Tuesday, March 16, 2010

French Geoportal's layers published using NASA World Wind

Nice surprise today, the French Geoportail is publishing it's layers content via a new World Wind Java application available online.

Some screenshots:

French Geoportail and NASA World Wind JavaFrance map

French Geoportail and NASA World Wind JavaParis area

French Geoportail and NASA World Wind JavaTopo maps over Mercantour National Park

French Geoportail and NASA World Wind JavaRoads, shoreline and buildings over aerial imagery

French Geoportail and NASA World Wind JavaColored DTMs - French Riviera and the Alps

I was secretly hopping this to happen and i'm very pleased to see the move has taken place so soon. However, it is still unclear whether the actual Geoportail 3D client using Skyline TerraExplorer will be replaced with a Java version using WWJ...


dgrichard said...

Many thanks for your post.

For 3D webmapping, it is reminded that 4 years ago the range of available web components with the foreseen functionnalites was not really wide. Skyline was one of the candidates.

One of the goals of the Geoportal infrastructure is to deliver 3D streams both to citizen and public authorities at reasonnable cost without exclusion conditions. As such, WWJ provides the basic functionnalties we are looking for, but not all; for instance, 3D objects.

Today's offers seem not to have made great progress in terms of alternative softwares : there are formats for 3D objects (that do not comply with web streams/services) and non public specifications for allowing the open source community to start developping such alternative softwares.

We are looking for hints in that fields and are interessed to exchange with the community on that subject.

Nicolas VILA said...

I'm using NASA WorldWind since 2007 fall onboard the EOLI-SA application for ESA (http://eoli.esa.int)
NASA Worlwind Java is now a stable and reliable API for building 3D GIS applications.
Despite it's mainly targetted to geodata visualization, it can be plugged on top of other opensource bricks.

My personal opinion is that the use of Java Applets seems to me a better choice than expensive proprietary plugins (which unfortunately run only under Microsoft platform also)

We must also keep in mind HTML5 is getting more and more popular and a port to WebGL/GWTGL (based on OpenGL/ES) may be a future lead for NASA WorldWind: putting natively 3D globe in web (without Flash, ActiveX or even Applets)
By the way, does the WWJ team has plans to support OpenGL/ES? (and mobile platforms by the same way)

Feel free to add any other comments

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Nicolas VILA said...

Too bad that Worldwind wasn't selected for version 2.0 of the French Geoportal...
Seems they changed from a proprietary software to another one :-(