3D globe

In addition to producing high-resolution maps, Flightmap can also visualize your itineraries on a built-in 3D globe that does not require Google Earth to be installed on your machine.

Globe settings

As Flightmap animates the globe and renders each frame on the fly, most settings don't need to be made in advance, but are available directly in the globe window. The exception is merging nearby locations that are assigned to a common metropolitan code (e.g. EWR, JFK and LGA become NYC), because this affects the data taken from the itinerary and transferred to the globe window.

Globe window

The globe is displayed in a new window. It might take some until the window appears due to loading high-resolution texture maps (courtesy of Nasa's Earth Observatory)—please be patient!

The new window allows you to save the routes displayed as Google Earth overlay, and to set various view options—the globe will get updated immediately. You can rotate the globe by clicking it outside any label and dragging the Earth's surface. Use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out.

View settings

Because the globe is animated and each frame is rendered on the fly, you can change its appearance here rather than in advance. The settings dialog holds a wealth of customizing options which are stored in the registry on a per-user basis. It is available through the globe's context menu.

3D settings

The 3D settings contain a variety of very basic graphics options to customize the OpenGL 3D system for your specific computer. These settings are also available through Flightmap's “About” dialog. Usually you don't have to touch them at all, but they come in handy should the 3D graphics in Flightmap be faulty. In this case, reduce the quality of the 3D model or the textures.

The most important settings is the texture size: (“Low”), 2048×1024 (“Medium”) and 8192×4096 (“Ultra”) are available, depending on your graphics card.

The 3D model settings will gradually enable or disable certain visual features of the globe. In very rare cases, this might help to improve the graphics performance or solve a buggy display (we recommend AMD or Intel graphics cards).

Other settings

“Show locations” will mark all airports in the displayed itinerary with red dots. In addition, if at least one of the four following options is checked, a label is placed above all locations, presenting the IATA code, airport name, GPS coordinates and the movement count respectively. Right-clicking a label allows you to open the location in Google Earth.

You can also switch to a dark background for the globe window, so routes are more visible.

Screenshots

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Next: Google Earth

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