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Submitted by Vander Nunes, posted on April 01, 2002

Image Description, by Vander Nunes

These are some shots from my last little project, called WorldMap 3D. This started just as a simple test of my game system, but I got excited and decided to finish something more usable.

The main features are:
  • Correct Earth orbit around the Sun;
  • Based on some orbit predictions, "correct" Moon orbit around the Earth;
  • Real clouds (yes, REAL), updated automatically from satellites;
  • Shows any of 1300+ pre-included locations around the world;
  • Built-in locations manager that can add/modify/remove locations;
  • Shows the approximated time of any location;
  • 6 pre-defined, configurable cameras plus 1 draggable user camera;
  • Sun causes overbrights, glowing and lens flares;
  • Many items are configurable both inside the application itself and an external configurator;
  • Can run as a normal application (windowed or fullscreen) and/or as a screensaver;
  • Runs theoretically under Win98/Me/2K/XP, DirectX 6.1, 3D card required.
  • Direct download from

    Please visit my site at and send me your comments, suggestions and flames! =)

    I want to thank DooMWiz here because this guy alpha-tested the WorldMap after some insistence from my part in the IRC, heh. =) Hey, Doom, thank you after all!


    Vander Nunes

    Image of the Day Gallery


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    Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

    April 01, 2002, 12:35 PM

    "real clouds" ... where are you getting the satellite data?


    April 01, 2002, 12:38 PM

    Neat, don't like the screen font, though.

    Brett Johnson

    April 01, 2002, 12:43 PM

    This is very cool. I really like the easy to use interface while it is running as well.

    The only question I have is my town seems to be in the wrong position in regards to where the sun is? It's 9:39am here in Long Beach, Ca. and it looks as if I am smack dab in the middle of the dark side of earth.

    I checked to make sure my clock isn't backwards (am/pm).

    Anyhow, very cool stuff! I esp. like it when you bring the menu up and it flattens the globe. :)



    April 01, 2002, 12:46 PM

    This is exactly what i was looking for ! ;)
    Great work !


    April 01, 2002, 01:00 PM

    Me again, one thing i noticed:
    The time-display doesn't seem to take into account daylight-saving time.

    Vander Nunes

    April 01, 2002, 01:08 PM

    At this moment, there is no direct support for daylight-saving, but you can modify the Timezone for your location as a temporary fix.

    You can use the external Configurator that is very easy to find and modify any location. Atm, If you use the internal manager, you'll have to delete and insert the location again.

    WorldMap 1.0 is released, but it is more likely to have some updates soon, including people's suggestions and some fixes.


    Vander Nunes

    April 01, 2002, 01:27 PM

    Brett, thank you for the nice comment. I am very interested in any problem you have with WorldMap.

    From your description, I still don't know if it is a database problem or a projection bug. I wrote an automated importer that eats the mass coordinates data collected from various geography sites, perhaps some information is wrong.

    One other possibility is the ambient light being too low and just "looking" wrong. The lighting is vertex-based, so you can rise Earth resolution to get more precise lighting. Anyway, when it is early morning or afternoon, there is a possible visual-only impression of wrong plotting, even being correct.

    You can send me screenshots or any other information if you want, I'll be glad to see and fix any problem.

    Thanks again.

    Vander Nunes

    April 01, 2002, 01:29 PM

    As mentioned in the Configurator main screen, it comes from the server.


    April 01, 2002, 01:58 PM

    Do you think a "real-time geopolitical map" could be implemented successfully in addition to the "real clouds", especially for middle-eastern countries? :)

    I see a great commercial product concept there... congrats!

    Division By Zero

    April 01, 2002, 02:02 PM

    Well, I believe tons of photos on the top of this page deserves this comment...

    dunno why setup sceen remains forever with only disabled cancel button ... but luckily after 10 minutes I saw next box.

    few notes:

    1) Stars looks unnatural... in reality there are more stars in the sky... and they are not exactly the same size and brightness.

    2) Movement is too fast. It can make u sick ... If i feel sick it means something is wrong with program |:p)

    3) Background color of interface is horrible (I couldn't see what are the options ... my nerves are not so strong to try it)

    4) Why screensaver ? Nobody will use it

    5) Also that flying white plane ... its probably sun ?

    6) Love neat uninstal feature ... it helps to clean up my pc.

    Matt P

    April 01, 2002, 02:10 PM

    can't replicate the bottom left pic. instead i get a white polygon for the sun and an orange sphere.

    good work though.


