Help:Producing maps with xplanet

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Producing maps with xplanet is a wikipedia tutorial showing how to use xplanet as a piece of GIS kit, to make map images suitable for use on wikipedia and other such websites. By the end of the tutorial, you should be able to quickly and accurately produce maps of any region suitable for publication.

Getting xplanet[edit]

See the project page for downloads

Getting started[edit]

Typical command-line use of xplanet (this all goes on one line)

 -projection orthographic 
 -config script.txt 
 -latitude 52.25 
 -longitude 21.00 
 -num_times 1 
 -geometry 600x600 
 -output xplanet_image.jpeg
 -radius 70 
 -fontsize 16


Xplanet europe ortho.jpg

Script files[edit]

Some of the map data is typically stored in a script file (a text file on your computer) - the script I used for the above map was simply:


shade=100 is important, because it says that nighttime regions should be shaded at 100% of daytime illumination. When drawing maps, the nighttime shading isn't normally needed, so set that to 100 to turn it off


ancient azimuthal hemisphere lambert mercator mollweide peters orthographic rectangular

config data script
latitude, longitude where to centre an orthographic projection
num_times must be 1 (stop xplanet running continuously)
geometry width and height of the desired image
output where to save the image
radius radius of the earth, as a percentage of image width (make this bigger to zoom in)
more... try the docs here and here

Try it again, setting the latitude to 90, shows the north polar area

Xplanet polar ortho.jpg

How to produce "globe images of earth showing where a region is located[edit]

How generally to zoom in and project an image suitable for use as a map, and save as jpeg[edit]

How to plot locations on the map with labels[edit]

City locations are available for download - see xplanet site, and can be plotted on maps (as can anything you can generate a lat/long/name textfile for)

How to draw country-borders using the arcfile list[edit]

See the URL below for some examples

Xplanet sample output: with markerfiles produced with weather scripts

Xplanet sample output: following the International Spacestation ISS around the earth showing various information like volcanos, quakes. Using satellites as targets.

Xplanet sample output: hurricane information using arcfile options. Storm data collected by scripts.

Drawing on maps tutorial[edit]

plot significant points, then use them as template in GIMP?


Typical image using the Peters projection

See also[edit]