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Open Source Alternative To Google Earth?

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the you-are-where dept.

Earth 190

aws910 writes "Today, I fired up Google Earth to find that the 'points of interest' category had been removed, and a single checkbox is in its place. Certain layers are now entirely inaccessible. Google triggered a user revolt, but admitted fault, and promised to restore full functionality someday. In the meantime, I've found a lack of plausible alternatives. Bing seems nice, but Moonlight crashes the browser on any machine I use, and I'd rather use OSS anyway ... which made me realize there doesn't seem to be a good open-source alternative to Google Earth. Am I missing something?"

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NASA's World Wind (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603108)

World Wind [wikipedia.org] is licensed under NASA's Open Source license. Not sure of the intricacies with it (IANAL) but was developed with the open source community.

Re:NASA's World Wind (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31603284)

World Wind is probably the best - there are two versions, C# and Java. C# is more mature, Java version is catching up.

You can define your own texture/icon layers and with some work also display your own elevation data and 3D models. There are many layers already, such as OpenStreetMap. KML support is in early stages.

Re:NASA's World Wind (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31603472)

Since Wikipedia is down round these parts, here's the actual site:

http://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov/ [nasa.gov]

Re:NASA's World Wind (3, Informative)

marjancek (1215230) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603804)

WorldWind is definitelly the best Open Source option to Google Earth. And even though only NASA's imagery is available, a lot of other sources are available. For isntance, Virtual Earth's imagery can be used for non commercial purposes in World Wind. There's also the posibility for governments to put their imagery for free usage, like in a Slovene project Gaea: (http://www.gaeaplus.si/), which can be tested here (http://geo.xlab.si/pds-0.0.2/gaea?version=sos)

Re:NASA's World Wind (2, Informative)

marjancek (1215230) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604206)

Sorry, the correct link is this [gaeaplus.si]

Re:NASA's World Wind (2, Informative)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603996)

And World Wind existed before Google Earth...
As one bonus, World Wind does not limit the size of your local imagery cache; you can assign as many gigabytes as you want. World Wind (Windows version) and a selection of cache packs (Landsat and SRTM) can be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=subject%3A%22world%20wind%22 [archive.org] , while the Java version can be downloaded from http://builds.worldwind.arc.nasa.gov/download.asp [nasa.gov]

OSSIMplanet, pTolemy3D, Virtual Ocean and more (4, Informative)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604180)

NASA World Wind is the most popular afaik, but there are others, including OSSIMplanet [ossim.org] , pTolemy3D [ptolemy3d.org] , Virtual Ocean [virtualocean.org] and quite a few other ones [delicious.com] depending on your requirements.

Licensing? Severs? (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603122)

Who's going to pay to license all those satellite images? Who's going to run the servers and pay for all the bandwidth consumed by such an application?

Re:Licensing? Severs? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31603154)

Take a look at Marble from the KDE education project - http://edu.kde.org/marble/

Marble (2, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603852)

Marble is an amazing program with all kinds of different maps and satelite images it can pull from. It is worth checking out.

It may be available on Windows as well through windows.kde.org

Re:Licensing? Severs? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31603240)

Agreed. The question of an open source Google Earth is not the application, but where the data comes from. Google Earth probably would be open source, if Google wasn't afraid their remote protocol would be reverse engineered (at which point they would update it). Anyone who has programmed with the Google Earth COM API knows that Google goes to great lengths to protect the data they store on their servers.

Re:Licensing? Severs? (2, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603464)

I'm trying to find out what exactly Google Earth is actually useful for???

I mean, Google Maps, sure I use that all the time to find where something is, directions how to get to it...on my iPhone, it even shows traffic loads.

I click Google Earth...it is neat how it zooms down to where I'm at from outer space..but after that...what?

Re:Licensing? Severs? (1)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603490)

I use it to map out hunting locations, photography possibilities, and hiking trails.

Other than that, I'm not really sure.

Re:Licensing? Severs? (3, Interesting)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603626)

I use it to get approximate terrain ideas before flights. It's easier to find passes and get comparative (not actual) mountain heights using that than a topographic map. For actual flight planning, I use the FAA charts, but for quick reference, Google Earth helps a great deal.

