This download is one of the coolest I think we’ve run, Dave actually found this one and after downloading and installing it my jaw dropped. Simply put—it’s amazing. Before you read on though I just thought I’d let you know that you must have Windows 2000 or XP and broadband for this one (don’t want you droolin’ over something you can’t have).
Word Wind is a program developed by NASA that has received some serious attention from various technology-based sources of media, and deservedly so. World Wind seems more like a robust full pay program, rather than the usual free application. Well enough of me raving about a program you haven’t even seen yet and know nothing about other than it’s created by NASA so probably has something to do with space.
World Wind is a program that renders (creates) a 3-D model of the earth, A virtual globe that you are able to turn, shift, rotate and more. World Wind does this with incredible precision, providing a myriad of options, plug-ins, and tools that can be used for any number of purposes. The list of futures just goes on and on, it’s really quite something and, as I said before, the program surprised me with it’s capabilities and polish. Here’s a list of the features that you can read about on the Features page. I believe that most of you will be impressed: 3D engine, Blue Marble, Land Sat 7, SRTM , Animated Earth , MODIS , GLOBE , Country & State Borders , Place Names , Visual Tools , Landmark set.
In addition to the features listed above you can also freely download and install non-included plug-ins, created by other companies that work on the technology. If you look through the forums you can find some plug-ins that the community put together, I found a GPS download that sounded really cool and got some nice reviews from others in the community. World Wind is an open source program which allows freelance programmers access to the code. This can be a great way for a program to become more flexible, smoother running, more customizable, and just plain better if you ask me.
Before you run out and download World Wind there are some things you should take a look at. World Wind does seem like a full functioning program and it’s as big as one too. The requirements are a little higher than normal and due to the sheer size of the program can cause it to take 10-15 minutes to download and that’s with broadband, which really makes dial-up not an option. NASA even recommends that dial-up users not attempt to install or run World Wind, not even if your friend with broadband downloads it for you and puts it on CD. The program needs an Internet connection in order to get new updated material that is usually a couple of MBs in size themselves. This isn’t a problem for broadband, but can take hours on dial-up, and the program halts while the files are downloaded and installed. Here’s a list of system requirements. They are a little steep so make sure you PC is up to snuff:
* Windows 2000, XP Home, or XP Professional
* Intel Pentium 3, 1 GHz, or AMD Athlon or higher
* 256 MB of RAM
* 3D Graphics Card
* nVidia GeForce 2 Ultra
* ATI Radeon 7500
* Intel Extreme Graphics 2
* DSL / Cable connection or faster
* 2 GB of disk space
If you meet the requirements and want to give the World Wind a try, then here are a couple of suggestions from your friendly World Start tech:
* First make a little time to install and understand the program—don’t rush through it while doing ten other things.
* After you install the program open it up and look around it for a couple of minutes, before you read the help manual.
* Next go out and save or print out a keyboard layout for the program—it’s a great reference.
* Then go to the online Manual and skim through it, you will get more out of it after seeing the program in action first, and this will help to quickly understand the programs features tools and capabilities.
* Finally enjoy…I can’t say enough how impressed I was with this program. What a great learning and reference tool.
Download it here…