MapBox announced their open source iOS virtual globe named MapBox Earth.
From the announcement: "We just launched MapBox Earth, a free and open source iOS app that combines the power of a 3D globe with MapBox’s beautiful maps. It’s also a great starting point to build your own 3D mapping app - we’re cracking the 3D globe software market wide open by releasing the source code and building in the open. MapBox Earth is a universal app optimized for iPhone and iPad and it includes beautiful preloaded layers based off of MapBox Streets, MapBox Terrain, and MapBox Satellite. You can switch the map layer with a single tap and feel the maps right in your hands, in gorgeous and fast 3D."
We did mention some other open source virtual globes in the past months / years, such as Glob3 Mobile, the Godzi WebGL Globe, OpenWebGlobe, WebGL Earth, and there's even the Google open source 'WebGL Globe'.
That's the name of a story discussed over Slashdot, Iran Plans To Launch an 'Islamic Google Earth'. This is nothing new to our readers, we mentioned Iran's Basir initiative in 2011. Iran is also not alone, with China and India amongst others that built or wanted to build Google Earth alternatives.
Their summary: "The Iranian authorities have long accused Google Earth of being a tool for western spy agencies, but now they have taken their attacks on the 3D mapping service one step further — by planning the launch of an 'Islamic' competitor. ... The minister, however, gave little information on what he meant by an Islamic 3D map. 'We are developing this service with the Islamic views we have in Iran and we will put a kind of information on our website that would take people of the world towards reality Our values in Iran are the values of God and this would be the difference between Basir and the Google Earth, which belongs to the ominous triangle of the U.S., England and the Zionists [a reference to Israel].' Experts, however, have serious doubts about the project. An IT consultant who has worked on Iran's national internet project in the past said the announcement was merely an excuse to obtain funds and secure working contracts for the future. 'They have claimed to run their service in four months and said their data centre capacity will reach Google's size in three years,' he said. 'Three-year project, no business model and only relying on government funding, a piece of cake indeed To have a data centre with such capacity and security level they need power stations, cooler systems, bandwidth, etc, which will require billions of dollars of investment that doesn't fit with Iran's sanctions-hit economy.'"
A new major version of Google Earth doesn't happen everyday, explore the world with tour guide and 3D imagery in Google Earth 7.
From the announcement: "A few months ago, we announced Google Earth for mobile, which offered new ways to see cities in 3D and a new tour guide feature to help you discover places of interest on the go. Starting today, you can get both of those features on a bigger screen that makes it even easier to explore by downloading Google Earth 7 on your desktop. Check out the comprehensive and accurate tours of more than 11,000 popular sites around the world, including our growing list of cities where new 3D imagery is available."
Other recent Google geonews:
At last week's 3D GeoInfo conference, I learned about the open source Glob3 3D GIS and Glob3 Mobile 3D virtual globe.
There isn't much on the sourceforge website: "glob3 is an open source 3D GIS multiplatform framework written in java with a very non restrictive license and advanced features."
The apps for iOS and Android are free.
The demo version of a potential 3D Viewer for geo.admin.ch - the geo-portal of the Swiss Confederation - is online at http://swiss3d.openwebglobe.org until July 31, 2012.
The 3D Viewer is based on the open source globe “OpenWebGlobe” using WebGL.
The scene convers entire Switzerland and is based on high resolution data from swisstopo: SWISSIMAGE, DHM25 and swissBOUNDARIES3D as well as extracts from swissBUILDINGS3D.
In addition, textured 3D objects from FHNW Muttenz and EPFL Lausanne are available. Outside the area with high-resolution data, Blue Marble from “NASA’s Earth Observatory” is used.
The total amount of texture and geometry data exceeds 2 TB and is being handled using the cloud from Amazon Web Services.
This demo has been developed by FHNW - University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, camptocamp SA, the Federal Office of Topography, Switzerland, and geo.admin.ch.
screenshot from http://swiss3d.openwebglobe.org
Marble 1.3 has been released with lots of new gems: Marble — the virtual globe and world atlas — now integrates with KDE Plasma. By allowing for coordinate and bookmark searches, Marble can be opened directly from the Plasma search bar.
The new Elevation Profile shows the incline of routes, which can be edited interactively.
Stargazers can view and track Earth satellites thanks to Marble participation in the European Space Agency (ESA) Summer of Code in Space.
During Google Summer of Code, Marble gained initial support for display of .osm (OpenStreetMap) files in vector format.
Owners of the Nokia N9/N950 are the first to receive the new mobile application Marble Touch.
Further details can be found in the feature guide.
Godzi was inspired by our own industry-proven osgEarth library. Its application-level API provides access to various OGC-compliant web mapping sources. And or course, it works with Pelican’s ReadyMap server technology as well."
First, a quick thank you for all your good wishes via comments and email. While the entire family is doing great, the first few days have been quite busy. I'm confident I'll be able to catch up during this week and ensure you get the best geonews aggregation you're accustomed to!
The description: "The WebGL Globe is an open platform for geographic data visualization. We encourage you to copy the code, add your own data, and create your own. [...] Features:
The Geomatics Engineering departement at the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland is now developing OpenWebGlobe for WebGL. The OpenWebGlobe SDK lets you create your own virtual globe applications. You can develop your new application in your favorite language like C++, C#, Visual Basic, Python. A preview version of the WebGL version (currently Firefox 4 only) is available at http://wiki.openwebglobe.org/doku.php?id=webgl
It looks amazing and it is an open source project (MIT License). It is already very promising for a pre alpha version!
[Editor's note: we mentioned WebGL Earth recently, another open source WebGL virtual globe]
"Still searching for today's internet time sink? Then look no further than Nokia's just launched beta version of Ovi Maps 3D. Thanks to a little help from Navteq's maps and some software wizardry, it's now able to display cities in a new 3D view that you're able to zoom in and around to your heart's content. You can also do the same thing in Google Earth's 3D view, of course, but Nokia just might have a leg up in some respects. Unfortunately, it's still staying mum on exactly how it all works, but you can dive right in and start exploring for yourself at the link below."
First impression, navigation is a little quirky, coverage isn't all there however 3d model quality where available is best in class. Highly impressed with the texture detail that went into the models. The models were also very fast to load on my machine. Overall, pretty good for a first release.