Satellite imagery is a great way to view our planet, and there are many different ways to access it. Zoom Earth is one popular option.
Zoom Earth is a website that allows users to explore the world using satellite imagery. It has many features, including the ability to zoom in and out, move around, and explore different areas.
It also has a built-in search function and allows users to save their favorite locations. Plus, it tells you about hues, vegetation, water bodies, and land cover.
You can also see live data such as deforestation, air quality, carbon dioxide concentration, and much more.
While it offers some great features and benefits, it also has drawbacks. For example, it doesn’t offer full topographic data, which can be useful for planning hikes and other outdoor activities.
Also, the imagery isn’t always up-to-date, so you might not be seeing the most recent view of an area. And you cannot download data from the site.
Fortunately, there are other alternatives that offer different features and benefits. Here are 15 of the best Zoom Earth alternatives that you should check out.
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1. Google Earth
Google Earth is one of the most popular alternatives to Zoom Earth. It offers high-resolution aerial and satellite images for most parts of the world. You can also view 3D buildings, terrain, and other landmarks.
The images from Google Earth are canonical and you can download them for offline use or use them as wallpaper which isn’t an available option for Zoom Earth.
Another of the benefits of Google Earth is that you can find historical imagery. This lets you view how an area has changed over time, which can be really interesting.
You can also view street-level imagery in some areas. This is similar to Google Maps, but with a 3D perspective.
Essentially, Google Earth lets you travel to faraway places without leaving your home. It’s a great way to learn about new places and see things that you wouldn’t normally get to see.
Some of the best photographers in the world have their images featured on Google Earth, so you can be sure that you’re getting high-quality imagery.
Some of the photos taken were actually commissioned by Google, so you’ll find some truly unique shots that you won’t find anywhere else.
Google Earth is available for free on desktop and mobile.
Find out the best alternatives to Google Earth in this post.
2. Sentinel Hub
Sentinel Hub is a great Zoom Earth alternative that provides access to Sentinel satellite images.
It offers several features that Zoom Earth does not, including the ability to view images from multiple satellites, create custom maps, and measure distance and area.
The solution gives users access to Landsat, Copernicus, and NOAA data.
It offers a 10-meter resolution in red, green, blue, and near-infrared wavelengths. This means that the finest resolution currently available for free satellite imagery is offered by Sentinel-2.
Sentinel-2 has two satellites orbiting the earth, each with a five-day revisit time.
The advantage of having two satellites is that it increases the chances of getting a clear image of any given location.
With Sentinel Hub, you also get access to Sentinel-1 which is a radar satellite. This means you can view images of the earth even when there is cloud cover.
Interestingly, Sentinel-1 data is the only SAR data that is available for free without any restrictions.
SAR stands for Synthetic Aperture Radar and is a type of radar that uses the movement of the platform to create high-resolution images.
SAR data can penetrate clouds, making it possible to view the earth even when there is bad weather.
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The United States Geological Survey (USGS) provides some of the best and most detailed satellite imagery of Earth.
The USGS Earth Explorer tool allows you to view and download satellite imagery, aerial photography, topographic maps, and other geospatial data.
The platform gives you access to use Landsat. Landsat is a joint NASA/USGS mission that has been providing images of Earth since 1972. The Landsat data archive is one of the largest and most complete in the world, with over 700 terabytes of data.
Landsat images are available for free, and the platform also offers an API for developers.
One of the best things about the USGS Earth Explorer is that you can view satellite imagery from different time periods. This can be helpful for seeing how an area has changed over time, such as for studying urbanization or deforestation.
The USGS Earth Explorer is free to use, but unlike Zoom Earth you will need to create a free account to access all of the features.
This is an advantage as it provides more detailed satellite imagery.
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NOAA is a great alternative to Zoom Earth because it offers a number of features that are similar to Zoom Earth, including high-resolution imagery, global coverage, and the ability to view past and present images.
However, NOAA also has some unique features, such as the ability to view weather data and forecast information. NOAA is a great option for those who want to explore the world and track weather patterns.
From its web portal, you will get free access to high-quality satellite images from NASA and the National Weather Service.
The site also offers an interactive map that allows you to zoom in and out to get a closer look at any location on Earth.
Access to GEOS-R data is also available, which is a NASA data feed that includes information about atmospheric and surface conditions. You can even view images of Earth at night to see how the planet lights up when viewed from space.
You can begin using this tool without creating an account.
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Copernicus Open Access Hub is a great Zoom Earth alternative because it offers global coverage of Sentinel satellite data.
