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I'm creating my own fictional world for a project of mine, and I want to use Google Earth to map the planet. So, how do I create a new planet in Google Earth?

Edit: this is possible in Google Earth enterprise, but I am looking for a way to do this in the free version of Google Earth. This is probably possible by editing the code of Google Earth.

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Neat idea (if its possible). – djangofan Dec 23 '11 at 23:40
What do you mean by "editing the code"? – sblair Dec 24 '11 at 3:17
I assume he means patching the binary. – Dec 24 '11 at 11:40
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Using Google Earth software for your own "world"

Google Earth Enterprise

Create a customised Google Earth globe with proprietary data


Editing Google Earth code

Google Earth is a proprietary application that runs on Windows, Mac and Linux, but lacks a real API. An open source alternative to Google Earth is NASA World Wind, which, ironically, is a Windows-only application.

25 November 2006, we've got the letter from Michael Jones, the Chief Technologist of Google Earth, Google Maps, and Google Local search, requesting us to cease reverse engineering and improper usage of licensed data that Google Earth use.

From Gaia project

NASA World Wind

World Wind provides a rich set of features for displaying and interacting with geographic data and representing a wide range of geometric objects.

General Features
 • Open-source, high-performance 3D Virtual globe API and SDK
 • Adds geographic visualization to any application
 • Runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
 • Runs in web pages
 • Free run-time and development license
 • Unencumbered use on any number of devices
 • Huge collection of high-resolution imagery and terrain from NASA servers
 • Displays high-resolution imagery, terrain and geographic information from any open-standard public or private source
 • Open-standard interfaces to GIS services and databases
 • Large collection of geometric and geographic shapes
 • Simple to extend and modify, designed to be extensible
 • Uses Java and OpenGL
WMS web server for serving data over private networks and distributing your own data

Requirements: a 3D video card with updated drivers is necessary. World Wind has bseen tested on Nvidia, ATI/AMD, and Intel platforms using Windows, MacOS 10.4, and Fedora Core 6.


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Google Earth Enterprise isn't free, though, and I would like to keep costs as low as possible. Is there a way to do it in the free version of google earth (by editing the code, mayby...)? – Hamlet Dec 24 '11 at 0:18
@Christofian: Sadly, Google != Santa. The .com in is commercial. If you aren't selling enough eyeballs to their advertisers, Google may want or need to recover some tiny fraction of the cost of their 450,000 servers by charging you. – RedGrittyBrick Dec 24 '11 at 10:53

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