode is cooler in 3D,” said Dodson. When viewing the moving maps on a tablet computer, the passenger can pinch and zoom the view, and when zooming out to a view of the entire globe, the sun and moon are depicted in their actual positions in space. Moving the world around also moves the sun and moon in their actual pathways. A ‘head up display’ view shows the landscape, either 2D or 3D, with aircraft instruments overlaid on the terrain and pitching and banking to match the aircraft’s movements.

The do Capsule can be used in two ways for streaming DRM-compliant entertainment content (movies, music, photos, digital magazines and books) or passenger content (business presentations and safety videos, among others). First, FDS works with Global Eagle Entertainment to offer the do 360 service, where Global Eagle provides content sent monthly to customers on a solid-state drive (SSD) that plugs into the do Capsule. Or customers can provide their own content, using one of the do Capsule’s two one-terabyte SSDs. When a customer provides the content, FDS can add meta-data about movies on the SSD when the customer’s computer is connected to the Internet and downloading content, using data provided by IMDb.

FDS also offers 4K and HD monitors. The new Edge 4K monitors, available in 26 and 32-inch sizes, can run in a four-window mode, with a button box for selecting what displays in each window. This can include entertainment content or external camera feeds. The HD monitors come in 17, 21.5 and 32-inch sizes. Monitors can be installed flush-mounted, and they include a removable bezel held in place by strong rare-earth magnets. The aluminum bezel can be coated with custom graphics to match the airplane’s interior decor.