Re:Licensing? Severs? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603652)

If you just pick it up and poke at it, it is largely a toy. A fun one, and visually interesting, to be sure; but 95% of the useful stuff can be done in a browser by google maps.

Where it gets more interesting, though, is if you have the interest, and the capability, to treat it more like a GIS program. ArcGIS isn't exactly quaking in their boots, nor are any of the other classic Real Serious GIS vendors; but Google Earth occupies a rather interesting niche: free as in beer, and quite easy for a noob to pick up and play with in 10 minutes; but capable of some fairly neat tricks if you start programmatically generating kmz overlays. is one rather cute example. [kahunaburger.com]

Re:Licensing? Severs? (5, Interesting)

hipp5 (1635263) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603676)

We use it in urban planning (architects do too). Google Earth can be linked to Sketchup. You can import terrain from Google Earth, model a structure on it, and then export it back into Earth. You can also use it for some GIS-esque analysis by defining polygons and such on it.

Re:Licensing? Severs? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603842)

"We use it in urban planning (architects do too). Google Earth can be linked to Sketchup. You can import terrain from Google Earth, model a structure on it, and then export it back into Earth. You can also use it for some GIS-esque analysis by defining polygons and such on it."

Interesting, but how up to date is it?

I remember (mostly google maps mind you) that it showed my former house in New Orleans as it was before the flood for quite awhile after the flood. Then...after the flood pics go updated....well, it wasn't updated very often apparently.

Hell, the street view stuff from Google Maps is almost useless in some areas it is soooooo out of date.

Is Google Earth any more up to date than that?

Re:Licensing? Severs? (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604402)

Presumably, the terrain isn't going to be changing that often and if you are doing urban planning, you are probably going to be aware of what's on the map already.

Re:Licensing? Severs? (2, Interesting)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603726)

I use it for getting directions. I have a horrible memory for names, but a great one for pictures, and so while I can't remember the name of the street I'm supposed to turn on I can remember what the street corner looked like from above on google earth, imagine what it would look like from a perspective on the ground, then see if I've reached that spot yet.

Google Earth is my goto mapping tool because it makes it FAR easier to know if you're going the right way or not if you've seen it, even just from above (though with more and more incorporated street-view you can now see street-level views of most areas).

Re:Licensing? Severs? (2, Interesting)

radish (98371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603762)

But what does Earth give you over just plain Google Maps for that application?

Re:Licensing? Severs? (2, Informative)

ajs (35943) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603732)

For the most part, GE is not useful for typical end-user activity. It is mostly used to provide a tool for commercial applications of the Google maps data. For example, if you've seen a movie that did the zoom-in or -out between the globe from space and a single house, everything from 100 feet up and further was probably Google Earth. It's also used by law enforcement, NGOs planning access routes to remote locations, real estate, site surveys, etc. See their business use cases for Google Earth [google.com] for more info.

Re:Licensing? Severs? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603738)

I click Google Earth...it is neat how it zooms down to where I'm at from outer space..but after that...what?

The measurement tools are useful. Good for eyeballing LoS between radios too (though not with real terrain).

Re:Licensing? Severs? (5, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603826)

I'm trying to find out what exactly Google Earth is actually useful for??

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geographic_information_system [wikipedia.org]
I have a cousin who works for the top GIS company and when Google started doing the satellite view on Google Maps and then released Google Earth, there was a collective "ah shit!" from the industry because Google was giving away their bread and butter for free.

We take it for granted, but before Google, you mostly had to pay top dollar for a dataset overlaid onto a satellite map because there were no real non-commercial alternatives.

Re:Licensing? Severs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604260)

Try maps with the Earth overlay, like we have on the Droid. It makes finding things a lot easier when you are near to your destination. You can see buildings and their car parks, lakes, water towers, et al, all with your route mapped out.

Looking for a new house? Use Earth to get an idea of the area, zoom in and use street view for a better idea. Of course, you'd need to leave your parents' house to lean what's outside.

