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In 1492, Martin Behaim manufactured probably the first complete globe displaying the earth. 500 years after Martin Behaim, ART+COM started with the preparations for the design of a digital globe. On the basis of topographic raster data in connection with satellite and aerial images, we were able to present the results of these preparations for the first time already back in 1994 to an international circle of experts in Kyoto by the name of TerraVision.
«TerraVision» is the complete virtual 1:1 map of the earth. One of «TerraVision’s» outstanding features is the human-to-machine interface. With the aid of a globe-like interface—Earthtracker—users can move across the virtual globe interactively and in realtime and approach any desired spot at wish. The display and the resolution are only limited by the quality of the satellite respectively aerial images of the corresponding location. For Germany and many other places in the world, the resolution currently amounts to 30 metres. However, if desired aerial shots with any resolution can be seamlessly integrated. This way one can even see individual people on some shots of the earth’s surface.
But «TerraVision» doesn’t just enable a detailed and true-to-reality visualisation of the earth, but also the location-specific (geo-referential) dynamic visualisation of geophysical happenings and cultural events that take respectively took place in, on or above the earth.
The events are integrated into the system as separate ‹data layers.› Depending on the type of information, these layers can also depict static and even dynamic situations.
Cultural and historical events can also be integrated in the system in the shape of films. Additional data layers can be telephone connections and web sites represented as 3D-icons. And finally, connecting the globally distributed web-cams and live satellite images with live scenes can also enrich the virtual «TerraVision»-world.
The «TerraVision»-system was developed upon order of Deutsche Telekom Berkom GmbH. Today, it is a stationary high-end presentation system that is being exhibited since 1994 in the scope of events as a standard for virtual applications. With the increasing data transmission rate in the Internet, the system can also be executed as a net application.