Views of the Earth

artificial images of our real planet

About this Site

The Views of the Earth are a collection of views of the earth surface, generated artificially by use of a Computer. I started this collection in 2006 and it meanwhile contains over 200 images.

The images here are generated with a method completely different from the one used by programs like Google Earth or NASA World Wind. This technique (raytracing) allows higher quality and more realistic renderings and also can be used to produce much larger and more detailed views as demonstrated by the 5 Gigapixel image.

The selection of motives and the style of the views here is based on my personal ideas and preferences. In addition i also offer images for commercial use generated with the same techniques on the Imagico.de services and products.

Further Information

Visitor comments:

You can comment on the images on this site and the comments will be shown below the images. Here are general comments on this website made by visitors. You can leave your own comments if you want to.

by Luc A. GERMAIN from Burundi posted on Fri Aug 3 2012 09:41:30
Just ... GREAT.
Magical pictures of our world. Fantastic for teaching geography.
Fantastic to promote the beauty of the Earth and have it loved by
everybody.
I will put a link on my site in the section about education.
Thanks for your work.
Luc
by Robert S Turner from United States posted on Tue Jun 19 2012 09:50:56
Beautiful Images! Thank you for making them public. The canyons around Nanda Devi and Shivling in the Garhwal Himalaya would make an impressive addition to your gallery. I was wondering: During your explorations of world mountain topography using your computer programs, have you been able to determine which places on earth have the most extensive views of the planet, both in terms of greatest land area covered by the view and farthest distances to other mountains within a vista? I would imagine that elevation (Everest) is only one factor, and that isolation (Kilimanjaro) would play a role in the answer. Because the Earth is not a perfect sphere, does latitude make a difference (Denali vs Chimborazo)? Is a view increased when another mountain range rises up a hundred or more miles away, offsetting the drop off due to the curvature of the Earth (an effect seen with Mount Diablo looking toward the Sierra Nevada in central California)? And then, of course, there is the effect of light refraction through the change of density in the atmosphere, making objects actually below the horizon visible to an elevated viewer. This question has fascinated me since I was a child.
by Christoph Hormann from Germany posted on Tue Jun 19 2012 12:52:13
Hello Robert,

the subject of longest lines of sight is discussed broadly on Jonathan de Ferranti's site:

http://www.viewfinderpanoramas.org/panoramas.html#longlines

The related subject of the size of the area visible from a certain point is quite a bit more difficult since the visibility of a surface area at glacing angle strongly depends on the microrelief (imagine looking at a paved road from 10cm above vs. looking at a lawn from the same altitude). So measuring this area is a bit like measuring the length of a coastline.

The only sensible quantity with respect to the area visible from a certain point i can think of is the angular area weighted with distance. In other words the integral of the distance of all earth surface visible from that point. But also this quantity strongly depends on how far from the local surface you calculate it.
by yuvraj jaipal from India posted on Tue Jun 12 2012 05:13:33
Great work. Loved it.
Keep it up.
by est from China posted on Thu Mar 1 2012 08:00:07
我家客厅有一面空白墙,让我产生了和你一样的想法,于是Google到里这里来了。我想弄一个东亚发达地区的近地轨道高空俯览图。但是我又买不起你做的。郁闷啊。
by Mimo from Bulgaria posted on Thu Jan 5 2012 00:54:53
This is a nice comment
by Rani Bernardo from Philippines posted on Wed Jul 6 2011 08:56:26
make a map for the island of the philippines. thanks!
by Judy from United States posted on Thu May 19 2011 17:12:28
Thank you for your work. Very enjoyable and interesting.
by Mostafa Karbasi from Iran posted on Sat Apr 30 2011 09:18:18
Perfect Work done by U ...

But Seas and Oceans are requesting a better attempt to get better. mainly, I mean reflections of water areas that looks unreal. Maybe it's the problem of bump map ...