Re:Licensing? Severs? (1)

maotx (765127) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604332)

I'm trying to find out what exactly Google Earth is actually useful for???

I mean, Google Maps, sure I use that all the time to find where something is, directions how to get to it...on my iPhone, it even shows traffic loads.

I click Google Earth...it is neat how it zooms down to where I'm at from outer space..but after that...what?

As others have pointed out, it has a real value in the GIS community. Not so much for the actual work and planning, but for distributing our planned work in a format that's easily viewable.

Real life example, we're currently searching off of Brazil for Flight 447 [wikipedia.org] and, while we use professional tools for the actual planning and searching, we also have our scan lines, the debris field, and the last known location all exported out into a set of layers that's easily opened in a KMZ file. For a quick look at what's going on, it's perfect.

Re:Licensing? Severs? (1)

pbulteel73 (559845) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604414)

I use it to view the dark fiber routes of all the different vendors we use to make sure that none of them use the same route. Therefore avoiding the risk of having multiple fibers failing when the backhoes start doing their thing. -P

Re:Licensing? Severs? (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604528)

Replacing ARCView. Honestly I use a couple of OSS applications to convert SHP files to KML and then display them in Google Earth. Here are a few examples of Minnesota DNR/county data: http://www.lazylightning.org/boundaries/ [lazylightning.org] .

Awesome indeed.

Re:Licensing? Severs? (5, Informative)

ACalcutt (937737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604568)

Google Earths main benefit is its KML format. Google documents the KML format very well ( http://code.google.com/apis/kml/documentation/topicsinkml.html [google.com] ). I use google earth with my wireless network scanner ( www.vistumbler.net ). It has allowed me to do some interesting stuff with the wireless data, for example. - We have a wireless database with over 100,000 Access Points. This creates a 75MB kml files of access points. Google maps is unable to load a KML of this size directly. (see our full KML http://www.vistumbler.net/wifidb/ [vistumbler.net] --> Daemon Generated kml) - I have a feature to export signal history to google earth as a 3d/colored/line above the earth (see http://forum.techidiots.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=278&start=0&hilit=Signal+Mapping [techidiots.net] ) - I have a feature called AutoKML which automatically creates 4 kml files. One of track you have driven, one with active APs, one of Dead APs, And one with the current GPS position. With a "Network Link" google earth updates the changes in the kml file at a specified interval and displays them. I can also specify a view height and current location, so I can make google earth follow my current location (and show me the active APs I am detecting). These are only a few examples of what I use google earth for. I'm sure there are much more creative uses for it.

Re:Licensing? Severs? (1)

mederjo (899667) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604620)

I live in New Zealand and I use it for checking out rivers and lakes for fishing and access to fishing. Although I have topo maps for most of NZ, as well as topo maps for my handheld GPS, Google Earth is still very useful for getting a better idea of terrain, bush cover etc. I use the measurement tools to work out roughly how far I'm going to need to walk. I also use it to check out tramping tracks and such. Not all of my main area of interest is covered by hi res imagery unfortunately.

When the Tour de France is on I use an overlay with the race route to get a further appreciation of the route and terrain etc.

I'm interested in landscapes so it's good to use to check out various parts of the world.

There's a lot of times when something comes up and someone says "Let's check it out on Google Earth".

I might just add I used NASA WorldWind for some time before GE came out. I changed primarily because there was a Mac version of GE and becase GE had much more high res imagery. Aside from those admittedly important points WorldWind was a better application though, although it's a number of years since used it now. GE has improved over time.

Re:Planning trips, finding nearest hotels. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604702)

I use it for planning my trips: check for points of interest, look for closer hotels, find restaurants. Street view is very pleasant too!

Re:Licensing? Severs? (2, Interesting)

bill_kress (99356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604740)

I've used it to learn about geography. Taught me more than I ever got from school.

This will work with google maps, but tends to be a good deal quicker once you get an area cached.

Non-urban areas? Games? (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604776)

It's useful for looking up non-urban areas, seeing more of a "lay of the land" type of view, or taking not of geographical entities which aren't really as important to a road-map type system.

