Nawi Project

Earth in december - NASA BMNG Earth in december -


Nawi is an open-source multi-platform alternative to well-known applications that display Earth or other planets in 3D (virtual globes). It is written in C++, using OpenGL and wxWidgets and is released under the GPLv3. Data used in this program is downloaded from public domain data sets, or data sets made accessible for free software. In the future, Nawi should allow people to access to all publicly available geographic data, and to contribute through collaborative processes.


2009-12-26: new SVN revision: sun lighting, multi-resolution meshes

This new revision introduces the possibility to demonstrate the variations of sun lighting on Earth depending on time and date. Nawi starts positionning the sun with the current date and time, and four keyboard shortcuts allow to change the date and time:

If you are running Nawi from a terminal, the date and time used to compute sun position will be displayed (this will also be integrated in the future graphical user interface).

This revision also contains a lot of changes in structure that will allow downloading images of higher resolution in the future. The mesh is now divided into higher resolution meshes when going near the ground. The farthest visible parts keep simple, and non-visible parts are not sent to the graphics board. This ensures that Nawi can run on cheap or old hardware.

There is no release for this revision, because most changes are not visible. But it is a good step towards the next release.

2009-08-25: Nawi 0.1 released

This is the first version of Nawi that is compatible with both Linux and Windows (and probably with MacOSX). It downloads an image of the whole earth from NASA servers, and maps it onto a sphere. View parameters can be changed using keyboard shortcuts.

You can get it from the Downloads page. Remember to read the README file to learn the keyboard shortcuts necessary to move around the planet.

2009-08-13: Nawi website created

Nawi's code is clean enough to be published. It is now available in the SVN repository (see the Downloads page for more details).

Only Linux is supported at this time. Some more work is needed to support Windows.

2009-03-17: Nawi project created at

Nawi is now growing slowly, but surely. It shows an image mapped on a sphere, and some basic camera movements allow to change the point of view.

So it is time to choose a free software license, and to decide where the project will be hosted, to allow collaboration. Although reading software licenses and comparison articles is not a pleasure, I tried to do my best. I finally chose GPLv3, and hope it will fit Nawi's needs. Choosing TuxFamily to host the project has been easier, because the provide a very good service for free projects, with a simple and secure (HTTPS and SSH) interface, with no ad at all. Thanks to them.

2008-11-03: Nawi project is born

After about one month of deep thinking about existing virtual globes, I decided to launch a new project. I found no active, free and cross-platform software project in this field, in which I could have implemented my numerous ideas.

Nawi is greatly inspired by the beautiful landscapes of southern Ancash, Peru. In this Andean region, mountains are so high, and valleys so deep, that vertical and horizontal distances share the same importance. 2D representations of these landscapes give unsatisfactory results. The need for 3D visualization is obvious.

"Nawi" means "eye" in the local quechua variant (other quechua variants use "├▒awi"). But if you prefer, you can see Nawi as an acronym for "Navigation Window", "Network Access to World Imagery", or anything you want. Pronounce it like the first syllables of "Navigation Window".