Geography 2.0: Virtual Globes

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

NASA World Wind for Pocket PC

Recently, a UCSB graduate student said she dreamed of having Google Earth or NASA World Wind work on her PDA. "You know", I said, "I think I remember that from an old blog entry--for World Wind". I did a quick search and found it. From his May 13, 2005, blog entry (updated January 10, 2006), Casey Chestnut traces his experiments toward a Compact Framework version of NASA World Wind. The entry includes the resulting, successful source code. The commentary also links to a February 2005 .NET Rocks! podcast featuring NASA World Wind developers Chris Maxwell and Randy Kim.

screenshot by Casey Chestnut
Chestnut modified the NASA World Wind code as an experiment with portable device coding. In a November 28, 2005, post, he lists and rebuts several reasons Microsoft has disallowed similar experimentation with Xbox 360. According to Chestnut's post, Microsoft claims Xbox 360 is "not designed for it..", it would interfere with "console stability", and it does not directly support "DirectX". Chestnut's website resume states that he was recently hired by Microsoft. Maybe from the inside, he'll overcome the official obstacles, and I'll finally have an excuse to buy an Xbox 360.