I find that maps are good in terms of transit, and earth is good in terms of terrain. I'd imagine that "Earth" might also be useful if used in making games, etc, such as a flight simulator.

Re:Licensing? Severs? (1, Insightful)

Jazz-Masta (240659) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603248)

But it's OPEN SOURCE...

I drive a Pontiac Vibe - which as you know is a sister car to the Toyota Matrix.

Toyota seems to be dragging their feet on this whole pedal fix and reprogram issue. Even Steve Wozniak believes Toyota has a programming problem. As such, I'm in the market for a new control module for my acceleration subsystem. I'd like it to be open source. Does slashdot have any suggestions? Again, FREE and OPEN SOURCE are preferred.

Re:Licensing? Severs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31603380)

Offtopic? I think it was a jab at everyone asking for Free and Open Source alternatives to everything under the sun including products that require hefty licencing fees - such as satellite images.

Re:Licensing? Severs? (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603526)

I'm not sure, but I've heard there's one under development somewhere at Sourceforge... last I heard they were at version 0.1.3.8pre-alpha, but had temporarily suspended development because they couldn't find any crash-testers.

Re:Licensing? Severs? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603882)

temporarily suspended development because they couldn't find any crash-testers.

I groaned at that.

Just so you know.

Re:Licensing? Severs? (2, Informative)

thecross (1313393) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604032)

A Megasquirt might be able to do that. You could also replace the throttle system with an actual cable, which would also work.

Re:Licensing? Severs? (3, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603320)

Any company that has huge revenues, that lets top-notch developers work on anything they think is kewl, and is structured so that investors can't complain about them pouring millions into projects that will never monetize. Alas, there's only one of those...

The upside of Google is that they push the state of the art with everything they do, and they provide free access to products that we couldn't afford without them — assuming that these products would even exist without them, which they mostly wouldn't. The downside is that they're total amateurs when it comes to the nuts and bolts of providing a product that isn't buggy, doesn't have major UI issues, and doesn't have weird outages and feature changes without notice. Google Earth seems to typify both the upside and the downside.

Re:Licensing? Severs? (3, Insightful)

turgid (580780) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603452)

Sounds just like what people were saying about Microsoft in the early 1990s.

Microsoft is dead. Google is the new Microsoft.

Re:Licensing? Severs? (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604190)

Did you actually read my post? Because the post had both positive and negative things to say about Google. And in any case the negatives I just listed about Google bear no resemblance to the well-known negatives (poorly designed software, unethical and possibly illegal marketing methods) that MS is famous for.

Re:Licensing? Severs? (2, Insightful)

turgid (580780) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604726)

Yes, I read your post. IBM was the new Standard Oil. Microsoft was the new IBM. Google is the new Microsoft.

People were saying similarly positive and negative things about Microsoft 15+ years ago in a similar context: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Microsoft was seen as the Great Liberating Force against IBM.

I'm not particularly desperate for mod points today, I just think people need to bear this historical lesson in mind, which is the reason for my post. My £0.02.

Re:Licensing? Severs? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604946)

Umm... Google purchase EarthViewer 3D from Keyhole, Inc. and renamed it Google Earth in 2005.

NASA released World Wind [nasa.gov] in 2004.

Re:Licensing? Severs? (1)

danhm (762237) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603634)

Who's going to run the servers and pay for all the bandwidth consumed by Debian/Gentoo/etc's packages?

Re:Licensing? Severs? (1)

B1oodAnge1 (1485419) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604002)

Who's going to pay to license all those satellite images? Who's going to run the servers and pay for all the bandwidth consumed by such an application?

OSS != Free Beer

Re:Licensing? Severs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604436)

They will be funded with the money from RMS' endowment, he can get by eating the stuff off his feet anyway...

Everything should be free, we don't need to work.

Walking? (1)

Foolomon (855512) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603130)

Do "feet" count as OSS alternatives? ;)

Re:Walking? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31603202)

The OP's feet are a hardware solution. I think the OP is asking for a browser based software solution.

