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The Virtual Planet Explorer

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the don't-get-lost-in-there dept.

Graphics 110

Roland Piquepaille writes "A European Union program has helped several European partners to develop the Virtual Planet (or V-Planet) software, which will enable its users to browse and interact in three dimensions with any part of our planet, according to IST Results. "Using Vplanet Explorer, anyone can set off on a journey to discover new regions in 3D, rather than staring at a flat map and trying to picture its scenery," says Eric Martin, coordinator of the IST project. The software can also be used for technical simulations and has already been used by both Airbus and Boeing. It should be available this summer for about 10,000 euros (about $12K). Besides other details and references, this overview contains several pictures of simulations using V-Planet."

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Great... (1, Offtopic)

daniil (775990) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914220)

Cue flames at Rolly-boy and his blog...

Re:Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914239)

What? Surely a respected author like Roland would never go to such levels as copying content to get the banner impressions?

Dont Explore Mars! (1)

Yr0 (224662) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914321)

DOOM III COMPLETE WALKTHROUGH

Shoot enemy. Open door, shoot other enemy. Open door, shoot other enemy. Open door, shoot other enemy. Turn corner, shoot two enemies. Open door, shoot other enemy. Open door, shoot other enemy, shoot two enemies. Open door, shoot other enemy. Open door, shoot other enemy. Turn corner, shoot two enemies. Open door, shoot other enemy, shoot other enemy, open door, shoot everything, turn corner, enter room and shoot all enemies. Turn corner, shoot two enemies. Open door, shoot other enemy, turn right. Enter room. Shoot all three enemies. Open next door. Shoot all four enemies. Open next door. Shoot all five enemies. Open next door. Shoot all six enemies. Turn corner, shoot three enemies. Open door, shoot other enemy, shoot other enemy, open door, walk forwards for ages, shoot everything, turn corner, enter room and shoot all enemies. Exit through door on right. Shoot enemies, walk forwards, shoot more enemies. Turn corner, shoot two enemies. Open door, shoot other enemy, turn right. Shoot all three enemies. Open next door. Shoot all four enemies. Battle big monster thing in arena bit. Exit to the right. Shoot all three enemies. Open next door. Shoot all four enemies. Walk forwards, shoot two enemies. Open door, shoot other enemy, shoot other enemy, open door, shoot everything, turn corner, enter room and shoot all enemies. Walk forwards, turn right. Open door, shoot other enemy. Open door, shoot other enemy, shoot two enemies. Fight boss.

Apologies to UK:R

First post. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914222)

'Nuff Said.

Re:First post. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914299)

And you LOST. Muahahahaha.

Seriously, though. You suck at the FP game.

$12,000?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914225)

Why not play around with Celestia (or similar) for free?

Re:$12,000?!?! (1)

e_xworm (601349) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914583)

Beats me.
I thought that celestia's virtual textures would do just that
Perhaps this thing can give you acurate geographical images (mountains for example) instead of high resolution textures

Image gallery (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914231)


instead of visiting Rolands link farm (with his copy n pasted content)
try the real gallery he cribbed his images from

http://www.crs4.it/vic/images/ [crs4.it]

Re:Image gallery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914424)

word up

every time this roland guy has a story on /. people go nuts and say he swipes his content and spews it here to make advertising dollars

is it true ?

and, if so, why dont you get rid of him ?

word up
numbers down
third is bronze
cut ya own loggz

Roland (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914592)

It IS true (just see his site for yourself sometime).

The reason they don't get rid of him is because he pays good money to /. to get his submissions approved.

Cockblocker (1, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914471)

Yes, instead of Roland getting some traffic to a page he created from content he's selected, compiled and edited, with commentary, why not make it economically impossible for him to continue that useful, interesting work? After all, Slashdot is stealing exactly the same amount of money from you, doing the same thing: nothing. What's your problem with someone making a little money for a little service, that costs you nothing, and which you aren't required to use?

Re:Cockblocker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914529)

the problem is that Roland is a known scam artist.

he cashed in on that "tactile digital assitant" by hyping it on Slashdot and taking orders for it but never actually produced the said item in question.

his link whoring on slashdot is simply his latest scam in getting money off of other people's content.

Re:Image gallery (0)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914667)

Yeah, the "related stories" in the end of his article just led to his own del.icio.us links, on user "rpiquepa". wtf??

