Thursday, November 10, 2005

The promise of World Wind realized

In this posting I complained about NASA's World Wind application. I then went googling for the Mono version, and found Miguel de Icaza's blog entry about a re-implementation that runs on Linux. He wrote about it running with Mono, but he also had a link to a version written in Java at BerliOS called WWD2. So I downloaded it, followed the directions for setting it up, and execute it. And boy, was I pleasantly surprised. It actually works, and it works really well. Look at the two screen shots that follow and compare them with the Windows World Wind version. While the Linux version doesn't have all the bells and whistles, it does the key things right, especially when you zoom in. One other thing: the two screen shots are again of Orlando International Airport. The images look to be identical, down to the individual aircraft on the taxiways. In the case of WWD2, there are no annoying 'Google' copyright notices plastered all over the place. And the image actually looks better. So I take back what I said about Google Maps being superior, at least for Linux.



The first image capture (above) using WWD2.



The second image capture from Google Maps. I have noticed how much of the screen is taken up by whitespace, especially off to the left. The WWD2 version, in contrast, devotes all its window area to displaying the image.

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