Softpedia Editor's Review for NASA World Wind
World Wind lets you zoom from satellite altitude into any place on Earth
Written by Giorgiana Bursuc on October 5th, 2012
Read an in-depth analysis in our professional review for NASA World Wind
Considering Earth is a complex subject, it is no wonder that there are a lot of software solutions meant to assist users in learning new and exciting things about it. NASA World Wind is such an application that can help teachers and students alike get familiarized with our planet.
Compared to other similar tools, NASA World Wind does not focus on a single aspect of the planet, but it rather covers several of them. For instance, users can view the flags for each country of the world, while having the possibility to choose which ones should be visible or hidden.
In addition, they can get the exact location of the mouse cursor or they can get details regarding latitude and longitude. The application also comes with a virtual compass and a distance calculator, both of which can be useful when planning a trip. Furthermore, one can configure NASA World Wind to display the landmarks of an area thus getting details about the most famous touristic attractions located in the neighborhood.
A special side of this application is its Anaglyph Stereo 3D mode, which allows users to view a three-dimensional version of the Earth – needless to say, special 3D glasses are required to fully appreciate this mode.
Another feature that helps NASA World Wind stand out is the fact that users can also explore other planets such as Jupiter, Mars, the Moon or Venus. This way, they can not only learn about their relief, but they can also get information about their satellites.
The only downside of this application is that it requires a lot of RAM to function smoothly, and if there are numerous other programs running on the computer, lags and even crashes might occur frequently.
All in all, NASA World Wind is a fun application that can also be used to learn a lot of new things, especially if the user has the patience to explore its numerous sections.
NASA World Wind description
Here are some key features of "NASA World Wind":
· 3D Engine
· Blue Marble
· Landsat 7
· Landmark Set
· .NET 2.0
· 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
What's New in This Release: [ read full changelog ]
· Plugin: Movie Recorder (added avi xport)
· Plugin: Place Finder Loader (Supports more geocoders)
· Plugin: Satellite Tracker
· Plugin: Virtal Earth, downloads Microsoft local live data (must be loaded from the plugins menu, then activated by clicking the toolbar icon)
· Plugin: Improved WMS browser with GetCapabilities support
· Data: New NRL data
· Data: WFS placenames and boundaries
· Core: New accurate sunshading
· Core: Support for 3D models
· Core: Atmosphere (Improved with atmospheric scattering)
· Core: Added widget support
· Widget: New scalebar
· Widget: Time controller
· Widget: 3D compass widget
· Installer: Removed background
· Installer: Mars, Moon, SDSS icons removed
· Installer: .Net 2.0 check
· Installer: Added command line tags NODOTNET, /NODX, /NOMDX) to skip detection of .NET, DirectX 9.0c, and Managed DirectX, to skip checks respectively.