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Graphics Software

The Virtual Planet Explorer 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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The Virtual Planet Explorer

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  • Great... (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by daniil ( 775990 )
    Cue flames at Rolly-boy and his blog...
  • Image gallery (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 26, 2005 @11:24AM (#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]
    • Cockblocker (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Doc Ruby ( 173196 )
      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?
    • Yeah, the "related stories" in the end of his article just led to his own del.icio.us links, on user "rpiquepa". wtf??
    • "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.
  • Torrent? (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by Xshare ( 762241 )
    It should be available this summer for about 10,000 euros (about $12K)

    Anyone got the torrent?
  • Worldy Wisdom (Score:4, Informative)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Sunday June 26, 2005 @11:27AM (#12914246) Homepage Journal
    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 (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TheKidWho ( 705796 )

      some of you people really crack me up
      • 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?
        • 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.
          • 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 Cele
            • 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.
              • Yeah, and I rarely stifle my criticism of such government screwups. The more people in the public who speak out, with valuable alternatives, the less such screwups happen. Different screwups happen instead.
          • 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 Servi
          • 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.

        • "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 thou
          • 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 compa
            • "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."

              Get a clue, man. I own a company that runs on Apache, MYSQL and Perl. Shit, the whole machine runs Debian Linux.

              I don't gain money or loose money by my server serving up pages on F/OSS software. The apache foundation, PHP, MYSQL, PERL, and Mozilla foundation are primarly donation driven foundations. Companys DO NOT LIKE TO BE DRIVEN BY DONATIONS but ra
              • I suppose I fit in well with the other "people like Bill Gates": people who have made a lot of money running corporations that make software. And who don't give a shit what you think.

                "Get a clue"? I specifically said to ignore the aspect of F/OSS where companies merely use that kind of SW. So you insult me, and repeat my point. Then you exaggerate it: if you don't realize that you are saving money on free SW, you're a fool to be in business. If you aren't saving money (gaining it on the bottom line) by usi
      • Re:Worldy Wisdom (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        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.
        • 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
    • Re:Worldy Wisdom (Score:2, Insightful)

      by DAldredge ( 2353 )
      IF they did that they would not be able to charge 12,000 USD per copy.
    • 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.

  • EU Funding... (Score:2, Informative)

    by SiGiN ( 679749 )
    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]
    • 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.
    • Two tidbits not exactly on topic that your phrase brings to mind:

      1) Sums up my view of today's recording industry.

      2) When Los Angeles hosted the Olympics, one thing the city did to spiff up was to get tuxedo rental companies to donate old tuxes, which were handed out to street people.
  • I visited the site (Score:4, Insightful)

    by epsalon ( 518482 ) * <slash@alon.wox.org> on Sunday June 26, 2005 @11:29AM (#12914257) Homepage Journal
    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?
  • Woops! (Score:3, Funny)

    by JamesD_UK ( 721413 ) on Sunday June 26, 2005 @11:32AM (#12914279) Homepage
    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.

    • 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 itsel
  • by k4_pacific ( 736911 ) <(moc.oohay) (ta) (cificap_4k)> on Sunday June 26, 2005 @11:38AM (#12914306) Homepage Journal
    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?
    • "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.
    • Why do you want to destroy buildings and grab planes from the sky? Are you a King Kong terrorist?
  • How does this compare to NASA's World Wind [nasa.gov]?
  • 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?
  • by CyricZ ( 887944 ) on Sunday June 26, 2005 @11:46AM (#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.
  • 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.
  • 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 G

  • What's a voxel? (Score:2, Informative)

    by SassyDave ( 557868 )

    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]

  • 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?
    • 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.
  • I can't believe this! This software is even capable of rendering lifelike penises, as seen by this image of the Statue of David:

    http://www.crs4.it/vic/data/images/img-exported/da vid1mm_2px_full_crop.png [crs4.it]

  • 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 reasonab
  • 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.
    • 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!
  • but this nice first picture looks much like a partially undressed lying woman to me.
  • 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.
  • "It should be available this summer for about 10,000 euros (about $12K)."

    Torrent, please ^.^
  • NASA's WorldWind (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tinrobot ( 314936 ) on Sunday June 26, 2005 @12:36PM (#12914562)
    Does very similar things... is getting better every release... and it's free.

    http://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov/ [nasa.gov]
    • 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...
  • 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 t
  • Combine this with the Deep Impact Comet Exploder and you get the

    Virtual Planet Exploder

    Hmmm... Maybe not.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Sunday June 26, 2005 @01:11PM (#12914708) Homepage
    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.

  • Planet Engine is OSS and already does all this.
  • I could have used this when I was playing Starflight [the-underdogs.org].
  • I prefer my explorer in 2D, and really dont have any need for planet-viewing....
  • It's probably just me, but does anyone else look at the first sample image and see a woman lying on her back in a toga (with a Boeing aircraft crashing into her pelvis)? It looks like some toppled Greek statuary.

Disraeli was pretty close: actually, there are Lies, Damn lies, Statistics, Benchmarks, and Delivery dates.