3D rotating Earth in R

Recently I posted some 3D Earth graphics here and here made with R. Now I have a basic animation showing different applied textures on a rotating globe.

You will see some moments where points and lines are overlaid on the Earth in addition to the landscape and choropleth textures. Note that I did not plot these as supplemental individual points and lines in each frame of the animation. I will have that to share later, but it is more challenging to program efficiently.

Instead, these too are merely textures wrapped on the sphere. If you look closely, there are moments where you may be able to see that the 2D images of the points and lines, respectively, cannot be wrapped to perfectly match up with the landscape textures. Line matching is particularly problematic at the dateline in this example.

There is a cost to quality by using textures in rgl but the cost is minimal vs. the gains in efficiency when applied to the right kind of texture, e.g., a spatially explicit geographic image. For some plotting elements, however, such as great circle arcs, you have to chew up more resources to achieve good quality by application of direct and explicit plotting methods. This is easy in lightweight cases, but can be difficult if you have an enormous number of things to plot.

This entry was posted by Matt Leonawicz.

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