Desktop Earth 2.0
March 10, 2006 7:37 PM   Subscribe

"Desktop Earth 2.0 is a wallpaper generator for Windows. It runs whenever you're logged on and updates your wallpaper with an accurate representation of the Earth as it would be seen from space at that precise moment." The images are fantastic. Oh, and it's free. (See similar - via digg).
posted by purephase (56 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I've been running this for about a week now. I find it very stable on my WinXP system, and it looks just as sweet as sugar!
posted by slatternus at 7:42 PM on March 10, 2006


The other utilities on that page look really good, too. Great post!
posted by aberrant at 7:45 PM on March 10, 2006


Beautiful - thanks for sharing the link. if any Mac users have an equivalent application, please post...
posted by rmm at 7:48 PM on March 10, 2006


aberrant writes "The other utilities on that page look really good, too. Great post!"

Yeah, I highly recommend the 3rtg software. It's useful if you would rather not rely on your ISP's statistics about bandwidth utilization (and you have a router that doesn't keep it's own metrics).

rmm writes "if any Mac users have an equivalent application"

The developer mentioned in his to do list that he plans to port it over to Mac (for his Mrs) so it should be along soon.
posted by purephase at 7:53 PM on March 10, 2006


Can anyone tell me what kind of strain this will put on a system? It looks beautiful but I'm afraid any more stuff running when I game will just kill my computer.
posted by luftmensch at 7:55 PM on March 10, 2006


errrr.. there has been a similar app for macs for some time now. i'll see if i can find it.

arf!
posted by coyote's bark at 7:56 PM on March 10, 2006


I worship in your general direction.

This.

Is.

Exceedingly, Wonderfully, Fantastically

Cool.

Thank you.
posted by JB71 at 7:58 PM on March 10, 2006


Legal & Disclaimer: This is free software. You may use it in any way you like, but redistribution is not permitted. There are no warranties of any kind. If the software does not work: too bad. If you lose data: too bad. If your computer blows up: again, too bad. I am in no way responsible.

Nice!
posted by Balisong at 7:59 PM on March 10, 2006


luftmensch writes "Can anyone tell me what kind of strain this will put on a system? It looks beautiful but I'm afraid any more stuff running when I game will just kill my computer."

I don't game so I can't speak for it's performance while playing, however, on the two machines I have it installed I don't even notice it during regular use.
posted by purephase at 7:59 PM on March 10, 2006


as promised..

http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/14212

enjoy
posted by coyote's bark at 8:00 PM on March 10, 2006


Damn your hide, purephase. This link was next in my queue.

I'm running it on a P3 750 - 384 RAM with zero issues, with the real cloud updates turned on and all that sparkly stuff with 1 minute image refresh.

Gorgeous stuff.
posted by loquacious at 8:05 PM on March 10, 2006


hey, this is awesome indeed, but the filesize is fairly large. Also, I am concerned about my PC getting slower because of this.
posted by joost at 8:07 PM on March 10, 2006


The Mac version has a huge watermark over it, right in the middle, just so everyone knows.
posted by interrobang at 8:08 PM on March 10, 2006


hhmmm maybe it does.. well then maybe one of the zillion orso others for osx will work more to your liking...

http://www.versiontracker.com/php/search.php?mode=basic&action=search&str=earth&plt%5B%5D=macosx&x=0&y=0

:-)
posted by coyote's bark at 8:11 PM on March 10, 2006


Corker! This as an active desktop and sunclock as the screen saver.
posted by dangerousdan at 8:11 PM on March 10, 2006


I've been running a simpler variant of this on my Unix desktops for years and years... xearth was the equivalent. But that one doesn't do clouds and stuff, so this is cooler.

I just rotate now among wallpapers I found at DeviantArt. Great stuff there.
posted by Malor at 8:15 PM on March 10, 2006


Hmmm, doesn't seem to want to work on my PC(XP). Do I have to do something to my current wallpaper settings, reboot... ?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:22 PM on March 10, 2006


Hello Mefi!

I'm a longtime lurker here... never posted nor registered, but I saw my server getting hammered from here so I figured I'd stop by.

I wrote DesktopEarth. Thanks for the kind words.

Slatternus: you might want to download the new version. I just uploaded V2 yesterday, so you're running the old one.
posted by martona at 8:25 PM on March 10, 2006


Cool app.
posted by synkro at 8:27 PM on March 10, 2006


martona writes "I wrote DesktopEarth. Thanks for the kind words."

Thanks for the software!
posted by purephase at 8:27 PM on March 10, 2006


Ah! It's alive!!!
Big thank yous to purephase and martona!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:28 PM on March 10, 2006


Martona - it is fantastic, you are a star.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 8:41 PM on March 10, 2006


Malor: Try xplanet, it does cloud cover (and isn't restricted to earth, though the availability of good imagery for many planets is limited).
posted by fvw at 8:42 PM on March 10, 2006


Very cool.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:43 PM on March 10, 2006


Matona: OMFG. *lick* Thank you. Your app is the first screensaver - err - desktop wallpaper app I've bothered to download and actually use in over 10 years.
posted by loquacious at 8:44 PM on March 10, 2006


here is the equivalent for OSX. the "plain" xplanet isnt really fully baked on OSX.
posted by joeblough at 8:51 PM on March 10, 2006


Really really good. "Hide the taskbar" good.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:03 PM on March 10, 2006


I thought the earth was spherical when seen from space.
posted by Joeforking at 9:08 PM on March 10, 2006