Re:Walking? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603614)

Hardware? I'm not sure. Left - right - zero - one - off - on. It looks like a binary thing to me. Feet generally aren't very hard. Someone wealthy enough to own a computer probably has pretty soft feet anyway. Feet are software, automobiles are hardware, if you ask me.

Re:Walking? (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603832)

Software != Binary, software = non-physical. Hardware = physical.

The physical parts of your computer are hardware, and the non-structural parts are 100% binary. From the magnetic bits on your hard drive to the transistors in the CPU - and all other chips - it's all hardware and it's all binary.

Feet are physical, ergo, feet are hardware. Your brain is hardware. Your neurons and the pulses they send between them, all hardware. Your thoughts, however, are software. See the difference?

Now you don't have to be quite as much of a dumbass. :)

Re:Walking? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604126)

Do you know any old CIA and/or military people? Back in the day, software and hardware had somewhat different meanings . . .

Re:Walking? (1)

symes (835608) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603670)

That was my first thought - just go there and look for yourself! There might some reduced functionality, and it might rain. But you can taste, smell and feel what you are interested in... which might again cause reduced functionality if you happen to be interested in someone rather than something.

KDE Marble (5, Informative)

IYagami (136831) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603156)

http://edu.kde.org/marble/ [kde.org]

Marble is a Virtual Globe and World Atlas that you can use to learn more about Earth: You can pan and zoom around and you can look up places and roads. A mouse click on a place label will provide the respective Wikipedia article.

Of course it's also possible to measure distances between locations or watch the current cloud cover. Marble offers different thematic maps: A classroom-style topographic map, a satellite view, street map, earth at night and temperature and precipitation maps. All maps include a custom map key, so it can also be used as an educational tool for use in class-rooms. For educational purposes you can also change date and time and watch how the starry sky and the twilight zone on the map change.

In opposite to other virtual globes Marble also features multiple projections: Choose between a Flat Map ("Plate carré"), Mercator or the Globe.

The best of all: Marble is Free Software / Open Source Software and promotes the usage of free maps. And it's available for all major operating systems (Linux/Unix, MS Windows and Mac OS X).

Twilight Zone (1)

flanaganid (900938) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603942)

So not only is it open source, but it also lets you travel through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind?

Count me in.

I've got you covered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31603198)

I've merged Celestia with Stellarium with Mapquest.

It has extremely granular chartings of low Earth to distant orbiting objects, very smooth 3D rendering with fluid transitions, and painfully difficult to navigate street view gifs encoded on and hosted over an Apple iie.







BTW: Mapquest sucks.

Blue Marble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31603206)

open source, just like you wanted.

Maybe they could make the application more native (0, Troll)

kriston (7886) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603210)

Maybe they could make the application more native instead of using the botchy, almost-correct-but-not-quite Qt widget library.

have you tried going outside? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31603214)

it's free (as in beer AND speech)

and the picture quality is spectacular

Re:have you tried going outside? (1)

Arimus (198136) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603274)

Picture quality is only as good as the current atmospheric conditions ;)

Just stuck my head outside and can see about 20 yards if that... dark and foggy

Re:have you tried going outside? (1)

floppyraid (1756326) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603408)

Where the hell do you live? The Royale?




Is it just me or is that one of the worst episodes to see a rerun of? That and 'Rascals'. I mean really, where did they get the appropriately sized clothing that still made their respective ranks obvious?

Relics and Tapestry ftw though.

Re:have you tried going outside? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603916)

I still can't say why, but I've always found "Darmok" to be one of my favorite episodes.

Re:have you tried going outside? (1)

floppyraid (1756326) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604294)

I had forgotten all about that episode until you mentioned it, I am pretty sure I've only seen it one time. From what I just read it took 2 years to complete it.

Re:have you tried going outside? (4, Funny)

daeley (126313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603370)

daeley@debian:~$ go --outside
bash: go: command not found

Hmm.

Ubuntu user (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31603750)

sudo go --outside

Re:have you tried going outside? (1)

robkill (259732) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603556)

it's free (as in beer AND speech)

Except for all those pesky "No Trespassing!" signs.