Re:Image gallery (1)

pcmanjon (735165) | more than 9 years ago | (#12915731)

"It should be available this summer for about 10,000 euros (about $12K)."

And I thought Adobe Photoshop was expensive!

How do they plan to prevent piracy? A large percentage of people will want/need this software badly; but won't have the money to pay for it.

This creates a extrordinary demand for the product in piracy circles.

need? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12915932)

How can one NEED something which has never been available before?

Torrent? (0, Offtopic)

Xshare (762241) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914233)

It should be available this summer for about 10,000 euros (about $12K)

Anyone got the torrent?

Re:Torrent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914432)

Bastard! You beat me to it. :(

bT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914244)

Awesome! I can't wait till it hits bitTorrent!

Worldy Wisdom (3, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914246)

Why don't they just add models, and maybe an upgrade, to the FOSS Celestia [celestiamotherlode.net] ? It's already got a fanatical userbase, very detailed engine, and lots of models. If the EU is going to spend the people's money on software, the people should get the source code they bought.

Re:Worldy Wisdom (2, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914265)

LOL

some of you people really crack me up

Re:Worldy Wisdom (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914303)

What, you're laughing all the way to the bank, with your cut of the 12K checks? Or do you have something useful to add to the discussion?

Re:Worldy Wisdom (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914610)

ok well show me how celestia could be used to do technical simulations? Theres absolutely no point in basing professional software off of celestia, it doesn't have the precision needed in the code.

Secondly, this software isn't designed for joe schmo, its designed for professional applications.

Anyways if your really pissed, try to get the EU to give the software out for free for non profit use.

Re:Worldy Wisdom (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914642)

I'm not pissed. I'm not even European. But I am happier now that you've pitched in your part in this dialectic. That's how we learn from each other: backing up our mockery with a meaningful point. Thanks for yours.

I remarked that they could upgrade Celestia to execute the technical features it lacks. Or they could just make their software export Celestia packages for "Jose Schmo", who paid for it, and probably would like to use it (or his cousins would). Others in this thread have pointed out that the Celestia code is too difficult to continue to upgrade. There certainly are a lot of good reasons for the public, which paid for the project, to get more value out of it than an impossibly priced tool that just subsidizes already-rich government contractor corporations. Even if Celestia isn't the answer, it'll be interesting to hear what is.

Re:Worldy Wisdom (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 9 years ago | (#12917733)

There certainly are a lot of good reasons for the public, which paid for the project, to get more value out of it than an impossibly priced tool that just subsidizes already-rich government contractor corporations.

Of course -- but public good and technical merit rarely have anything to do with such projects.

Re:Worldy Wisdom (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914682)

Secondly, this software isn't designed for joe schmo, its designed for professional applications.

"The Celestia program has broad appeal--from second graders all the way up to NASA scientists and engineers. By driving high-performance imagery from high-end servers onto commodity hardware, NVIDIA also brings this capability into every classroom and home. Celestia is a fantastic programming achievement--it gives everyone a window into our universe."

-- Alan Federman, senior engineer, Raytheon Technical Services Co., LLC, NASA Ames Research Center.

(source) [nvidia.co.uk]

Re:Worldy Wisdom (1)

DeKO (671377) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914731)

Your text gives the idea that Celestia is an amateur software. Let's just make it clear for those who know nothing about it [shatters.net] . Celestia is an excelent software, just isn't designed for this purpose.

Re:Worldy Wisdom (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914766)

hrmm looks interesting, then again ive only really toyed around with celestia because my astronomy teacher at college recommended it.

Re:Worldy Wisdom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914802)

>ive only really toyed around with celestia because my astronomy teacher at college recommended it.

Then you are simply an ignorant jerk who should shut up instead of spreading your ignorance in a public forum.

This was a public-service announcement.

do you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12915465)

Seems not...

Re:do you? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12915525)

Of course I do, and I did, Anonymous illiterate Coward. I posted facts and logic with a point. Then, when someone posted a mere flame, I called them on it, and they posted a reply with some actual points to add to the discussion. Which you'd know if you'd read the posts. Instead of just flaming, Anonymous flamer Coward.

Re:Worldy Wisdom (1)

pcmanjon (735165) | more than 9 years ago | (#12915773)

"What, you're laughing all the way to the bank, with your cut of the 12K checks? Or do you have something useful to add to the discussion?"

