Product Comparison

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Which virtual globe is right for you?

NASA World Wind Google Earth Google Earth Pro ArcGIS Explorer Virtual Earth 3D SkylineGlobe
License open-source proprietary proprietary proprietary proprietary proprietary
Price free free-of-charge (personal use) $400 per year free
$500 per year (pro)
Requirements2 Windows 2000, XP, 2003 / 700MHz CPU, 128MB RAM Windows 2000, XP; Mac OS X; Linux / 500MHz CPU, 128MB RAM Windows 2000, XP; Mac OS X; Linux / 1.5GHz CPU, 500MB RAM Windows 2003, XP, Vista + Internet Explorer 6+ / 1GHz CPU, 256MB RAM Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, XP + IE 5.5+ or Firefox 1.0+ / 256MB RAM
Planets Earth, Moon, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, SDSS Earth, Moon, Mars, space (planetarium) Earth Earth Earth
Imagery multiple layers for every planet one layer with hi-res patches several layers from ArcGIS Online service 3 layers: aerial, road, hybrid one layer with hi-res patches
Elevation data lands + oceans (bathymetry), possible to add own hi-res data lands only lands only lands only lands only with hi-res patches
cache limited only by disk size 2GB cache limited only by disk size
3D Imagery Capabilities Anaglyph 3D support
Screenshots Unlimited (Plugin for larger than screen) 1000px 4800px 2500px
(30,000px Pro)
Search capabilities cities and villages: worldwide, detailed
addresses: US, UK, Japan, Australia 1
cities and villages: worldwide, detailed
addresses: many countries
cities and villages: worldwide, detailed
addresses: US, UK, Japan, Australia
cities and villages: worldwide, detailed
addresses: US
Driving directions image:redx.gif many countries United States many countries United States
Data formats World Wind XML, KML/KMZ3, SHP, WMS, WFS, Images4 some Collada, all GDAL KML/KMZ, WMS3, Images4, GPX, COLLADA All Available KML, Shape, Fly (proprietary)
Pro: WMS, WFS, KML, Collada, Oracle, ArcSDE, Shape, MrSid, ECW, IMG, GeoTiff, others...
GPS support image:check.gif image:redx.gif image:check.gif image:quest.gif image:quest.gif image:check.gif
Movie Maker image:check.gif (plugin) image:redx.gif image:check.gif image:quest.gif image:quest.gif image:check.gif (pro)
Support Website, chat Website only Website, email, chat Website, email
(Your idea for a feature here) Image:Check.gif5
  • 1 With VE geocoder
  • 2 All programs require modern video card and broadband internet connection
  • 3 Limited/Not all features are supported
  • 4 jpg/png/gif/bmp/...
  • 5 World Wind is readily extensible through a plugin interface

[edit] Sources

[edit] See also

  • Virtual Globe on Wikipedia - comparison of the 3 most popular globes

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