Re:have you tried going outside? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604380)

You're less likely to get raped by using Google Earth.

Steven Wright (4, Funny)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603226)

I have a map of the United States...actual size. It says, "Scale: 1 mile = 1 mile." I spent last summer folding it. I also have a full-size map of the world. I hardly ever unroll it.

Re:Steven Wright (5, Funny)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603448)

I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but you can't unroll a fullsized map of the world. The Gaussian curvature police won't let you.

Re:Steven Wright (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603536)

Maybe he flattens it to a two-sided disk and rolls that? (He just said 'unroll', not that it unrolls to any specific shape.)

Re:Steven Wright (3, Funny)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603800)

The earth is flat, you insensitive clod!

Re:Steven Wright (1)

floppyraid (1756326) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603478)

That's cute.

Ever seen this?

http://www.worldslargestpuzzle.com/ [worldslargestpuzzle.com]



The very thought of it is mind numbing. If you video yourself opening all 4 bags and mixxing them together you can get a spot on their hall of fame if you put it together fast enough.

Re:Steven Wright (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603696)

Don't you dare unroll that fully! I shudder to think what would happen if you did. Block light from plants, collapse biosphere, change albedo of the earth and make the climate go all screwy.

Not nice!

Re:Steven Wright (1)

SwordsmanLuke (1083699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604508)

*BOOOOM*

(That's the sound of a whoosh breaking the sound barrier...)

Cowardy Anonymousy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31603232)

just google for it.

Re: Cowardy Anonymousy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31603350)

www.letmegoogleitforyou.com

Hard to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31603238)

Google Earth is part software and part data. The data is licensed from many sources. It's hard to get permissions to license that kind of thing if you can't control how it is used (e.g. visualization is OK, but driving maps are not). Plus, there is real cost to serving terabytes of data to make it work.

FSF High priority list (4, Informative)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603242)

http://www.fsf.org/campaigns/priority.html/#gereplacment [fsf.org]

FSF is actively looking for people to contribute to any such project.

Re:FSF High priority list (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603498)

Interesting. They would also need a replacement for Google Sketchup, the application used to create the building models. I'm not sure what license people have released their models under, it could be that an open source project could reuse some Sketchup models. If not, there's a LOT of work to do to really recreate Google Earth.

Open Street Maps (5, Informative)

Alanonfire (1415379) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603252)

Doesn't have street view or actual photos from what I've seen but its ok. openstreetmap.org

Re:Open Street Maps (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603642)

That was what I was going to suggest. It's difficult to tell from the original question what exactly the OP used Google Earth for, so finding a replacement isn't easy. If the problem is the lack of a places of interest overlay, then OSM is a good solution; it has a lot of overlays with various bits of metadata (for example, the location of all of the pubs in the area). It's a community effort, so if you have a GPS you can help them improve the accuracy of the maps and you can add your own points of interest. You can also access the raw data if you want to build something on top of it and they've got a nice JavaScript API.

Real Open Source Earth alternative..... (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603282)

Earth (in Reality)

Re:Real Open Source Earth alternative..... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31603578)

It has advantages and disadvantages. Local view is 3D (with no special glasses needed for most people) and real-time. The view of Mount Everest is expensive. The price of "zoom out" is astronomical (and you can only zoom from a few places).

Re:Real Open Source Earth alternative..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31603644)

Earth is far from free (as in freedom).

Re:Real Open Source Earth alternative..... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603712)

Earth (in Reality)

Takes seven days to make a copy. Well, technically six and then a day of rest. So they say.

Brian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31603322)

And a google search for open source google earth points here http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2006/11/gaia-open-source-google-earth.html

Re:Brian (3, Funny)

quantumplacet (1195335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603898)

and spending 30 seconds to read the fucking page you posted a link to would have led you to read the 2nd posting on that page:

25 November 2006, we've got the letter from Michael Jones, the Chief Technologist of Google Earth, Google Maps, and Google Local search, requesting us to cease reverse engineering and improper usage of licensed data that Google Earth use. We understand and respect Google's position on the case, so we've removed all downloads from this page and we ask everybody who have ever downloaded gaia 0.1.0 and prior versions to delete all files concerned with the project, which include source code, binary files and image cache (~/.gaia).

which was posted over 3 years ago. although what can i really expect from an AC who either can't spell brain or consults someone named brian for all his decisions...