No, I know exactly what he's laughing at. The plausability of a corporation using a F/OSS product for their work.

Companies don't really like F/OSS software, Ruby, in fact they try to particularly avoid it.

Don't ask me why -- it'd be awesome if they forked the project and made their own version -- released the GPL source, sold software ??? profit!

I think it's bad though -- for commercial and IP interests anyway.

I mean, being that it's going to be sold for $12K, whats to stop some freeloader from buying a legal version of the software -- repackaging it, and selling it for substantially less (Say $90 dollars)

In a worse case scenario they would be giving out the repackaged version for free! Know about Redhat and CentOS? CentOS packages RHEL and gives it out for free! Definitely cuts in to Redhats profit margin.

If you want to make money out of software -- it's best to avoid F/OSS software at all costs.

F/OSS software is a great philosophy -- but it doesn't match the interests of corporations.

Re:Worldy Wisdom (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12916361)

Your comments miss the mark pretty widely. Not just because it turned out that they were laughing at the idea of a "toy" like Celestia being used for technical simulations beyond its power. But because F/OSS is a billion dollar industry.

Let's ignore all the companies just using Apache, Linux, PHP, MySQL, Mozilla, Perl. Which are all F/OSS, used by most successful corporations on the Net. Let's look closer at your Red Hat example (and also ignore the F/OSS used by profitable Red Hat). CentOS, like any company that distributes F/OSS without charging for support, undercuts those like Red Hat which do. They're reaching a market segment that doesn't pay for the most profitable part of the business model: support, in customization and training/troubleshooting. That might cut a little into some possible Red Hat profits, but not Red Hat profitability. Which can scale up more, with others serving the low end. As demonstrated every quarter by RHEL. For completeness, I point out that CentOS itself is a business built on distributing F/OSS.

There are plenty of corporations which don't have business models that allow the release of their software. Mostly models that require vendor lock-in, or security through obscurity. Or any other kind of black-box. There are still plenty of corporations that require all kinds of discredited, archaic business models, from corporate welfare, no-bid pork barrel contracts, to trafficking stolen goods. But the ones that participate in the new model, the F/OSS process, know that the software itself is really a prop in the valuable relationship between technology producers and consumers. The mechanics of which are still exploding in variety and popularity. Competing with the old companies, clinging to their temporary advantages in proprietary software, while evolution speeds the inevitable choice to mutate or die towards their boardrooms. F/OSS is an economically superior way to work, because it reflects the most productive structure to generate new intellectual capital. Productivity and increased capital, more effectively working together, more flexibility and control over tools and processes - those are all the interests of corporations. Giving up the old way is a cost. But time is proving the superior economics of F/OSS the way evolution does: letting the unfit ones die, while the f itter ones survive - to produce more software.

Re:Worldy Wisdom (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914396)

While there's an illogical sense of entitlement on the part of some/many slashdot readers, the underlying point is valid... tax dollars are going to develop something and then the people whose taxdollars are spent have to pay outrageous fees to use it.

The question that should be asked is... Who's making money from this and how much money are they making? Then people can make a more informed decision on how their taxdollars are spent.

Re:Worldy Wisdom (1)

Jerry (6400) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914733)

You're right.

Just look at the NOAA weather satillite data and the freely accessible NOAA NextRad image loops that are updated every 10 minutes or so. Taxpayers paid for the launching, maintanence and operation of the weather satillites. Taxpayers paid for the building, maintanence and operation of the NextRad weather radar sites.

But IF the weather channel and other commerical weather businesses have THEIR way the taxpayes will have to PAY THEM for what the taxpayer has already paid for. To make matters worse, where NOAA usually updates data every 10 minutes or less, the commercial businesses rarely update more often than 30 minutes and the old, worthless data is surrounded by ads. So the hapless taxpayer has to pay $60 or more per year for wortheless data dn is forced to watch ads as well.

Rep. Sen. Rick Santorum is 'defending the jobs' (translation: fronting for the weather channel) in his home state by sponsering backdoor legislation which would FORBID NOAA from allowing free public access to NOAA NextRad image loops. Backdoor because the legislation is trying to reverse the results of the public referendum of last fall in which contined free access won by well over a 95% margin.

Selling out the public is becoming a constant theme of politicians of both parties.

Re:Worldy Wisdom (2, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914272)

IF they did that they would not be able to charge 12,000 USD per copy.

