XPlanet notes

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

XPlanet notes is an area of ideas for using xplanet to generate Wikimaps and Wikiatlas_

General configuration[edit]

This is the "map of poland" used as an example elsewhere

xplanet.exe -proj orthographic 
 -config script.txt 
 -latitude 52.25 -longitude 21.00 
 --num_times 1 
 -geometry 1000x600 
 -output output.jpeg 
 -radius 700 
 -fontsize 16

Projections available:

  • (none)
  • ancient
  • azimuthal
  • hemisphere
  • lambert
  • mercator
  • mollweide
  • peters
  • orthographic
  • rectangular

Output filetypes: .gif, .jpg, .ppm, .png, and .tiff

Image data[edit]

Images are supplied with the program, and various sites have larger images (linked to from xplanet site)

Things to turn off for mapping:

  • Copy earth.jpeg so that it overwrites night.jpeg. If this isn't done, the areas currently in darkness will be shown with a "view of earth at night" image.
  • Set shade=100 in the config file - this tells xplanet to draw the nighttime areas with 100% of the luminosity of the daytime areas
  • There may be a "specular reflections" file used to make the sun reflect off oceans
  • If a map-projection is not used, it will draw other planets in the solar system. This won't normally be an issue unless you're unlucky enough to catch an eclipse shadow when you draw the image!

Political boundaries[edit]

Dataset is supplied with the program, assume this is the 1990s US public-domain data?

See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Blank_maps

Cities and place-names[edit]

List of captital cities comes with the program, data also available at wikipedia


Creating a grid looks something like this in the scripts file:

grid1=30       <-- increase to get more gridlines (spacing = 90° / grid1)

Labelling the grid can be done by creating a set of point data:

$Interval = 3;
for($Lat = -90; $Lat < 90; $Lat += $Interval){
  for($Long = -180; $Long < 180; $Long += $Interval){
    $Label = sprintf("(%1.0f,%1.0f)", abs($Lat), abs($Long));
    printf "%1.2f\t%1.2f\t\"%s\"\n", $Lat, $Long, $Label;

Bugs and questions[edit]

Arcfiles for boundaries might not be displayed unless you put something line spacing=0.01 (degrees) after every data-point (does that slow it down?)

Example images[edit]