Bull’s rambles points to Dapple (WorldWind GES)

Filed under: GES, Open Source GIS — geoLibro @ 3:02 am

From Bull’s rambles: More NASA World Wind based GIS software

I haven’t tried Dapple yet (would have to drag the old Toshiba out of whatever box it got put into), but I wanted to register the news. I’m especially excited to see that WorldWind isn’t being forgotten about. I always did like it better than Google Earth in most respects, but I fear that it’s just not developing fast enough.

Anyway, James Fee has posted a quick review of it which might help evaluate it (except he seems to think people will be “scared off from the non-Windows appearance that it gives off,” which is either testament to how well the NASA guys designed the WorldWind GUI [is that a magnified dock hanging from the title bar?] or how self-restrictive Windows adherents are).



  1. Oh don’t get me wrong, I love the World Wind GUI. I just know every time I introduce it people seem to get lost. Right or wrong people are used to it.

    Comment by James Fee — 2006.July.23 @ 3:52 am

  2. Well, I can’t argue with that. And I’ve noticed that being smug about what you’re introducing doesn’t help, either (but I can’t help myself when I’m showing off features of, say, Mac OS X that Windows users have never seen before [but might soon]). Anyway, this user confusion seems to not only apply to WorldWind’s GUI but WorldWind itself, in many cases. In other words, not many people outside of the GIS/GES community seem to have ever even heard of WorldWind.

    Comment by geoLibro — 2006.July.23 @ 6:42 am

  3. As a member of the team and sponsor of the Dapple project I was very motivated to make Nasa World Wind technology more accessible to the geoscientists we work with every day. The NWW UI, elegant as it is, was a significant barrier. We needed many, many more layers (thousands coming), an easy way to organize them, really good and easy WMS, intuitive controls, metadata and export to geotiff for other uses of the data and images. A lot was effort was applied to the UI design, and now we will see how it goes… Well we hope.

    Comment by Ian MacLeod — 2006.July.25 @ 7:52 pm

  4. I hear that. The WorldWind hanging dock and layer manager isn’t really very scalable at this point, you’re right. But I take a rather different angle toward these things, since I’m in an academic support position. mentioned he has trouble introducing WorldWind to people who, presumably, are more accustomed to traditional Windows methods. Well, that’s my problem: that traditional Windows UI methods are cumbersome and largely unintuitive. I never used to be a Mac elitist, and the Windows/Mac wars disinterested me because they’re often so swaggering and supercilious. But then I started having to work with Windows constantly and I grew increasingly frustrated with the difference between the smoothness of the Mac experience and the awkwardness of Windows. It’s a problem not only for me, a resistant Mac elitist, but especially for students and other new GIS users, who are already struggling with concepts and steps and don’t need an additional layer of difficulty coming from a UI that exists for the sole purpose of making those steps and concepts easier.

    I’m very eager to try Dapple (my lab goes up in early August, and if I like it on my office machine it will go on those boxes as well). I appreciate its very existence (yes, without ever even trying it), and I’ll report back here with my experiences.

    Comment by geoLibro — 2006.July.26 @ 3:49 pm

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