Re:Worldy Wisdom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914636)

DAldredge, you are an idiot. Aren't you still embarrassed by your horrible cock up the last time you posted? Oh, of course not, you don't have any shame what-so-ever, do you?

Re:Worldy Wisdom (1)

sim82 (836928) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914296)

Uhm, are you really sure they can render scenes with more than 500M triangles?

Re:Worldy Wisdom (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914324)

I'm not sure - that's why I suggested they upgrade the engine. Rather than build an incompatible engine from scratch, which costs more, then charge an amount affordable only to a tiny percentage of interested parties.

Re:Worldy Wisdom (1)

Council (514577) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914453)

that's why I suggested they upgrade the engine. Rather than build an incompatible engine from scratch, which costs more, then charge an amount affordable only to a tiny percentage of interested parties.

Upgrading the engine is not easy. If it's not designed with this kind of thing in mind, it's more trouble than it's worth.

Furthermore, there are already lots and lots of engines [vterrain.org] for precisely this application.

Re:Worldy Wisdom (1)

DeKO (671377) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914310)

Last time I heard, Celestia had stagnated. The main developer is taking "prolonged vacations", and nobody else understands the complex engine enough to make further improvements.

Re:Worldy Wisdom (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914659)

The person who makes a SourceForge site that forces design documentation by making it easy will transform the world.

EU Funding... (2, Informative)

SiGiN (679749) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914249)

Living in finland.. I have strange feeling, that EU funds every silly thing it cames across.

For example - EU decided that every building should be repaired in our city by some year (can't remember now)

And so buildings were repaired.. Very very fast. Quality of such repairs, are however - totally another story. Should I say - "Same shit, nicer cover"?

As about this V-Planet thingie.. Its cool. However I am somehow more fascinated at Google Maps.

Oh. And actual URL to V-Planet is here [c-s.fr]

Re:EU Funding... (1)

Dot.Com.CEO (624226) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914322)

The EU co-funds such endeavours but in no way mandates them. So, the blame for both the initiative and the result belongs within your country.

Re:EU Funding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914451)

Living in finland.. I have strange feeling, that EU funds every silly thing it cames across.

Cool, does that mean the EU would fund development of new Finland drinking games too? I hear your blonde women are sluttier than even the Swedish ones. Is this true?

In other news I heard the EU is funding a project to preserve and develop the Finnish language especially focusing on your richness in sexually related insults. Vitto!

Re:EU Funding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914652)

I hear your blonde women are sluttier than even the Swedish ones. Is this true?

They're prettier, not sluttier. For sluts, you want Iceland. Seriously - Iceland is all about fucking everyone you know, and often at the same time as well.

I'm NOT kidding. I'm from one of the mentioned countries.

Re:EU Funding... (1)

NetNifty (796376) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914956)

"Cool, does that mean the EU would fund development of new Finland drinking games too?"

Probably. IIRC they once clamped down on bananas which weren't bent at the correct angle.

Re:EU Funding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12915134)

Cool, does that mean the EU would fund development of new Finland drinking games too? I hear your blonde women are sluttier than even the Swedish ones. Is this true?

Nah, they're pretty much on par. In fact I would say swedish girls are perhaps a teeny weeny bit sluttier, but not much.

In other news I heard the EU is funding a project to preserve and develop the Finnish language especially focusing on your richness in sexually related insults. Vitto!

Hey now, shut the fuck up you fucking cunt. See? that sounds terribly lame. You NEED a rich language to have rich insults. Finnish and polish are examples of such rich languages.
Besides, you can't even spell it right, vitun mulkku.

I visited the site (3, Insightful)

epsalon (518482) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914257)

looking for the download link, and then I've seen it's actually proprietary software. Why is /. posting advertisments? How is this better than the new imagery avialable from Google?

Re:I visited the site (2, Funny)

daniil (775990) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914276)

How is this better than the new imagery avialable from Google?

Google = 2D; Vplanet = 3D. Assuming that D is a positive integer, 3D > 2D.

Re:I visited the site (1)

jensen404 (717086) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914408)

Google Earth is 3D... it just costs $30 a year to access.
http://keyhole.com/ [keyhole.com]

Re:I visited the site (1)

chris_eineke (634570) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914604)

Partly correct.

3D > 2D, if and only if 3D MAX_INT. ;)

Re:I visited the site (1)

sedyn (880034) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914341)

I think it's more a question of, if it's better than google, how long until it's offered by google?