Surely U knew this
by Ivan from Ireland posted on Wed Mar 9 2011 13:30:50
Excellent work. As a tool the views format provides a highly informative and almost unique angle on deep time and geography. A real merger of art and science.
by JHON posted on Fri Jan 28 2011 17:04:36
GREAT WORK
by TopsDopyallor from Afghanistan posted on Wed Dec 29 2010 03:15:46
Happy New Year - , everyone! :)
by David Novak from United States posted on Sun Dec 5 2010 12:39:25
I climbed in the Santa Marta range in 1967. Great and wild mountains. Went with Bob Mosley and Bob Underwood. Shot a 16mm of our attempt to cross the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains.
Retired in Arizona, USA.
by nima from Iran posted on Thu Sep 30 2010 07:58:14
thanks for these nice and real pictures.
I wonder if you can add some pictures from winter
by baharone from Philippines posted on Wed Sep 29 2010 13:56:15
hi. pls make some philippine maps. all of your maps are cool
by Glen posted on Sat Oct 10 2009 09:42:26
Fantastic pictures..
Could u post some photos of volcanoes & craters
from above & in larger size
10x
by CHIP THORNTON from United States posted on Mon Jun 22 2009 20:26:37
This is such a great site! If you are looking for suggestions for new views, I'd to see extreme westermn Mongolia, and that part of the world where Russia, China Mongolia and Kazahkstan all come together. (Lake Marakol, Lake Zaisan too!)
by MARINA from Iran posted on Wed Mar 18 2009 07:03:31
hi. i love your site.can you take aphoto from bora bora island ? threr is very amazing place in the world. thakn u
by Ghavami ehsan from Iran posted on Sun Feb 8 2009 12:34:17
hi.that is very nice idea to establish this website and the images are very rare and top.
by Rudi - DK7PE from Germany posted on Sun Dec 7 2008 22:18:20
Tremendous pictures! Rudolf Klos
by andrew from United States posted on Mon Nov 17 2008 04:33:44
This is great! I hope you can take more pictures of the world. Fantastic, the scenry is so awesome there! You should make it more detailed so that people can see the indivial mountains and hills. Good work!
by Miguel from United States posted on Sat Apr 19 2008 22:01:44
amazing images. i'd like to see pictures of cities in this site like tokyo or hong kong or views of outer space and other galaxies. that would be really cool.
by Mehran Izadkhah from Iran posted on Fri Apr 11 2008 14:29:52
Glamorous images. Make more close up images
by sphinxmoth from United States posted on Thu Mar 27 2008 22:21:59
Absolutely spectacular. Poignant, even. Thank you very much for the site, your time is well spent. More snow & ice! And fjords! I have the temerity to make requests! ;)
by simone from Germany posted on Mon Mar 24 2008 05:14:17
The 5 Gigabyte image is a really cool idea. I think the images are terrific and they look very realistic. Must have been an incredibly lot of work.
I especially like the blue earth athmosphere and the lighting.
by pejman aghdak from Iran posted on Wed Jan 23 2008 12:17:43
very nice .thank you
by Rani from India posted on Sun Jan 13 2008 07:29:25
Very Nice pictures, of our Country, I must thank you for that. It is so beautiful & huge.
by Ertan Kalmis from Turkey posted on Sun Oct 21 2007 13:50:24
Awesome work man!
Very precious art

by AMIN SAGANI from United States posted on Sun Oct 7 2007 18:17:34
Your web is very cool if i was the president I would give you a gift.(like money)
by olivier from United Kingdom posted on Thu Sep 13 2007 22:25:51
very very impressive. one can see computer-generated as no clouds in any pictures. but still this website should be shown in schools to give a better view of our planet.
well done and thanks for sharing this with the rest of the web community.
keep the good work and give us more amazing pictures!
olivier
by Rafael Dominguez Estrada from Mexico posted on Sun Jul 22 2007 21:40:30
This is a truly amazing site to see the wonderfull that is our planet, our home.....
On the technical side,I like to say that you are really ,REALLY GOOD.Thank's for share you talent with all of us..
Realmente los felicito por esta vision increible de nuestro hogar.
How about something from others planets in our solar sistem in the same way that you did with our earht?
I really like to fly over mars or Jupiter with the same image quality that you did of our home planet...
Gracias y suerte desde MEXICO !!!!!
by fareha yusuf from Pakistan posted on Thu Apr 5 2007 11:16:03
this site took me back two years when i visited this place with my two daughters. it is a marvel of Allah a place where you can feel the fluttering wings of the fairies and imagine the strides of the giants. a breathetaking sight to make youworship the Creator
by Gert van Niekerk from South Africa posted on Sun Mar 11 2007 21:36:15
I always thought I knew the Namib desert. Now I know there is much more to be seen. Thanking you for sharing the wonderfull pictures.
by VI from United States posted on Mon Jan 29 2007 09:02:38
Growing up in the Washington Cascades, I was absolutely shattered by the detail and accuracy of these images. I can pick out the ridge saddle I camp on each summer!

I would suggest Oregon's Crater Lake, from a fairly close and low altitude (like Mt. St. Helens), looking toward the south-southeast. This would take in Mt. McLoughlin, Klamath Lake, and Mt. Shasta.

