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Satellite View of Globe, Day/Night

version (125 KB) by Michael Kleder
Idealized satellite view of earth with day / night bouandary.


Updated 07 Jul 2004

No License

Editor's Note: This file was a File Exchange Pick of the Week

Using the figure file satglobe, which I will upload into the MATLAB Central File Exchange shortly, you can generate fully rendered, rotatable, zoomable views of earth as seen from space. This screen capture was rendered with OpenGL, using a camera light at infinity and specified diffuse and ambient material reflectivities.

The image data was obtained from NASA; the map projection, political boundaries, and gridlines were created using the Mapping Toolbox.

Rendering can be as much art as science, and so graphic design aftertouching on the brightness, contrast, and specular point anomalies was done using standard image editing software, after the image was created in MATLAB. I do not have the image processing toolbox, but I presume this could easily be accomplished with that instead.

Using the SATGLOBE function, the command syntax for this image was:

hgload satglobe
material([.03 1.5 0])

The OpenGL renderer seems preferable for screen displays, whereas the Zbuffer renderer seems better for image captures such as printing to a JPEG file.

For details on how to create the underlying image, and for higher resolution satellite imagery, please contact the author.

Cite As

Michael Kleder (2021). Satellite View of Globe, Day/Night (, MATLAB Central File Exchange. Retrieved .

Comments and Ratings (11)

Alexander Nikolaev


This is currently only the JPEG image.



Anwar raqqad


first time i just visited i think it will be more interesting and improve th iq.

Jason Chu


Drake Vobbain

hey "use less" (that describes you fully). read the friggin text, there is code telling you what to type

Matthew Simoneau

Nice picture, especially the shading. I'm looking forward to seeing the M-code.

Michael Kleder

Major companies are now routinely using NASA satellite globe imagery in their presentation materials. With my software, I am handing you the ability to generate such images yourself - rendered, manipulatable, and plottable - without having to go through the 100 or so hours of development work it took to figure out how it's done and then tweak the results to make them visually appealing.

Hopefully some folks will find useful applications. Cheers.

Use Less

What the hell we want one more .jpg image

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R11.1
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux

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