Re:I visited the site (3, Insightful)

nmpeglit (782305) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914861)

What do you mean? Why do you post Intel news then? I am fed up with the bunch of Google articles that pop up at slashdot ten times a day about the same subject. That's an advertisement. And what really bothered you is that this is proprietery software? Of course it is, as it is the 95% of decent software out there. This doesn't mean that the software is crap. You open source nazis...

Gotta go and roll a smoke, I really got pissed off with this comment.

Woops! (2, Funny)

JamesD_UK (721413) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914279)

Software that allows you to interact in three dimensions with any part of our planet? Sweet! Imagine the possibilities, the god-like power you'd have over beaches in Brazil! I presume that the posting was meant to read:

Interact in three dimensions with any part of our model of the planet.

Get a real woman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914297)

Get a real woman you'll be happy with and you won't care so much for 3D models of the beaches of Brazil.

Re:Get a real woman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914559)

Get a real woman you'll be happy with

While I cannot speak for all slashdotters, that is definitely easier said then done. Especially if you are looking for a creature distinguishable from a Komodo Dragon with lipstick. For some of us at least, a simulation is way more practical.

Re:Woops! (1)

Hakubi_Washu (594267) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914480)

I wouldn't even be sure they actually meant "interact" rather than "look at", because what could there be to do? Switch on and off some topographic map overlay textures maybe, but that's hardly "interaction"... You can, apparently, add polygon models to the voxel scenery, probably including egoshooter-type "triggers" and stuff, but still, what use could they be in a glorified 3d-Map? This thing is nice as proof of concept and as starting point/library for other systems (probably worth the 10k), but in itself it's just "nice"...

browse and interact (3, Funny)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914306)

What do they mean by interact? Does this mean I can like wlak around in this 3-D world and kick over buildings and stuff? Also, if Boeing and Airbus use this too, what happens when I grab the airplane out of the sky?

Re:browse and interact (2, Insightful)

enginuitor (779522) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914431)

"Does this mean I can like wlak [sic] around in this 3-D world and kick over buildings and stuff?"
I think they mean "interact" in the same way that you "interact" with a painting in a museum... that is, you don't.
You're looking for something more along the lines of this [gamespot.com] . Greater entertainment value, and significantly cheaper.

Are you a King Kong terrorist? (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914510)

Why do you want to destroy buildings and grab planes from the sky? Are you a King Kong terrorist?

How does this compare .... (2, Informative)

swimin (828756) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914328)

How does this compare to NASA's World Wind [nasa.gov] ?

Re:How does this compare .... (2, Informative)

fourtyfive (862341) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914416)

Well, NASA's World Wind does about the same thing, with a bit less High res EU imagery, has a great userbase, awesome devs, is free, and open source. And a lot more extensible. Overall its the best program on the planet (Of course, I'm a dev, so I might be a bit biased :P)

Re:How does this compare .... (1)

lixlpixel (747466) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914753)


it looks very nice, but it's windows only.

any plans to port this to other operatig systems ?

Re:How does this compare .... (1)

fourtyfive (862341) | more than 9 years ago | (#12916292)

Their are, but theirs currently a shortage of devs, so dont expect one any time soon :P

End of RL? (1)

Delora (840099) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914342)

Wait. Does this mean, i don't have to leave my room if i'd like to take a walk to my hometown? Cool idea. Is the Resolution better than RL?

I heard that it was developed in Python. (3, Interesting)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914343)

I read in a newsgroup posting that it was developed using Python and OpenGL on IRIX (not surprising, really), and then ported with ease to the PC. I think that this application really goes to show the versatility of scripting languages like Python, assuming what I read was correct. Such languages are stepping away from the fringes towards mainstream, massive application development.

Re:I heard that it was developed in Python. (1)

dj245 (732906) | more than 9 years ago | (#12917598)

Such languages are stepping away from the fringes towards mainstream, massive application development.

uh, you mean like the popular ABC torrent client? [sourceforge.net]

Seeing the real thing is good too (1)

newsblaze (894675) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914345)

Last night, I looked into the Western sky and there were Venus, Saturn and Mercury. It was better with binoculars. They will be there again tonight.

To all conspiracy theorists out there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914365)

This is another Roland Piquepaille troll, but notice that this time it isn't timothy but CmdrTaco who accepted the submission? Are they all in on it?

