Author Topic: Earth3D is a program that visualizes the earth in realtime in a 3D view. Java 2  (Read 2497 times)

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Software Santa

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Earth3D is a program that visualizes the earth in realtime in a 3D view written in Java 2 (Java 1.4.2)


Earth3D is a program that visualizes the earth in a realtime 3D view. It uses data from NASA, USGS, the CIA and the city of Osnabrück. I would like to thank these organizations to allow me to use their data! The program is available as binary for Linux, MacOS X and Windows under the GPL license. The program's features are

    * viewing the earth as a whole
    * zooming in until countries, cities and even single houses become visible (if I had such maps, so this is currently limited to the city of Osnabrück, Germany)
    * embedding external data like current earthquake positions or cloud data

My name is Dominique Andre Gunia.

This package is a result from my work and my diploma thesis in computer science at the Institute of Computer Graphics at Braunschweig University of Technology.

The support of this work by the German Research Foundation (DFG) under grant FE 431/4-5 and by the German Federal Ministry of Research and Technology (BMBF) under grant 01 IRA 02G is gratefully acknowledged.

The program is hosted at Sourceforge. The main data server for the earth data is at the Institute of Computer Graphics.

Welcome to Earth3D

Earth3D exists as a Java and a C++ application. Both can be used at least on Linux, Windows and MacOS X. The speed of both applications is similar, the Java version seems not to be slower. So both versions are quite similar.

There are users that just want to use the application to view the earth. I recommend using the Webstart version as it does not need any installation, but also it does not have all features yet. These users should certainly also check out Google Earth as it has better and more detailed maps than a free program like this one can have.

But there were also several request from people who would like to integrate a 3D earth into their own program. For these people, I created a new subproject called Earth3d Lib that provides a QT Widget that displays the earth and allows to easily include own content. See the documentation page for details.

Mouse Navigation

    * Click and drag the earth
    * Use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out
    * Use the middle button to look around
    * On the right button you have a context menu

Keyboard Navigation

    * To use these keys the focus must be on the 3D view. So you have to left-click once into the 3D area in the right part of the window before you can use these keys.
    * A - Forward
    * Y, Z - Backward
    * S - Stop
    * Cursor keys to roll and tilt
    * X - turn left
    * C - turn right
    * PageUp - Up
    * PageDown - Down
    * F - Toggle fullscreen (but when you toggle back to non-fullscreen mode, be aware, that most function in the context menu (right mousebutton on the 3D-Window) will not work correctly) 

Categories: Educational - Geography - Cross Platform - Java - Mac OS X - Linux - Windows
« Last Edit: August 29, 2008, 05:13:09 PM by Software Santa »


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