The manifold advancements in computing (and technology in general) have not only made our daily lives easier, but have also made it possible to achieve a lot of cool things that were once thought to be impossible. Whether you want to search for something, drool over your favorite shows, write your next novel, or do something else, you’ve got a website, app, or software. And thanks to amazing apps like Google Maps and Google Earth, you can see just about any place in the world, in front of your computer while sitting in the luxury of your home.
Using overlay images obtained from sources such as satellites and geographic information systems (GIS), Google Earth allows you to zoom in on cities, buildings, natural landscapes, and more. from around the world, mapped onto a virtual 3D globe. And among its many features are the street view and historical images. Plus, it also allows you to get an overview of our solar system which is pretty cool.
While Google Earth is great, there are few other options that can do the same. Many users are not happy with Google’s data collection policies and should not transfer more data than necessary. One of the ways to remove Google from your life is to not use its products. If for this or some personal reason you are looking for alternatives to Google Earth, you have come to the right place. Here are the 3 best Google Earth alternatives you can use in 2019.
Note: do not confuse Google Earth with Google Maps.
Best Google Earth alternatives in 2019
1. NASA World Wind
If something has the name and backing of the US Space Agency, there is no doubt it will be fine. And as such, the NASA World Wind open-source is one of the best Google Earth alternatives you can find. It should be noted that NASA World Wind is a Java based software development kit , primarily intended for developers, who can use it to create applications using data (satellite imagery, topographic maps, etc.) provided by NASA and USGS.
From zoom to tilt, different types of controls are supported, and there is a large collection of high resolution images. The database contains millions of place names, political boundaries, and even lines of latitude / longitude. In addition, there are many plug-ins and add-ons , which can be used to add functionality such as camera control scripts and XML files displaying placeholders as icons.
Platform availability: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
No matter where on Earth you want to visit, Marble will help you. Google Earth’s robust alternative offers several viewing modes , which not only visualize the Earth as a 3D globe, but also highlight its topographic features, street views, and even temperature and precipitation data. This is reinforced by information like photos, real-time traffic updates, and online / offline address search. In fact, Marble also has features of routing and navigation (online and offline).
The app itself is quite lightweight, as it comes without additional datasets. However, the same can be easily retrieved through in-app downloads. There are even datasets that allow you to visualize virtual models of the Moon and other planets , as well as track orbits of satellites and space stations , which are updated in real time. Add to that a lot of useful tools like weather simulation, bookmarks etc. which make Marble even better.
Platform availability: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android
3. Lightning Earth
If all you need is a simple solution that lets you view satellite images of the Earth (or any location on it), Flash Earth, browser-based, just might be useful. This is an online flash tool that you can use to view satellite images of the Earth, using several sources such as NASA, Bing Maps and ArcGIS . For images from NASA, you can specify a custom date (with an individual day, month, and year). The tool also provides a search functionality to view images corresponding to any location on Earth, which can be shared via direct links. How cool is that?
Platform availability: Web
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Visit places virtually with these Google Earth alternatives
It is true that Google Earth is the undisputed leader in the visualization of 3D virtual representations of the Earth and the many natural landscapes, cities built by man and populated by our planet. However, as seen above, Google Earth is not the only one. So check out these Google Earth alternatives and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.