It’s been a month since Google and NASA signed their ‘Space Act Agreement’, an act that will lead to 3D mapping of the moon and mars being made available for free using Google Earth software.
In the mean time, someone called OnEarthWMS has been posting some simply marvellous network links at the GEC using some of NASA’s high-res imagery (thanks to Google Earth Blog for picking this one up).
First up is the NASA ‘Blue Marble’, many of you may have seen the version that is still available from Google’s showcase page (showing composite images across the 12 months of the year). However, the problem with this was that the images were low-res, and as soon as you zoomed in to 4,000 km eye altitude, it became pixelated. These new network links will update as you zoom, showing the full beauty of NASA’s Blue Marble at a MUCH higher resolution! You can now see snow and ice advancing and retreating on a valley scale in the Alps, for example. Here is the file:
NASA Blue Marble Next Generation for GE4 (give this a while to load!)
As many of you may be aware, NASA’s Blue Marble is a composite of many MODIS images (an instrument on board the Terra and Aqua satellites). Daily updates of MODIS images have been available at low-res for quite a while now. However, OnEarthWMS has also posted network links that show the daily updated images at full-res (the links update as you zoom). The ability to see mid-scale cloud systems developing between the Terra and Aqua images is jaw-dropping! Anyway, here are the two files:
These new network links provide what I feel to be some of the best overlays Google Earth has seen to date. A step closer to true real-time monitoring of our planet on GE. Well done NASA, looking forward to seeing lots more.