Virtual globes, such as GoogleMaps, GoogleEarth, BingMaps or Nasa World Wind have big potential not only for displaying data but also as source for otherwise expensive high-resolution data.
Moreover, especially NASA World Wind as open source software allows the development of on applications with virtual globe imagery as basis.
“NASA World Wind is an API-centric 3D virtual globe technology providing the platform for dynamic access, exchange and analyses of spatial data. World Wind is open source, platform independent and uses internationally embraced open standards.”
Nasa World Wind (example) projects:
- Wildfire Management Tool, www.emxsys.com
- SDI-Now for Urban Management, www.nsdinow.org
- Baseline World Wind GIS app, www.ohloh.net/p/terramenta
- iGlobe: Weather and Climate Research Tool There is an open source app begun to address weather/climate data (NetCDF), iGlobe, http://forum.worldwindcentral.com/forumdisplay.php?f=48. This is a multi agency effort by the US Department of Energy’s Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIST) Group at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Australia’s CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research group and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
Some more examples can be found on: http://eurochallenge.como.polimi.it/?q=projects
A further very interesting product is: Flash Earth.
Flash Earth offers imagery from BingMaps and Yahoo Maps in a single Flash-based interface.