Fly Around The world From Your Desk With World Wind
World Wind, http://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov/
Is a open source 3D interactive world viewer, was created by NASA’s Learning Technologies project, and released in mid-2004. It is now developed by NASA staff and open source community developers.
At its simplest you can think of World Wind as a desk globe, however World Wind is not a simple desk globe.
World Wind allows any user to zoom from outer space into any place on Earth. World Wind uses satellite imagery and elevation data to allow users to experience Earth terrain in visually rich 3D, just as if they were really there. Virtually visit anyplace in the world. Look across the Andes, into the Grand Canyon, over the Alps or along the African Sahara.
Unlike your desk globe World Wind can display thousands of placenames all over the world, from country capitals to villages in sparsely populated regions. You can see country borders, and in some cases intracountry borders such as US states.
World Wind can also be expanded to include additional imagery and data.. There have already been a number of add-ons created, from Norway’s Prehistoric Hillforts to additional planets, for more information on using add-ons see the Add-on Launchpad.
Worldwind gets it imagery from the following
Blue Marble Next Generation — World Wind has a full copy of the Blue Marble, a spectacular true-color image of the entire Earth. Put together from data of a variety of satellites such as Terra and Aqua, the Blue Marble can be seen in all its glory at 1 km per pixel resolution. Blue Marble Next Generation is streamed from the NASA servers at 0.5 km per pixel and in 12 versions, one for each month of year.
Landsat — LandSat 7 is a collection of images from 1999-2003 at an impressive 15 m per pixel resolution. LandSat 7’s resolution makes it possible to see your own city, neighborhood, or landmarks in your vicinity. Seeing the whole globe like this puts the world in context with scientifically accurate data. You can view LandSat imagery in visible colors or in False Color bands.
USGS — United States Geological Survey data. USGS provides Topography maps of whole United States down to 1:24K scale, 1-Meter detail images of most of the United States and Urban Area images of most of the major U.S. cities down to detail of .25 Meters.
SRTM + — Combining LandSat 7 imagery with Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) Data, World Wind can display a dramatic view of the Earth at eye level. Users will literally be able to fly across the world in any direction. The data was acquired during the Feb 2000 flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour, using a short-wave radar device. It covers the whole world except near-polar regions and has horizontal resolution of 90m worldwide, 30m for the U.S. area and global bathymetry. SRTM is that, what really gives the Earth’s surface the third dimension
Windows Vista compatibility
Vista is reported to work but has some problems; UAC (User Account Control) needs to be turned off for install and during use, a reboot may be required after turning off UAC. However, if you install WW outside C:\Program Files disabling UAC may not be necessary.
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