Blue Marble Viewer

on Open Scene Graph


The Bad News

BlueMarbleViewer has been a community project since it was dropped as an official project a couple of years ago. Since then, there have been numerous downloads of the executable and data by interested individuals. Because of the size of the data, it was being kindly hosted by another site, who eventually had to discontinue hosting it. We then began hosting the data on the new OpenSceneGraph server, but were soon hit with bandwidth overage charges as interested individuals begain downloading the hundreds of megabytes that made up the data set. So, we also have had to discontinue access to the data.

The Good News

Each time the data is discontinued, we are flooded with requests for it so it is obviously a useful tool that we'd like to keep available to those wanting to use it. So we're proposing the following as an interim or perhaps permanent solution.

Since BMV was first released, OpenSceneGraph has added much functionality that allows it to do planetary scale viewing "out of the box". The distribution of OSG contains a viewer that allows the user to begin visualizing many different kinds of data, including the data we're going to show you how to build here.

So, What's Missing?

The original BMV contained a lot of functionality that was the directed toward the original project, including visualization of atmospheric data, reporting of lattitude/longitude, enabling of movie making, etc. If you still need this functionality, you can either 1) figure out how to build the data from the original project, or 2) modify the OSG viewer to add this functionality in.

Here we'll show you how to use the generic OSG viewer.

The Recipe

1) Install OpenSceneGraph

Get installation instructions here (Click on Downloads). It is easiest to just get the binary versions, but you may spend the time building OSG as well if you need to. For a shortcut to Windows binaries, these are prepared and hosted here.

Test your installation by running a few models in the viewer like this:

osgviewer cow.osg

2) Download the Blue Marble imagery

Download the files land_shallow_topo_east.tif and land_shallow_topo_west.tif from here. These are quite large so download time may take a while.

3) Build the Data

Select a directory where you can create a lot of files (preferably an empty directory) and run osgdem. The following example uses Earth as a directory and has the blue marble images in the directory above the Earth directory:
osgdem --bluemarble-west -t ../land_shallow_topo_west.tif \ --bluemarble-east -t ../land_shallow_topo_east.tif \ --geocentric \ -l 12 \ -o earth.ive

Relax, have some tea, go to lunch, or let it run overnight. This may take hours.

Run the Viewer

You can now visualize the data with:
osgviewer earth.ive

Navigation is best accomplished with the "terrain" manipulator, which is selected by typing '4' in the window. Type 'h' for other options.

Mailing Lists

There are two mailing lists that can be subscribed to for questions and discussion related to BMV. If your questions are specific to OSG, please join the osg-users mailing list.

BMV-announce - for releases, or information on new developments with Blue Marble Viewer

BMV-users - for interactive technical discussion, bug reports, usage questions or any other topics  for discussion related to Blue Marble Viewer.