Saturday, July 16, 2005

Caught in a WorldWind

This weekend I have began to start fussing around with NASA's WorldWind 3D viewer. Initially taughted as a "learning tool" this app actually has some practical uses such as viewing NASA sensor information (I used to be an intern w/ the Spacecraft Sensor Branch modeling Mars & planetoids), and finding places on the Earth (ok, kinda vague.) Yes, Virginia, there is Google Earth. But... WorldWind is a completely open source app. Write whatever suits your needs and plug it in. I found such add-ons such as the GPS plotting and real-time tracking plugins to be cool. As with the worldwide aeronautical flight path information and the path of Ewan McGreggor's "Long Way Round" path. Nonetheless, it is still an open source project in its infancy with all the issues associated with open source projects. Yet, I think it's poised to take a stab at the Google, ESRI, and MSN Virtual Earth users due to its ability to be easily modifiable for a client's needs. Still, as I am working with it, I am having a hard time trying to get data into it: SHP's, and geoTIFFs. I'm not a programmer but I'll figure it out. Take a stab at WorldWind. It's a great app. Has a good knowledge base via its wiki, http://worldwindcentral.com. Check out NASA's WorldWind at http://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov

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