OSS version already under development (2, Informative)

pixelphsr (723289) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914375)

The OSSIM http://www.ossim.org/ [ossim.org] project already has a working version of this, called osgPlanet. It was demonstrated at the Open Source GIS conference last week. http://mapserver.gis.umn.edu/mum/mtg2005.html [umn.edu]

OsgPlanet can stream imagery from any MapServer using WMS protocol. (Check JPL's wms server for one http://wms.jpl.nasa.gov/ [nasa.gov] ) It builds a 3D model of the world on the fly using SRTM terrain data that you can download from the USGS for most of the globe.

The difference between this and something like Google maps is that osgPlanet and Vplanet let you actually fly around in the terrain, instead of just looking down at it.

What's a voxel? (2, Informative)

SassyDave (557868) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914388)

If you're wondering what a voxel is, webopedia has a pretty good definition [webopedia.com] .

Basically, it's a "volume pixel", which apparently is a box with height, width, and depth, and it has to do with how fine images appear. The more voxels in the image, the smoother it'll appear. So a pixel is to a 2D image what a voxel is to a 3D image. Wikipedia . [wikipedia.org]

Hey Roland.. Kiss my ass. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914393)

Why don't you fuck off and stop posting these stories with links to your advertisement laden link farm?

Someone needs to NOT take stories submitted by this douchebag. He needs to get a real job instead trolling around here for his rent.

This clown Roland needs to be shitlisted from slashdot. Thank you.

Connection? (1)

vinlud (230623) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914456)

Sorry for being kind of offtopic but what exactly is the relationship between Roland Piquepaille and the Slashdot editors? Because he's so often on the frontpage with his own blog its not any coincidence anymore, and the quality of his stories is generally doubtful at best. Is he some kind of relative, friend, business partner or what?

Re:Connection? (1)

athmanb (100367) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914873)

Tinfoil hattery aside, it seems that Roland gathers stories from the Internet, does a short writeup about them on his own site, then submits that writeup to /.

In the end:
- Slashdot editors save time by not having to write abstracts themselves
- Slashdot readers get interesting stories
- Roland gets ad revenue for his work

So everybody wins something. Not too terrible of a deal.

A program that simulates geographic views (1)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914479)

Wow, A program that simulates geographic views from any point on the globe by applying CGI to topographical data. Great for tourism, virtual and real.
Now, about all those people....

What about a program that simulates the experience of being around tens of millions of really poor people? Virtual Lagos, Virtual Nairobi, Virtual Mumbai, Virtual Shanghai, Virtual Sao Paulo, Virtual Mexico City, Virtual Djakarta.

Creating a program that simulates the earth as a beautiful place inhabitated by reasonable numbers of really nice people is a cultural conditioning exercise in proxy genocide. It prepares the mind for the deed just like the ultra-violent First-Person-Shooter video games and Hollywood movies prepare people to become mass murders.

"Wow, dude, blowing away a thousand people throwing rocks in front of the embassy with my too-cool XKE super machine gun was just like playing the most advanced game, man!. All the noise, all the screams, all the blood sprays, the bullet smell... like, totally awesome!

Re:A program that simulates geographic views (1)

RichardX (457979) | more than 9 years ago | (#12915436)

Time to introduce a new acronym to the Slashdot crowd. Learn it well, folks, as I shall explain it only this once:

What The Fuck Are You Banging On About?

My fucking taxes (1)

cabalamat2 (227849) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914494)

This project was funded with my fucking taxes so why should I have to pay another E 10,000 for it? I've already paid once. It should be released on an open source license, as should all publicly-developed software.

Why are you bitching to us? (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914522)

If you don't like this political policy, then don't bitch to us about it! Get out your pen and paper and write a letter to your EU parlimentary representative! Demand an investigation, my good man. Do you duty!

Re:My fucking taxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914689)

This project was funded with my fucking taxes so why should I have to pay another E 10,000 for it?

Because first, typically under FP6 EU financing is typically only 50% of research costs, and participating organizations have to pay the rest themselves. I don't know for that project exactly, but I doubt it was fully payed with EU money. Hence it's very probable that they want to recoup their investment.

And second, EU strongly encourages both participation of European commercial companies in research projects and commercial exploitation of the results, as a mean of giving European companies a competitive advantage. In fact, in some case it is practically required for a project to end with a commercial deployment of a resulting products.