Also, the Yosemite/Tuolomne valley, I think, would respond well to this treatment.
by mukul from Bangladesh posted on Tue Jan 16 2007 12:16:47
Excellent, Wonderful, Breathtaking........I always wanted to go to Kilimanjaro, watching it on your site I wish if I could be there forever........one thing make me sad,when I see the Word "artificial" on the top of your site(Remove the word!!!!).
by heidi posted on Mon Jan 8 2007 17:01:31
awesome site, love your pictures.....very colorful. makes me really want to be there!
by ISHIKAWA from Japan posted on Mon Dec 25 2006 11:17:04
(^o^)/ good job!!
when can we get cd or dvd version?

by Surat from Tajikistan posted on Sat Dec 9 2006 14:48:42
Hi!

Impressive!That's what I was dreaming to see since the time I was student (more than 25 years :) You can see even Muztag and Kangour! The Hindukush looks as it is.
All the best!

Surat
by richo from Australia posted on Sun Dec 3 2006 07:50:41
Why would you say it doesnt look like that?. Ever been there??? (I've) Been there, overflown that.. and it looks exactly like that! Geologically spectacular and following the coast by light aircarft.. even better!
by Ronnie Sade from Israel posted on Sun Dec 3 2006 03:08:36
hi,

wonderful site.
There seems to be a problem with
"Mediterranean panorama" image...
for some reason it can not be loaded..

Cheers
by John from Canada posted on Tue Nov 28 2006 23:05:28
this place is cool i wish i can be there.
by chelsea from Australia posted on Tue Sep 5 2006 09:48:13
i think it is absolutely awesome, you have some fab pics and i love the way you have such accurate stuff, i like your style baby oh yehhhhh!!!!!!!!! keep it up
by Antenna from Australia posted on Tue Aug 15 2006 07:19:41
Hello, very nice site! Please also visit my homepages:

Thanks!
by Mike from United States posted on Mon Aug 7 2006 06:38:52
I guess you'll have to do the monstrosities at Dubai.
by James from New Zealand posted on Fri Aug 4 2006 22:21:11
I notice that in the 'Australia' section of your gallery you only have one image, that of New Zealand, which you have labelled a 'region' of Australia. New Zealand is not a region of Australia but a group of large islands separated from the Australian continent by approximately 3000km of ocean. An appropriate heading for this section would be 'Australasia', a term which applies to Australia and New Zealand combined. 'Australia' is not a regional name and refers specifically only to the continent.

Thank you.
by maria giulia salvia from Italy posted on Tue Jun 13 2006 18:25:58
i find this web site very interesting,
although i was looking for a real photo of mount fuji.
i suggest to insert the real picture of a place so visitors can confront it to your virtual version. this would also help showing what a good work you have done.
mine is just a suggestion, and because i am only 14 i don't mind if you don't consider my suggestion
by Catholicgauze from United States posted on Sun May 21 2006 15:32:18
Great site with great views! Keep up the good work!
by Ian Beagrie from New Zealand posted on Sun Apr 30 2006 01:57:39
Wow! I'm impressed! As a novice POV user myself working with a non-mainstream OS, I can see a long road before me in the rendering stakes. Planning on mapping other Solar System bodies from NASA data next? Great work, keep it up.
by stritti from Germany posted on Thu Apr 27 2006 23:26:21
Really cool renderings!
I think nearly 10 years ago I played a little with pov-ray. Probably you remember the chess game. It took on my PC386 about 2 days to render...

But your renders are really amazing.

Probably there is a nice view also in Germany:
the view from South German via the "Bodensee" to the Alps.
by Jo from Germany posted on Thu Apr 27 2006 15:52:24
really great.....
by ilker yigit from Turkey posted on Sun Apr 23 2006 10:18:07
It's realy great work. Can you make Bosphorus (Istanbul, Turkey) ?

Best Regards

by Coba from Belgium posted on Mon Apr 10 2006 03:56:21
I'm amazed, it's so beautiful! Thanks for giving us this.
Maybe, you can do one of Malta?
by Jay from United States posted on Wed Apr 5 2006 18:57:34
We have an international group of people at our HQ (mostly Japanese with some indian and European) and we all are enjoying these scenes. I've set up my screen saver with these photos (opps i mean renders). People are amazed!
by Dave from United States posted on Tue Apr 4 2006 01:51:52
Very interesting and attractive. If you get more ambitious you should add models of human structures. It would be interesting to see it at such scales(roads/farmland/cities)
by Dick Tracy from South Africa posted on Sun Apr 2 2006 14:28:32
Can't you do one of Cape Town, South Africa?

Very cool.
by steve from China posted on Wed Mar 29 2006 17:44:45
Absolutely awesome! The "dirt ball" (Chinese for Earth) never looked better! Fine work! Plan to visit again soon.
by JCRogers from United States posted on Wed Mar 29 2006 10:11:31
Beautiful. It's amazing that you can get this level of detail.

I wish I had your skill, but most of my renderings still have the checkered floor.

showing 5 of 57 comments. Show all.

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last updated Tue, 06 Oct 2015 15:48