Yeah, you're missing the point: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31603326)

That there should only be one alternative for your interests in various locations on the planet, just like there should only be One Phone, One Search Engine, One E-Mail, One Economic Planner etc., so as to make it easier to track you and your interests. Give this and google 15 years, people, THEN you can come back and mod this "troll/flamebait".

Google Earth wasn't first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31603394)

Blue Marble Viewer [andesengineering.com] and a few other open source projects were doing this first. But google can pay for better imagery and more bandwidth, so they end up with a better product for end users.

Open Geospatial Consortium (5, Insightful)

robkill (259732) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603442)

Google Earth is essentially a Web Map Server (WMS) The OGC http://www.opengeospatial.org/ [opengeospatial.org] has all the specifications for Web Map Severs and Clients. As others have mentioned, NASA WorldWind is a good example.

A blog to follow would be http://freegeographytools.com/ [freegeographytools.com]

I find it interesting that... (-1, Troll)

kuzb (724081) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603624)

...some people who use opensource just because it's opensource are OK with cutting off their nose to spite their face.

Odd .... (1, Troll)

Jerry (6400) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603664)

An indirect attack on Google by suggestions that there is no OSS alternative to GoogleEarth, so that a "Bad Thing"(tm).

Yet, most of the first posts appear to be by MS Technical Evangelists whose citations for an alternative lead to an .NET version which has been poorly implemented in Java.

Ya, like I want to trade GoogleEarth for something from the Dark Side?

Re:Odd .... (1, Informative)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604018)

...lead to an .NET version which has been poorly implemented in Java.

Uhhh, what? Did you purposely skip over the C# versions, or are you just blind?

While C# itself isn't open source, it is free as in beer, and software made in C# certainly can be open source. Most people aren't re-writing their compilers just to code an app, and it's available in both Windows and Linux, so I really don't see how your complaint has any merit at all. Unless you're just a .Net hater for fun, which is dumb. .Net works great and takes a huge load off the programmer's shoulders.

What's your problem man?

Re:Odd .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604522)

People are working hard to find a reason that google is bad... because they were told its bad. or because they are big. and big is scary.

But dayum.. ppl use google because they LIKE what google offers.

Unlike any other big monopoly style company... where you get forced to use their product in various ways.

Google Maps = Google Earth (1)

sgholt (973993) | more than 4 years ago | (#31603816)

THe title says it all....essentially it has all the same features....duh

(plus on3 3Informative) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31603818)

users. BSD/OS

Not bloody likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31603960)

Worldwind is OK, but if you want the kind of *data* that Google has, and the level of performance, it's not really possible to replicate. Their global holdings are well into the multi-petabyte range. With worldwind it's more like "Bring your own data."

Since when does Bing require Silverlight/Moonlight (0)

SpazmodeusG (1334705) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604092)

"Bing seems nice, but Moonlight crashes the browser on any machine I use"
That doesn't make any sense. Why use moonlight for a JavaScript application?

missing something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604170)

> Am I missing something?

Yes. Data, not code.

Xastir (2, Interesting)

EM3RY (1775004) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604230)

I've replaced google earth with Xastir. Xastir is for ham radio station tracking but it featurs address lookup, multiple map layers, online maps, tigermaps, and gps support. When I was a cab driver I could use xastir to look up addresses offline because it's address mappings are stored locally. It doesn't look fancy, but it does look professional. http://www.xastir.org/ [xastir.org]

OSSIMPlanet + OMAR (1)

talmage (223926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604336)

OSSIMPlanet is OSS and it talks to OGC-compliant servers. OMAR is a scalable OGC-compliant WMS. You can build your own Google Earth system with them.

See the OSSIM web site [ossim.org] for OSSIM itself and OSSIMPlanet. OMAR is harder to find than OSSIMPlanet. Try here [osgeo.org] .

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