Friday, September 2, 2011
Virtual Moon Atlas
Google Moon is a great tool for exploring our closest celestial neighbour but there are a few shortcomings with it. Like anything to do with Google, it will only exist as long as Google has the energy and inclination to continue with it. One of the reasons I like to use free software is that under the GPL all the code is released to the world and can never be rescinded. Even if a project is abandoned, it won't ever disappear because hundreds, thousands or millions of people will have the source code. So I'm always looking to alternatives to products like Google Earth (Worldwind for instance) and Google Moon, which is where Virtual Moon Atlas comes in. It's available for Windows, Mac and Linux and is open source. You can use it to explore and discover, but also to say 'take me to the Sea of Tranquility." The other great thing about free software is that anyone (particularly students) can screen capture the software without breaching copyright. Wouldn't it be great for students to use something like RecordMyDesktop to film a virtual tour of the Apollo missions using software like this.