EarthView is a set of utilities for POV-Ray for rendering high quality images of the Earth's surface. Even if you have no previous experience with POV-Ray, you can to create gorgeous maps or plot geographic data.
EarthView lets you draw on the Earth with pins, text, arcs, or any POV-Ray object. It knows the locations of many major cities.
EarthView works with POV-Ray 3.1 or later, including MegaPOV.
POV-Ray is an open-source 3D graphics rendering program for Windows, MacOS, Unix, and several other systems. It generates gorgeous 3D images, better than many commerical 3D rendering packages. Unlike most commercial 3D programs, it is entirely text-based. The images it generates are described using scene files which are typically written by hand. This allows for a great deal of flexibility and control for generating scenes, but can be time consuming and daunting.
Fortunately, drawing points on the Earth is a far cry from generating the next Toy Story movie. If you aren't intimidated by talking to your computer with the keyboard, EarthView isn't hard to use. On the other hand, if you are a POV wizard (or are inspired to become one), EarthView will give you a great starting point for planetary explorations.
Another advantage of POV's text-based scene descriptions is that it is easy to generate scenes in your favorite programming language. Tired of generating the same old web log bar charts? Jazz up your geographic data by plotting it on the Earth's surface!
Version 0.1 is the only version. Documentation is availible online. In theory, if you can uncompress the files, you can use this with any OS with POV support. In practice, I've had problems getting POV in Classic Mac OS to recognize these files. If there is demand, I'll make a Classic release. Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to demand it!
EarthView uses images created by James Hastings-Trew, orignally found at http://apollo.spaceports.com/~jhasting/images/earthmaps. This URL went dead a week before the initial release of EarthView. The images listed below are all at least 2000 pixels wide.