Interested in making realistic Earth models with stunning topography and recent climate changes? NASA, the ever popular space program has once again amazed us with high resolution photographs of our great planet Earth.
Below are excerpts from the official web reference where you download monthly references of the earth ready to be mapped to your world's model:
Blue Marble: Next Generation improves the techniques for turning satellite data into digital images. Among the key improvements is greater detail in areas that usually appear very dark to the satellite (because a large amount of sunlight is being absorbed), for example in dense tropical forests. The ability to create a digital image that provides great detail in darker regions without â€œwashing outâ€ brighter regions, like glaciers, snow-covered areas, and deserts is one of the great challenges of visualizing satellite data. The new version also improves image clarity, and gives highly reflective land surfaces, such as salt flats, a more realistic appearance.
Those who intend to use the Blue Marble: Next Generation in their own publications or projects should be aware of areas that still require improvement. Areas of open water still show some â€œnoise.â€ In tropical lowlands, cloud cover during the rainy season can be so extensive that obtaining a cloud-free view of every pixel of the area for a given month may not be possible. Deep oceans are not included in the source data; the creator of the Blue Marble uses a uniform blue color for deep ocean regions, and this value has not been completely blended with observations of shallow water in coastal areas. The lack of blending may, in some cases, make the transition between shallow coastal water and deep ocean appear unnatural. Finally, the data do not completely distinguish between snow and cloud cover in areas with short-term snow cover (less than three or four months). This problem may be resolved in the future through the use of a more sophisticated snow mask.