Earth Viewer
May 31, 2002 5:59 PM   Subscribe

Earth Viewer compiles satellite imagery on the fly to produce a photo-realistic, spinnable, zoomable model of the entire Earth, right on your computer. And I mean zoomable -- one slider takes you smoothly from seeing the entire globe down to seeing individual people queuing to get into the Louvre...
posted by chrismear (11 comments total)
You can download a 14-day trial version from the website. The full subscription is several hundred dollars a year, although they do say they will be releasing a 'home' version soon. You'll need a reasonably fast connection, and a little patience while some of the images are loaded in, but once they're in your computer's memory, the zooming and panning is quite seamless. And quite breathtaking.

It's interesting to see what areas are covered at the highest resolution. Most major US cities seem to be there, great swathes of Afghanistan, and Tokyo, so try some of those to experience the full zoomy-goodness.
posted by chrismear at 6:05 PM on May 31, 2002

I did their registration and got the e-mail but can't get the program to let me login. Oh well. Maybe it was because I entered my phone number as 555-5555.
posted by geoff. at 6:28 PM on May 31, 2002

I typed in my usual username (chrismear) by mistake, instead of my email address, the first time I tried to log on. But it hasn't given me any other problems, even though I entered a random UK mobile number that they probably won't recognise. Do keep trying.
posted by chrismear at 6:43 PM on May 31, 2002

Cute, but seems to only exist for Windows...
posted by nicwolff at 6:54 PM on May 31, 2002

Pretty neat. Another similar product is TerraExplorer from Skyline Soft. The download is a little less tricky, good 3D accel is a must. Yet, Earth Viewer's point of starting with the entire globe is really cool. I'm just waiting for flight sims to appear that use the same technology :)
posted by samsara at 7:29 PM on May 31, 2002

Hey, they had this in Snow Crash.
posted by smackfu at 8:17 PM on May 31, 2002

In case anyone didn't know, the name of the site, Keyhole, is the code name used by the US government for its KH series of spy satellites, beginning in the 1960s and apparently continuing.
posted by dhartung at 9:59 PM on May 31, 2002


There is no Mac version. From the FAQ:

Q: Where can I get a Mac version?

A: Mac OS is not currently supported by Keyhole. We may support it in the future. Please check our web site periodically for the latest news.

posted by planetkyoto at 2:24 AM on June 1, 2002

When I can find better satellite imagery of my home town for free from MapQuest, I don't really see the point to this app. Yes, it looks really cool, but what's the use then? With Keyhole I get a big blur, with MapQuest I can pick out my house... $595 a year? Nope...
posted by Samizdata at 1:42 AM on June 2, 2002

jeez. give it time. It's only version 1.0. Try zooming in on San Francisco, which seems to have more data than other places I've looked at.

(Though $595 is a lot of money, though I can see schools and libraries paying that kind of loot.)
posted by crunchland at 3:43 AM on June 2, 2002

Seems to me someone wants people to pay for beta testing. And, great, I can zoom in on San Franscisco. Try looking up Ground Zero. The picture is obviously way out of date...
posted by Samizdata at 4:50 PM on June 2, 2002

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