Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Live Earth Wallpaper for Your Computer

Live wallpapers have been available for your iphone or Android phone for quite a while now. Where are the cool live wallpapers for your home computer? I use a near-live Earth view on my desktop showing weather and night and daylight areas. It updates hourly as you watch the night shadows fall across the Earth and the city lights come on. Similar programs are available for Windows, Mac and Linux so your desktop need never be boring again.

Windows and Mac users can download EarthDesk 5 from Xeric Design at http://www.xericdesign.com/earthdesk.php for a cost of $24.95. There is a trial version available which applies a watermark to the desktop image.

EarthDesk offers many unique features such as a database of over 10,000 cities around the world which you can use for centering your map. You can lock it in
xPlanetFX
place by city location or the position of the sun or moon. Moon phases andreflectivity levels of the earth combine to display an accurate rending of moonlight on the planet. You can select between satellite, enhanced satellite or political maps. Adjust the cloud transparency level and watch the vegetation and snow cover change month to month.

Linux users have several free options. First up is the popular xPlanetFX, available at http://mein-neues-blog.de/xplanetfx/ . This live Earth wallpaper features near photo quality images with realistic cloud and surface feature rendering. Coronal and atmospheric lighting provide even more subtle detailing.

xPlanetFX software comes packaged in .deb, RPM, or PKGBUILD or you can build and install it yourself with the tar.gz version. It is also available at gnome-look.org.

PortalView Live Wallpaper
EDIT 12/29/2012: Another Linux Live Wallpaper option is PortalView Live Wallpaper, created by this author. It was designed to grab and update not only World Sunlight maps, but webcam images and satellite & radar maps. It includes scores of webcam and map locations to start with, then customize with your local favourites.

More choices for Linux users include Real Time Sunlight Wallpaper which has packages in .deb or tar.gz. This program offers four projections: Mercator, Peters, Mollweide and Equirectangular as well as Dawn to Dusk and Moon Phase views.

Impress your friends and family with these beautiful Live Wallpapers for your home desktop. Whether your using Windows, Mac or Linux, there is no excuse for boring desktops any longer.

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