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Planetary Maps

Xplanet works best when the map file dimensions are a power of two, with the height being half the width (e.g. 2048x1024 pixels). Other map sizes will work, but performance will be degraded.

Some good sources are:


Hans Ecke has a number of useful scripts available at to update your maps with the latest cloud images, satellite orbits, weather information, and recent volcanoes and earthquakes, and create images with different projections and viewpoints.

Michael Dear provides standalone binaries for linux and windows to create marker files for earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, and satellites, as well as the markerfiles themselves and a cloud map mirror. His page is at

Steve Jones has written a script to allow xplanet to work with the e17 window manager.

Other stuff

I've created some files at varying resolutions with GMT which you can use with the configuration file option "arc_file": These are contributed marker files.