Globe Viewer is an interactive high-quality 3D representation of the entire Earth's surface. It is not so much a photorealistic representation of the earth, but rather the detailed visualization of its surface structure. Fascinating worlds such as old estuaries or steep underwater mountains, which are completely unknown to most people, can be discovered effortlessly with the Globe Viewer. On the usual flat earth representations such exciting geological details are unfortunately often lost. Go on a discovery tour with the Globe Viewer and get to know our blue planet again:
- Open the product page in the iOS app store
- Open the product page in the Android app store
- Open WebGL version for websites (comming soon)
There are currently two different types of maps in the app: with and without the water of the oceans. The map with water is currently available in two variants: with and without national borders. All maps are available in the lowest resolution (2K = 2048 x 1024 pixels) free of charge. For the higher-resolution maps in 4K (4096 x 2048 pixels) and 8K (8192 x 4096 pixels), the corresponding maps can be purchased in the app.
TileMode: ASTER3 elevation data
Since version 0.5, NASA's SRTM3 elevation model has been integrated into the app (photos above). Since this data source is no longer available, we changed the app in August 2019 to the ASTER3 elevation model which has just been published by NASA / METI. The integration of the elevation data is currently still running, the current status can be seen here.
Facts and figures
The elevation model raw data was recorded between March 1, 2000 and November 30, 2013, from the Advanced Spaceborn Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument of the NASA Terra probe launched in 1999. The raw data cover almost the entire globe (83 ° of the north and 83 ° of the southern hemisphere) and have been error corrected.
The ASTER3 elevation model consists of 22,912 tiles, each with 3,601 x 3,601 data points. Of these, 19,102 tiles are currently integrated in the app, that is about 83%. For each tile a color texture (179 GB) and a normal texture (240 GB) were created. Also, for each tile, a 3D model was created in multiple resolutions from the elevation data (271 GB). Thus, we processed a total of 690 GB of data for the ASTER3 representation in the app.
So that these large amounts of data can somehow reach a smartphone, the resolution of the color texture has been reduced to 512 x 512 pixels and the normal texture to 1024 x 1024 pixels. Thus, we currently come to a "compatible" compressed data volume of 28.0 GB for all available 19,102 tiles - about 1.7 MB per tile. For offline use of the app, all downloaded Tile data is stored on the device. If many Tiles have been downloaded, there will be a correspondingly space occupation for the App.
That the effort has paid off, you can see on the following screenshots of the iPad version.
On the map surface, all major cities are displayed with a marker. In the options you can determine from population which cities should be displayed. The cities can also be completely hidden.
Present your own data
The application is designed so that you can even set markers on the planet if necessary. There are two methods for doing this: On the one hand, it is possible to enter a corresponding position (longitude / latitude) and corresponding texts via a text field. There are currently four different markers available. An example shows the existing markers and the syntax for text input.
Alternatively, reading a text file directly from the Internet is possible. For this, the matching URL to the text file can be entered. At the push of a button, this file is then downloaded and the markers defined there are set. When looking at the example, an example text file is also entered in the URL field. By clicking on the download button, these data are then displayed directly on the globe.
Text format for marker definition
The format for the text file must be structured so that a marker is defined in each line:
Longitude; Latitude; Text1; Text2; Text3; MarkerTyp
The first two values are the GPS coordinates for latitude and longitude. Then followed by three text variables, which can be displayed in the marker. At the end the marker type is needed.
12.443353; 48.245842; Ampfing ; ; ; TYPE_SIGNHIGH
10.332542; 48.851161; Bopfingen; ; ; TYPE_CITY
- TYPE_CITY: red dot on the map with only one line of text
- TYPE_SIGN: Text area with 3 lines, hovering just above the marker
- TYPE_SIGNHIGH: Text area with 3 lines at a higher altitude
- TYPE_SIGNSAT: Text area with 3 lines at a very high altitude