From World Wind Wiki
World Wind, an open source 3D interactive world viewer, was created by NASA's Learning Technologies project, and released in mid-2004. It is now developed by NASA staff and open source community developers.
At its simplest you can think of World Wind as a desk globe, however World Wind is not a simple desk globe.
World Wind allows any user to zoom from outer space into any place on Earth. World Wind uses satellite imagery and elevation data to allow users to experience Earth terrain in visually rich 3D, just as if they were really there. Virtually visit anyplace in the world. Look across the Andes, into the Grand Canyon, over the Alps or along the African Sahara.
Unlike your desk globe World Wind can display thousands of placenames all over the world, from country capitals to villages in sparsely populated regions. You can see country borders, and in some cases intracountry borders such as US states.
World Wind can also be expanded to include additional imagery and data.. There have already been a number of add-ons created, from Norway's Prehistoric Hillforts to additional planets, for more information on using add-ons see the Add-on Launchpad.
World Wind offers the following built-in features:
- Earth — The planet we live on.
- Moon — Usually the brightest object in the night sky.
- Venus and Mars — Our inner and outer neighbours in solar system - the "morning/evening star" and the "red planet".
- Jupiter — The king of solar system planets.
- SDSS — Nothing less than the universe - the sky with stars and galaxies.
- Blue Marble Next Generation — World Wind has a full copy of the Blue Marble, a spectacular true-color image of the entire Earth. Put together from data of a variety of satellites such as Terra and Aqua, the Blue Marble can be seen in all its glory at 1 km per pixel resolution. Blue Marble Next Generation is streamed from the NASA servers at 0.5 km per pixel and in 12 versions, one for each month of year.
- Landsat — LandSat 7 is a collection of images from 1999-2003 at an impressive 15 m per pixel resolution. LandSat 7's resolution makes it possible to see your own city, neighborhood, or landmarks in your vicinity. Seeing the whole globe like this puts the world in context with scientifically accurate data. You can view LandSat imagery in visible colors or in False Color bands.
- USGS — United States Geological Survey data. USGS provides Topography maps of whole United States down to 1:24K scale, 1-Meter detail images of most of the United States and Urban Area images of most of the major U.S. cities down to detail of .25 Meters.
- ZoomIt is also included which includes additional areas of high resolution imagery, such as New Zealand.
 Terrain Data
- SRTM + — Combining LandSat 7 imagery with Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) Data, World Wind can display a dramatic view of the Earth at eye level. Users will be able to fly across the world in any direction. The data were acquired during the Feb 2000 flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour, using a short-wave radar device. It covers the whole world except near-polar regions and has horizontal resolution of 90m worldwide, 30m for the U.S. area and global bathymetry. SRTM is what really gives the Earth's surface the third dimension.
- Rapid Fire MODIS — For getting near real time images from orbiting satellites with resolution down to 250 m. You can filter the MODIS data by date and by event. Data are then downloaded and display an icon in World Wind showing what event it is and where it happened. You can zoom in to view the event.
- WMS Browser — Web Mapping Server allows you to connect to any WMS server such as the included SVS.
- SVS (Scientific Visualization Studio) — Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has produced a set of visually intense animations that demonstrate a variety of subjects such as hurricane dynamics and seasonal changes across the globe. World Wind can take these animations and play them directly on the world. Anyone can immediately grasp where the event is taking place as World Wind rotates automatically into view.