I have been doing images of both artificial and real world landscapes since i started generating pictures with the computer. Examples of completely artificial landscapes made by me can be found on my website. In the past technical capabilities of computers and software have been the main limiting factor for generating high quality images based on satellite images. Therefore systems like Google Earth or NASA World Wind - while using quite high resolution data - can offer only a relatively crude and unrealistic quality of images and are not suited for generating pictures for large scale prints. But recent advances in both hardware and software development made it possible to handle the large amounts of data required for accurate images in a state-of-the-art rendering system and render high quality views of the earth surface. I created this website to demonstrate the possibilities and show some of the most impressive regions of the earth in realistic views. For demonstrating the possibilities of creating very large scale images i started rendering a 5 Gigapixel image.
Most of the images on the Views of the Earth website are designed for and rendered at sizes of 8-40 Megapixel - image sizes comparable to those produced by current high-end digital cameras and suited for prints up to moderate poster size. With the necessary data the techniques used to generate these views are also suited for generating much larger and more detailed images. To demonstrate the possibilities rendered a very detailed view of western North America into an image sized 96000×54000 = 5 Gigapixel.