The images are updated daily, so you can always stay up-to-date on what’s happening around the world.
Plus, Copernicus Open Access Hub offers a wide range of features and tools that you can use to analyze the data, such as the ability to create time-lapses and compare images side-by-side.
It is ideal for developers, researchers, and students who are geared towards using Sentinel data for their projects and prefer low resolution.
You can download datasets such as SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) for free through an API.
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6. Earth on AWS
Earth on AWS is a website that allows users to view the planet Earth through a web browser. It offers a variety of features, including the ability to view the Earth in real-time, as well as historical data going back to 1984.
The site also has a number of tools for exploring the planet, such as the ability to measure distances between two points and create custom maps.
One of the main advantages of Earth on AWS is that it’s free to use. There are no subscription fees or paywalls, making it a great option for those on a budget. The site is also easy to use, with a simple interface that anyone can understand.
Also, since most of the datasets used by the site are stored on Amazon’s servers, they’re always up-to-date and accurate.
AWS also offers cloud credits to students and educators, making Earth on AWS a great option for those in the education sector.
Features of Earth on AWS, such as the ability to view historical data and create custom maps, make it a great option for those interested in exploring the planet.
In comparison to Zoom Earth, Earth on AWS offers a more comprehensive experience, with more features and tools to play around with.
The interface may not be the most friendly, but it’s still easy enough to use.
When it comes to exploring the world from space, NASA Worldview is one of the best Zoom Earth alternatives out there.
It offers a near-live view of our planet with high-resolution imagery that is updated every 30 minutes.
You can see real-time data like precipitation, cloud cover, and vegetation growth. Plus, you can view historical data dating back to 2000.
If you want to see something specific, you can use the search function to find it. For example, you can type in the name of a city or country to see what it looks like from space.
You can also view images taken by specific satellites. NASA Worldview is free to use and is available online.
You can also sort data based on time, date, and geographical location. If you want to learn more about a certain area, you can click on the “info” button for more information.
For example, you can find out about the population, GDP, and land area of a country. NASA Worldview is a great tool for anyone interested in space or Earth science.
Like with Zoom Earth, data is not downloadable on NASA Worldview, but you can do it with a screenshot tool if you want to take photos for offline use.
NASA EarthData is a one-stop shop for all things satellite data. They provide access to data from a variety of different satellites, including Landsat, MODIS, and more.
One of the great things about NASA EarthData is that they offer a wide variety of data products, so you can find the right data for your needs. They also have an online viewer that makes it easy to view and explore the data.
There’s a lot of data and it can be a bit tough to know where to start. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, you might have trouble finding it. But if you’re willing to put in the time to explore, NASA EarthData is a great resource for satellite data.
They will get access to over 900 live video feeds from international space agencies and telescopes around the world.
The majority of the imagery is updated on a daily basis, but some might be updated every few days or even weekly.
You will find that majority of the data on EarthData and NASA Worldview above are similar, however Earthview offers API programmability that lets you customize and download images that are almost always in real-time.
9. Flash Earth
Flash Earth is a widely popular tool like Zoom Earth. It offers high-resolution satellite and aerial imagery from a variety of different sources, including NASA, Bing Maps, and more.
One of the best things about Flash Earth is that it’s very fast and user-friendly.
It is also arguably the largest flash earth website in the work and is at least twice the size of many of the other major flash earth websites.
You can also find more features on Flash Earth, such as the ability to view live weather conditions, topographic maps, and even 3D terrain.
One feature that makes it stand out from apps like Zoom Earth is its ability to run a warped view which can be used to see how the world would look from space without having to actually go there.
This gives you access to a lot of the same data that you would find on Zoom Earth but in a slightly different format.
The site also works with Earth plug-ins and has seen features in major channels like CNN International and France 24.
Spectator is another tool you can use to replace Zoom Earth. It offers a similar experience with high-resolution imagery but also includes a number of other features that make it worth checking out.
For example, Spectator includes an option to view the night sky, which is something you can’t do on Zoom Earth. In addition, Spectator also has a feature that allows you to view the Earth in 3D.
Its interface is also slightly different from Zoom Earth’s. Instead of a zoomed-out view of the entire planet, Spectator has a more focused view that allows you to see individual countries and regions in greater detail.
The desktop app renders the Earth in real-time, so you can see how the planet looks right now. The app also includes a live view of the Earth from the International Space Station.
Spectator also connects to an online image library that contains more than 20 million high-resolution images of the Earth.
