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Making an Earth Zoom
by Griswold, Britt
Date Added: 12/1/2009
Category: Texturing
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http://www.stratacafe.com/image.asp?imageID=26322

The following Earth image sources are free:
http://www.celestiamotherlode.net/catalog/earth.php
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/BlueMarble/BlueMarble_monthlies.php
http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view_rec.php?id=2432
http://landsat.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/
http://nationalmap.gov/gio/viewonline.html

The local view is not free, so I did not make a commercial product:
Google maps

You may be able to find a government source, USGS, State, or local that offers the closeup stuff for free, but it will require some digging.

I used Google for the neighborhood/local views, some Landsat or USGS for a regional view, and global maps for the rest. Overlaid with a cloud map.

I applied a feathered stencil to the local and regional images. A stochastic edged B&W stencil ended up working best. I then applied the textures stacked on top of each other, changing percentage of size and position until I got them to match visually on the earth map.

For this Animation I used four levels of detail:
Neighborhood (Google)
Portion of County (Google tiling)
Region (Allegheny region Landsat)
World and clouds (Blue Marble)

Britt