Geospatial - GISGoogle earth / maps

World Wind, NASA's Google Earth

image For those who do not know, NASA has its own version of Google Earth, with very interesting capabilities and free license.

In Yahoo! Answers, some clueless ask if the Google Earth images are live, and others ignorant answer no, but in the Pro version yes. Hehe, the worst of the case is that one day a smarter one came out and told them that NASA image It had its own Google Earth and that in that version you could see in real time ... hallucinations of those who do not have to answer, for that it would be necessary for each user who navigates to have their own satellite ... and had already found Bin Ladden.

But well, before we talked about the Google Earth version That ESRI has, let's see how NASA World Wind is, comparing it to Google Earth.

Google Earth NASA World Wind
The license is from Google Open-source license
The normal version is free, Google Earth Plus worth $ 20 per year and Google Earth Pro $ 400 per year Is free
Run on Windows, Mac and Linux Only runs on Windows
You can see the universe, but only at planet level, without detail or relief You cannot see the universe but you can see the Earth, the Moon, Mars, Jupiter and Venus at the level of detail with relief
There is only elevation of the land, the ocean has only one level Elevation of both the mainland and bathymetric elevation in the oceans
The downloaded data is stored in the cache of the machine that is browsing up to 2GB It can be defined as cache a shared server, there is no storage limit and multiple network users can use that cache
You can search for addresses in many countries of the world Address searches can be done only in the United States, Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom
Traffic and route data Nop
KML / KMZ, WMS (some), Image, GPX, COLLADA ... and depending on the version you pay You can see data in formats: World Wind XML, KML / KMZ, SHP, WMS, WFS, Image
Support for GPS only in paid versions GPS support
Only in the pro version Movie Maker
Support chat and e-mail only in paid versions Support via website, forum And chat
API available to build some applications, but there is no access to the complete code Interface to develop what you want, there are many adons developed
High resolution coverage of many parts of the world and updating frequently High resolution coverage in the United States only, United States topographic map. However, it can be connected to other WMS services such as Blue Marble, LandSat, STRM, NASA SVS, MODIS, USGS, GLOBE ... and others

1000px for the free version, up to 1400px for the plus version, up to 4800px in the pro version

You can download screenshots without limitations in resolution, limited only by the size of the monitors
You can download digital terrain model only with other programs, Such as AutoCAD and only the one with Google Earth (SRTM 90) You can download model of terrain of various services

What is marked in red is what NASA World Wind is ahead of Google Earth, including free, shared cache, source code, reads shp (from ArcView), WFS (OCG vectors), WMS (OCG maps). I downloaded it, it weighs 5 MB more than Google Earth because it brings a layer of satellite coverage that can be seen without an Internet connection.

But those advantages are not the big deal, because it does not have so much high resolution coverage, nor all the layers that Google Earth has integrated, and only works with Windows.

But the worst disadvantage I see is that, since it does not carry the same Google business philosophy, it is half Depleted the development, when executing it threw me a blasphemous error that said "unable to create the 3D device", I guess it is a conflict with the video card because it uses DirectX 9.0c.

In any case, it should be a good solution for Americans, and if NASA smokers put it a little safe it would be a good alternative.  Here you can download NASA World Wind

Golgi Alvarez

Writer, researcher, specialist in Land Management Models. He has participated in the conceptualization and implementation of models such as: National Property Administration System SINAP in Honduras, Management Model of Joint Municipalities in Honduras, Integrated Cadastre-Registry Management Model in Nicaragua, Territory Administration System SAT in Colombia . Editor of the Geofumadas knowledge blog since 2007 and creator of the AulaGEO Academy that includes more than 100 courses on GIS - CAD - BIM - Digital Twins topics.

Related Articles


  1. I would like to be informed about the extensions of the arcgis and if they could send them to my mail more the one that served to connect arcgis with google earth

  2. About 1 year ago I was evaluating the tool, it still did not support WMS servers and all the information was received with “tiles” servers. Does it already work with WMS??

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Back to top button