Thursday, December 29, 2005
Tonight I happened to buy my first-ever copy of the British astronomy magazine BBC Sky at Night (November 2005 issue), in part to get the CD-ROM "coverdisc" that came with it. One of the bonus features on the CD was a copy of GeoPlayer Mars, a visualization and exploration tool by GeoFusion, Inc. Although it's only a demo version, it's got some pretty amazing features to help you learn your way around Mars (an expanded commercial version is apparently planned but not yet available). Getting it on a BBC CD was a nice piece of serendipity here in Massachusetts, but you can also get it as a 33 MB download from GeoFusion's web site. Note that this has nothing to do with Orbiter. Orbiter's hi-res Mars textures are pretty nice, but Orbiter is more suitable for orbiting and landing than for general sight seeing. GeoPlayer Mars is fantastic for this. Press H for a pop-up help list.