Author Topic: Location Maps taken from NASA photos?  (Read 1078 times)

Offline leeor_net

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Location Maps taken from NASA photos?
« on: August 08, 2016, 10:10:57 PM »
Sure everybody here has asked this at some point or another but all the surface maps that Seirra used for Outpost probably weren't made from scratch.

I came across the one, labeled 548 in the outpost data files and it look familiar. Sure enough, soon as I did some digging it's a perfect match for the asteroid 243 Ida.

Attached image shows the game graphic highlighted in red and a scaled/cropped photo of one of NASA's images of Ida 243.

So, this begs the question -- are the visuals then actually copyrightable to Sierra? If they took them from NASA and NASA generally doesn't copyright images, does that mean these are basically public domain?

Online Hooman

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Re: Location Maps taken from NASA photos?
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2016, 06:07:52 AM »
Clearly Sierra owns the asteroid.

At least that's what a copyright lawyer might tell you.

Offline leeor_net

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Re: Location Maps taken from NASA photos?
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2016, 07:33:17 AM »
Welp, I dug further and found that many of the site maps closely resemble a lot of other locations in our solar system but not quite. I also noticed some patterns between several of the site maps -- so I think their artists used real planetary maps from our solar system and used parts of them to construct 'original' site maps... at least for a lot of them.

Many are taken from Mars, Callisto, Mercury, the aforementioned asteroid and several other moons around Jupiter and Saturn.

I'm not that talented (loosely used) so I've just been grabbing planet maps, finding interesting looking parts, scaling them and cropping them.

It looks like they reduced the color count to 4 and then just set their palettes to determine the height maps (there are many maps where flat surfaces are marked as difficult or impassable when it should be the other way around). So I'll continue doing this by hand as I've been doing -- using the four shades of grey in multiples of 50 to determine height mapping, blending, reducing to 4 colors and then hand touching afterward.

Kinda fun to see that I developed a similar technique to what they did way back when. :)

Online Hooman

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Re: Location Maps taken from NASA photos?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2016, 09:04:36 AM »
Very interesting.

Offline Goof

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Re: Location Maps taken from NASA photos?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2016, 03:30:05 PM »

Online Hooman

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Re: Location Maps taken from NASA photos?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2016, 02:29:26 AM »
Also very interesting.

I wonder if they have a Google Maps equivalent for the moon and Mars. I know there's some weather modelling software used for here on Earth that was also capable of running simulations for Mars. Kind of funny to think people actually work on creating Martian weather reports. Sort of important though if you're studying the planet, or planning any missions there.

Offline leeor_net

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Re: Location Maps taken from NASA photos?
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2016, 07:45:52 AM »
Quote
Sort of important though if you're studying the planet, or planning any missions there.

This. This right here.

Also the whole why not do it for the sake of doing it? E.g., to expand our knowledge and understanding of how weather systems work? If we can accurately predict weather on mars (even to a small degree) it would have a very positive effect on our understanding of how atmospheres work, no?

Online Hooman

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Re: Location Maps taken from NASA photos?
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2016, 08:13:16 PM »
Indeed. When I first heard about it, I was tempted to run a Martian weather simulation just for the sake of doing it.

From http://planetwrf.com/ they mention:
Quote
PlanetWRF has so far been applied to Mars, Titan, Jupiter/Saturn, Pluto and Venus.

You can also find some Martian weather maps online too.

Offline Goof

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Re: Location Maps taken from NASA photos?
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2016, 04:06:57 AM »
https://www.google.com/mars/

There is the height map and a visible map.

Offline Goof

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Re: Location Maps taken from NASA photos?
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2016, 07:43:53 AM »
Or with some work this kind of thing could be done

Rapidly done with "The Gimp"
 - Plasma generation turn to grayscale
 - Some "coffees spots" plugins usage
 - Add a white background flatten the inner of the coffees spots
All of that with a bit of transparency over the plasma background

Even if for now it's a bit too sharp on the edges borders

Online Hooman

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Re: Location Maps taken from NASA photos?
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2016, 09:40:38 PM »
The blight is approaching!