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Screenshot of Earth3d running under Linux
Developer(s) Dominique Andre Gunia
Initial release August 2004; 12 years ago (2004-08)
Stable release
1.0.5 February 0, 2006; 11 years ago (2006-02-00)
Written in C++, Java
Operating system Windows 2000, XP & Vista, Mac OS X, Linux
Available in english
Type Virtual globe
License GPL

Earth3D was developed as part of a diploma thesis of Dominique Andre Gunia at Braunschweig University of Technology[1] to display a virtual globe of the earth. It was developed before Google bought Keyhole, Inc and changed their product into Google Earth. Earth3D downloads its data (satellite imagery and height data) from a server while the user navigates around. The data itself is saved in a Quadtree. It uses data from NASA, USGS, the CIA and the city of Osnabrück.

One of the strengths of Earth3D is the capacity of showing metereological phenomena, like Low-pressure areas, anticylones, etc. in near-real time.[2]

The original version of Earth3D was developed using Trolltech's QT framework. Later a version built with Java and JOGL was developed.[3] But the demand for a Java-based version was very little. This may be because NASA's WorldWind also has an open source Java version. So most people wanted to use a C++ based globe in their applications. That was the reason why a minimalized version, the Earth3dlib was developed. It contains only the most necessary functions to display the earth itself and to add own visualizations to it.

All these three projects can be retrieved from Sourceforge's CVS (C++) or Subversion (Java) repository.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Comparison of Open Source Virtual Globes
  2. ^ Earth3D (Visor interactivo 2D, 2.5D y 3D para Andalucía)
  3. ^ Welcome to Earth3D

External links[edit]