    April 01, 2002, 02:32 PM

    Once you've downloaded those 'visible earth' nasa maps, it's hard not to go and code a little planet earth demo :) A couple of points that might improve your demo; First off, the sea and the land exhibit different specular properties so use a gloss map to define the difference between the two surfaces. Also, when rendering planets (particularly the moon) note that the standard lambertian model for diffuse light doesn't work very well. If you look at the moon, you'll notice that the dividing line between light and dark is very sharp and it doesn't have a bright spot in the middle as it does under the standard diffuse lighting model. Although the diffuse properties of the earth are less sharp than the moon, it's still a bit sharper than 'normal'. I'm not quite sure why this is but I expect it's something to do with the relative sizes of the sun and planetary bodies and also the scattering of light in the atmosphere probably smooths out the gradation between light and dark. I use a power function to boost the diffuse term and give sharper shadow edges in space scenes.
    Finally, adding in the city lights (the map is available from nasa) also looks very cool, take a look at this shot:
    to see what I mean.



    April 01, 2002, 03:24 PM

    Just leave the map with Biblical borders and you're set.


    April 01, 2002, 03:34 PM

    Oakland was in the dark too, time : 11:00 AM


    April 01, 2002, 03:54 PM

    Thank You God You Are The Best

    and i'm a registered user


    April 01, 2002, 04:06 PM

    Hey there's a serious bug in your program. It mixes up am/pm. Right now it's 11pm where i live (or 23 actually because it's the european system) and your program thinks it's 11am.

    Your Boogieman

    April 01, 2002, 04:29 PM

    You need to let the user adjust what time zone the program uses to interpret the time of day that it recieves from the computer. I am in California, and yet at 1:30 pm the sun is right over Africa. Not quite right, I'm sure. Otherwise cool program, I like it just for the automatically updated clouds. You should tweak the graphics a bit more, like some others have mentioned. Then maybe you'll get my registration.


    April 01, 2002, 04:33 PM

    Looks nice.
    I know one nasa site to get weather sat images (goes9 & 10 I think) but I haven't
    been able to get current weather over the whole planet - even in pieces. Got any pointers?

    Strange coincidence. I just got my full resolution nasa images DL today and I'm about
    to take them home for rendering :-) Still contemplating how to store 900M true color pixels.



    April 01, 2002, 05:38 PM

    Storing all those pixels shouldn't be a problem but how to send them to the graphics card is a bit of a tough on; I've managed to crash windows 2k by sending the 5 kilometer resolution texture to my geforce3 in one big chunk (just to see if it could handle it). I've got a few 1meter resolution images of cities too, it'd be very cool if I could get it to use those as well :)


    Vander Nunes

    April 01, 2002, 06:23 PM

    Jesus Christ!!!

    The fix was just one line (one variable, to me more exact), I am pretty sure it is showing correct illumination for any Timezone right now, but I'll triple-check it before releasing the updating.

    I am more likely to upload the updating tomorrow at morning (GMT-3). =)

    Thanks for reporting this nasty bug, people!!!

    Luke Philpot

    April 01, 2002, 06:50 PM

    Hey thats pretty cool! Keep up the good work :)


    April 01, 2002, 07:37 PM

    damn this would be so great as a screensaver, think you could build it for linux?


    April 01, 2002, 08:45 PM

    You got a cool name


    April 01, 2002, 08:46 PM

    As a screensaver I just get a black screen.

    If I run the exe, nothing happens.

    I can run the configuration program WorldMapC.exe

    I have a PIII 700 Win 98, GF3 detonators 27.7 512Mb RAM.


    April 01, 2002, 08:49 PM

    "The setup files are corrupted. Please obtain a new copy of the program."

    Hmmmm.... D'oh! 8(

    Vander Nunes

    April 01, 2002, 08:51 PM

    OK, I just uploaded the updating, WorldMap version 1.0.2. The link is the same, but the file is updated.

    Now it will hopefully behave correctly in any Timezone, and will follow the user Time Format settings.

    Vander Nunes

    April 01, 2002, 08:57 PM

    Please, could you check the log file "worldmap.log"? It is located in the installation directory (there is one other copy in the windowssystem dir, when you run as screensaver).

    Just to be sure you know, you need at least DirectX 6.1 drivers. There is report of people with geForce3, it worked there.

    If the problem persists and you want support, you can use the forums at Virtware, I'll try to find a solution with you.


    Vander Nunes

    April 01, 2002, 08:59 PM

    What is your hardware configuration? You can post in the Virtware's forums, I'll try to fix it.

    Vander Nunes

    April 01, 2002, 09:00 PM

    There is an updated version, WorldMap version 1.0.2.

    Vander Nunes

    April 01, 2002, 09:02 PM

    I am sorry this won't be possible at the moment.

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