The classic Blue_Marble photo of Earth was taken by crew of Apollo 17 on their way to the moon in 1972.
In 2002 NASA released an updated version suitable for GIS created by a mosaic of satellite images with the clouds removed. In 2005 this was rereleased, with a separate image provided for each month of the year.
This page deals with importing the latter into GRASS.
The entire image is 43200x21600, 1/2 arc-minute (~1km per pixel) resolution.
To download the maps you have a few choices:
- The new maps can be found here:
21600x21600 East Hemisphere (401mb)
21600x21600 West Hemisphere (241mb)
The Wget program is nice for downloading these. For example:
wget ftp://veftp.gsfc.nasa.gov/bluemarble/land_shallow_topo_east.tif wget ftp://veftp.gsfc.nasa.gov/bluemarble/land_shallow_topo_west.tif
- From the original site (only gzip compressed)
If you are west, download
if you are east, download
If you are in England or West Europe, you will need both files, because they have to overlap.
- Download them via ED2k Link (bzip2 compressed):
This files have a uncompressed size of 1.4GB each and are in raw RGB format. The bzip2 compressed files are 363MB (east) and 216MB (west) in size.
- Check if the files are available from geotorrent.org
- Create a lat/lon location. I used WGS84 as the datum, but as typical datum differences are much less than the pixel resolution I'm not sure if it makes a difference which one you chose. The only problematic choice might be sphere (the GDAL "null nadgrids" problem). You can overlay a world coastline, like admin98.shp, to test how you've done.
- Create "world files" for the raw .tif images (thus making them into GeoTiffs)
0.008333333333333 0.000000000000000 0.000000000000000 -0.008333333333333 0.00416666666666665 89.99583333333334
0.008333333333333 0.000000000000000 0.000000000000000 -0.008333333333333 -179.9958333333333 89.99583333333334
- Import into a lat/lon location with
- This will create three images, one for red, green, and blue.
- Zoom to the extents of both images (or just one) with:
- Display with
- Merge east and west images by color bands with
- If you wish to combine R,G,B bands into a single raster map do so with . Only do this if you must, as you'll lose detail.
- If you want to down sample, try with the cubic method.
- I've had good results exported at natural resolution, and then cubic rescale in the [] to my desired size.
- Some of the pixels are NULL. If any of the R,G,B map pixels are NULL, will show white for that cell, which may stick out badly. To mitigate the problem, try erasing the display to black first with .