This makes it download images with the right titles and zoom level and without the need for you to do it manually.
Finally, Spectator also has a built-in weather forecast so you can see what the weather is going to be like around the world.
11. NASA WorldWind
NASA WorldWind is a 3D interactive world viewer. Developed by NASA, it is available free of charge.
WorldWind provides high-resolution imagery for the entire globe and allows users to zoom in at different levels. In addition, WorldWind offers several data layers that can be turned on and off, including topographic maps, weather data, and ocean data.
Like Zoom earth, you can Zoom from into your target location, but WorldWind gives you the option to view it in any dimension that you want.
With WorldWind, you can picture yourself flying over any location on Earth, seeing real images of what that place looks like from above.
If you’re interested in space, NASA WorldWind is a must-see. Not only does it offer high-resolution imagery of Earth, but it also has data layers for the moon and Mars.
Plus, you can view data from NASA’s many satellites, such as the International Space Station.
Viewshed analysis is a unique feature of NASA WorldWind. With it, you can see what parts of the world are visible from a particular location. You can visualize line-of-sight communications, such as radio towers, and see what areas are in shadow.
This can come in handy for planning solar power plants or for understanding why a particular location is not getting cell phone service.
If you want a globe that you can rotate and zoom in on without any fuss, Marble is the app for you.
It’s a free, open-source program that delivers high-resolution images of Earth that you can view from any angle.
You can also use Marble to check out satellite imagery of other planets and stars in our solar system. Plus, there’s a handy tool that lets you measure the distance between any two points on the globe.
It first presents the location you choose to view in a 2D map, but goes on to provide a 3D globe view as well.
This gives you a comprehensive sense of the terrain and topography.
Other features include the ability to view real-time clouds, plate tectonics, and even historic maps.
You can easily move between the present day and any date in the past or future to see how then Earth has changed over time.
While Marble doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of some of the other apps on this list, it’s a great option if you want a basic globe that you can play around with.
MapSphere is another free, open-source program that offers a 3D globe view of then Earth.
However, it also lets you view maps of other planets and stars in our solar system.
In addition to the usual features like the ability to zoom and rotate the globe, MapSphere also lets you measure distances and create waypoints.
A key difference between MapSphere and Zoom Earth is that the latter only offers image tiles from Bing Maps while the former also supports OpenStreetMap.
You can use the images from MapSphere in GIS software such as ArcGIS and Mapinfo as well.
The software also allows you to create and manage your own POI (points of interest) files. That way, you can keep track of the locations you visit often and easily find them again.
You can determine how far you are from a POI, and even get directions to it.
MapSphere is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac.
If we’re talking about alternatives to Zoom Earth, we have to mention UrtheCast.
UrtheCast is a Canadian company that operates Earth observation cameras aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
These cameras capture Ultra HD video and still imagery of the Earth that is then downlinked to ground stations and processed into stunning, zoomable, and often times near-live imagery of Earth that anyone can explore on the UrtheCast web platform and mobile app.
There are a few things that make UrtheCast stand out as an alternative to Zoom Earth.
First, because the cameras are operated by humans aboard the ISS, they can be aimed at specific locations on Earth in order to capture high-resolution video and imagery.
This means that you can often find videos and images of the Earth on UrtheCast that you can’t find anywhere else.
Second, UrtheCast offers a variety of different ways to explore the Earth’s imagery and video that it captures.
In addition to the traditional web platform, there is also a mobile app and even a virtual reality app that lets you explore the Earth in a completely immersive way.
Third, UrtheCast is constantly expanding its coverage area and adding new features to its platform.
For example, the company recently added a time-lapse feature that allows users to see how specific locations on Earth have changed over time.
If you need global coverage with high-resolution satellite imagery, MapTiler Satellite is worth a look.
It offers tile-based maps that are generated from multiple sources, including OpenStreetMap, NASA WorldWind, and Bing Maps.
MapTiler Satellite is available as a desktop app and as a web app.
Like Zoom Earth, MapTiler Satellite provides a live view of the Earth. It offers global coverage with high-resolution satellite imagery.
Unlike Zoom Earth, offline use is possible with MapTiler Satellite. This is useful if you need to use the map while traveling or in an area with poor internet coverage.
MapTiler Satellite is available as a desktop app and as a web app.
Finally, these are some of the best Zoom Earth alternatives that you should check out. Each offers something unique that may appeal to you more than Zoom Earth.
Whether you’re looking for more data, different map layers, or a more immersive experience, one of these options is sure to be a great fit.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.