This is very cool but, for the moment, I'll hang on to my copy of John Walker's Earth Screen Saver for Windows from Fourmilab
The Earth screen saver displays an image of the Earth as currently illuminated by the Sun, from a variety of viewpoints. You can view the Earth from the Sun (day side), the night side, from the Moon, or from an arbitrary altitude above any point on the globe specified by latitude and longitude.
I have mine set for as seen from geosynchrous orbit above Seattle and I love watch the angle of the sunlight shift as the seasons change--I love, for instance, how, around midnight, there's the barest sliver of daylight across the top of a darkened Earth on and near the winter solstice--but I'll be checking up for when this one goes spherical.
posted by y2karl at 9:26 PM on March 10, 2006


er, geosynchronous, that is....
posted by y2karl at 9:29 PM on March 10, 2006


see also, Earthview. Dual screen support, and it can even display accurate cloud cover maps.
posted by crunchland at 9:34 PM on March 10, 2006


On a related note, does anyone know of an OS X app that changes the desktop picture depending on time of day. (Reflection of Daylight seems to do exactly, that, but it's 404ed.)
posted by Tlogmer at 9:44 PM on March 10, 2006


I have this one on my bookmarks toolbar, and look at it from time to time. You can set different parameters--views, times, etc.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:03 PM on March 10, 2006


Matona, I'd love to know when a mac version is available. I'd even pay for it.
posted by mathowie at 10:10 PM on March 10, 2006


I never thought I would ever have any sort of animated background. This is great, thanks!
posted by adzm at 10:41 PM on March 10, 2006


Wow. Thanks purephase.
posted by nickyskye at 11:32 PM on March 10, 2006


matthowie: Have you tried OSXPlanet as posted by joeblough? As far as I can tell it's exactly the same thing, and I'm running it on my Mac right now.
posted by salmacis at 12:09 AM on March 11, 2006


xplanet does the same thing (with clouds, earthqquakes, and local weather if you want) for all nine planets and several moons.
posted by orthogonality at 1:19 AM on March 11, 2006


Does this show earthquakes? I've used xearth for a few years, and like watching the earthquakes. The Boxing Day tsunami especially - I saw the huge yellow circle on xearth, said 'holy fuck that's a big one', then twenty minutes later it was on the news.
posted by goo at 3:23 AM on March 11, 2006


this looks really great, and you'll all be surprised to know that it won't run on windows me. and no, that isn't my os of choice.

great nonetheless martona :)
posted by triv at 4:23 AM on March 11, 2006


dugg. What, yesterday?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:52 AM on March 11, 2006


OSXPlanet for Macs. Also includes live cloud data, earthquakes, storms, volcanos, and satellite locations. And you get a choice of different map projections too, thoughy sadly not my favourite, the Dymaxion.
posted by Mwongozi at 4:58 AM on March 11, 2006


wow. thanks for the link!
posted by tiamat at 5:18 AM on March 11, 2006


Great work and much thanks, martona. I'm really enjoying it!
posted by melissa may at 5:30 AM on March 11, 2006


martona: Thanks! Really cool app.

If I may make a feature request... it would be extremely nice if I could choose to have the earth move below the shadow mask, instead of the mask over the earth surface.

That way I could place the few icons I need on my desktop on the permanent "nightside".
posted by uncle harold at 5:38 AM on March 11, 2006


uncle harold -- the very first option is "Center Image On:". Set it to noon, rather than your timezone, and you'll have what you want.
posted by ewagoner at 6:36 AM on March 11, 2006


It's always a new day if you set it to Sunrise. Thanks from a fervent Pollyanna!
posted by Marianne at 6:58 AM on March 11, 2006


martona, you're awesome for creating this. MeFites, you're awesome for directing me to Mac versions.
posted by danb at 8:24 AM on March 11, 2006


Staring at a city-lights-lit midnight map of Asia, and couldn't help notice a certain thick, straight line at the bottom of the Malayan peninsula. Is that the highway from Kuala Lumpur to Johor Bahru? Taiwan also seems to have a similar line.

North Korea, otoh, isn't as spooky as it usually is in this sort of a map.
posted by the cydonian at 9:03 AM on March 11, 2006


loquacious : "Matona: OMFG. *lick* Thank you. Your app is the first screensaver - err - desktop wallpaper app I've bothered to download and actually use in over 10 years.


Same here. Except for the licking part; I very rarely lick strangers.
posted by Penks at 9:55 AM on March 11, 2006


Beautiful, but after 10 mins, I switched back to a picture of my kitty. But I am insane!
posted by newfers at 10:05 AM on March 11, 2006


been running it for a few hours now on my laptop. Wow doesn't even begin to describe it. You can really tell you've been procrastinating when you can visibly see the day/night line move.
posted by tiamat at 2:04 PM on March 11, 2006


Awesome, now I don't even have to go outside to tell whether it's day or night!
posted by Jawn at 7:39 PM on March 11, 2006


joeblough: Thanks for the Mac link, its awesome!
posted by dhruva at 12:36 AM on March 12, 2006


That's nice and all, but you should really check up Xplanet (http://xplanet.sourceforge.net/). It's a Unix program, but there's a windows version. It's very configurable -- you can get it to show satellite positions, earthquakes, even views of different planets. Very good looking.

This is the thing for you, if that's the sort of thing you're into!
posted by webnrrd2k at 10:25 AM on March 13, 2006


I'd like to point out that my similar link in the FPP points to a thread about xplanet.
posted by purephase at 10:47 AM on March 13, 2006


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