Re:My fucking taxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914889)

Let me be the devil's advocate here and tell you that if you didn't have to pay for it, it might have cost you more in taxes. This mixed-funding strategy was probably found to be the optimal one by public policy evaluating engineers.
I can see your point, but what other EU policies would you want to downgrade in order to make a piece of software which maybe few will ever need available to absolutely everyone?

Just my two cents.

Excuse me, but (1)

sytxr (704471) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914504)

but this nice first picture looks much like a partially undressed lying woman to me.

This Virtual World Stuff is Being Done a Lot (1)

DanielMarkham (765899) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914524)

Seems like everybody nowadays is throwing together GIS, satellite imagery, ecological information, etc onto a virtual world. Perhaps this is an area where we can start standardizing some XML? Put together a mastard standard for defining a world, then as we discovered new planets and sent expeditions to the ones in our solar system, we'd have a place to put all that information where all kinds of people and programs can interact with it.

Just great (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914525)

The last thing I need to see today is Uranus.

Only 10,000 euros? (1)

Mulletproof (513805) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914552)

"It should be available this summer for about 10,000 euros (about $12K)."

Torrent, please ^.^

NASA's WorldWind (3, Interesting)

tinrobot (314936) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914562)

Does very similar things... is getting better every release... and it's free.

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

Re:NASA's WorldWind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12915709)

And yet, I don't see an option to use it on my Mac or my Linux box :(

Re:NASA's WorldWind (1)

birge (866103) | more than 9 years ago | (#12915803)

I concur. WorldWind is great, and very nice of NASA to give it away for free, unlike the EU model which is tax for the development, and charge for the release. At least their taxes are lower. Oh, wait...

3d Modling program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914576)

They made a 3D modeling program. So what?

Hmm...Keyhole is much cheaper. (1)

rmdyer (267137) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914584)

I downloaded and tested Keyhole's http://www.keyhole.com/ [keyhole.com] Personal 2 LT software and am considering purchasing a subscription for $30 a year. The software is great, it's 3D and you can zoom, pan, rotate, tilt, see superimposed road maps, measure distances, create videos, etc. I've already journeyed virtually to many exotic places like Patagonia South America, the Amazon, New Zealand, northern places like Canada and Russia. Google now owns this company and it also provides for Google Maps. I think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread!

I've only found a couple of problems with Keyhole. First, due to their crazy licensing, you can only run Keyhole on two machines. What this means is...

1. You can install the software on as many machines as you want.
2. Your account name will be your email address.
3. You will recieve a license key when you register.
4. If you try to use that license key to logon to more than two machines (not even at the same time) you will not be allowed to run it.

If you were trying to use the software on two machines or more at the same time, then not being allowed to run it would make sense. But I was testing several machines with different graphics and CPU capabilities and found that when I tried to logon to the third machine (at a different time) it would fail. Keyhole user support confirmed this dilemma. This just doesn't make sense to me.

Second, Keyhole isn't available for Linux, or OSX yet. But it does use OpenGl, so I don't see too much of a porting problem.

Finally, they want a different user account for each piece of their software they sell. I find that to be annoying.

Virtual Planet Exploder (1)

JLavezzo (161308) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914638)

Combine this with the Deep Impact Comet Exploder and you get the

Virtual Planet Exploder

Hmmm... Maybe not.

NASA World Wind: free, open, & ready to downlo (1)

steveprice (773971) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914645)

http://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov/ [nasa.gov] operators are standing by.

Roland the Plogger blows it again (3, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914708)

Another Roland the Plogger story, trying to get traffic for his blog.

The real link to the project is here. [c-s.fr] . Roland the Plogger makes you go through two extra levels of blogs to get there. (Does he get traffic kickbacks, or what?) The project ran from 2001 to 2004; it's done.

And Keyhole [keyhole.com] does the same thing. For $29.95, not €12,000.

Why? (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914746)

Planet Engine is OSS and already does all this.

Only two decades late. (1)

Ride-My-Rocket (96935) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914762)

I could have used this when I was playing Starflight [the-underdogs.org] .

Successor to Windows Explorer? (1)

Oceanplexian (807998) | more than 9 years ago | (#12915080)

I prefer my explorer in 2D, and really dont have any need for planet-viewing....

FROST PIST (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12915724)

very oWn shitter,

Patent bait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12916425)

Oh, wait, it's happening in Europe....

Sweet.
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