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- Content .- Fans (11) .- Knowledge Base (1) . 

Marble - Desktop Globe

   0.6 ("Integration")  

KDE Education

Score 87%
Marble - Desktop Globe

Marble - Desktop Globe

Marble - Desktop Globe

Link:  Link
Minimum required   Qt 4.x
Downloads:  19609
Submitted:  Mar 23 2007
Updated:  Aug 16 2008


Release 0.6 of the Marble Desktop Globe.

Source Code / Binary Release

Marble is a Virtual Globe and World Atlas that you can use to learn more about Earth: You can pan and zoom around and you can look up places and roads. A mouse click on a place label will provide the respective Wikipedia article.

Of course it's also possible to measure distances between locations or watch the current cloud cover. Marble offers different thematic maps: A classroom-style topographic map, a satellite view, street map, earth at night and temperature and precipitation maps. All maps include a custom map key, so it can also be used as an educational tool for use in class-rooms. For educational purposes you can also change date and time and watch how the starry sky and the twilight zone on the map change.

For developers Marble is a light weight generic geographical map component for use in a Qt 4.x / C++ application. It is provided as a library, a QWidget and a KDE 4 KPart and hence can easily get integrated with KDE 4 or Qt 4 applications. By default MarbleWidget shows the earth as a sphere but doesn't make use of any hardware acceleration (No OpenGL).

For more information please visit:


Download: Please have a look at:


Current features include:

* Marble uses a minimal free dataset that can be used offline. Currently the total amount of data that is meant to be shipped is about 10 MB.
* Marble doesn't use OpenGL or 3D hardware acceleration. It just uses Arthur as a 2D painting backend. Depending on your hardware and the maps being displayed framerate is approximately 5-20 fps.
* Marble uses vector as well as bitmap data: Currently it uses the MWDB II data combined with SRTM.
* Different Projections: Globe, Flat Map, Mercator
* Marble should start up almost instantly. Currently it "cold" starts fully within 2-5 seconds. On each subsequent start it takes about one second.
* Uses KML-Import to display places (Google Earths open format to store placemarks), Basic GPX support.
* Cities Down to 12000 inhabitants that you can click on using the mouse. Highest Mountains of each continent. Automatic Placemark label placement.
* Several Map Themes: Atlas, Satellite View, OpenStreetMap, Night Map, Temperature and Precipitation Maps.
* Sun Shading, Real-Time Clouds
* Dynamic Coordinate Grid
* Measure Tool
* Basic Wikipedia integration
* Starry Sky Plugins

* And many, many more ...


For a detailed Visual Changelog, please have a look at:


Debian(Debian - Lenny)
Xandros(Marble-Qt for the Asus EeePC)
MS Windows(Marble-Qt for MS Windows)
Mac OS X(Marble-Qt for Mac OS X)
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 WMS support?

 by jofer on: Aug 8 2008
Score 50%

Any chance of adding support for WMS layers? It's an open standard: http://www.opengeospatial.org/standards/wms

This would make marble much more flexible, and I don't think it would be too difficult in implement...

Incidentally, great job! Marble is quite slick and lightweight.

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 Re: WMS support?

 by tackat on: Aug 16 2008
Score 50%

The problem with WMS servers is on one hand that they don't scale very well. On the other hand we want the maps to be very well integrated with the interface (instead of browsing content via a list of WMS server addresses).

That being said we'd be very interested in patches to enable WMS support for our next MARBLE release. Especially with the last changes for OpenStreetMap integration it shouldn't be too difficult to add WMS support to MARBLE. However our development resources are limited. So if someone volunteers to work on it we'd provide help to get up to speed (just visit us on IRC, freenode on channel #kde-edu.

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 by reggler on: Aug 17 2008
Score 50%

HI there,

I compiled and installed marble with cmake -DQTONLY=ON ../marble (from marble-build)
make install (as root)
but i get this error when trying to start marble from the console:
marble: error while loading shared libraries: libmarblewidget.so.6: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
What's wrong?

Thank you!

chEErs roN
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 Re: install

 by tackat on: Aug 17 2008
Score 50%

Marble doesn't find its library.
I guess you installed Marble into /usr/local. So you need to tell the dynamic linker where to find it. This can be done by setting the environment variable LD_LIBRARY_PATH to the correct library:

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARYPATH:/usr/local/lib

You can also add this line to your .bashrc to ensure that it will also be found in the future.

Also please check that no previous Marble version is still installed.

This should already fix the problem.

An alternative way to fix the problem would be to set the CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX to /usr:
Just use


instead of the other cmake command.

Please tell us whether this advice fixed the problem for you and which steps you had to perform to resolve it.

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 offline wiki support?

 by REMF on: Aug 28 2008
Score 50%

What would be truly fantastic would be to allow marble to reference an offline database dump of wiki if no online version is accessible.

are there any plans in the works for this?

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 Re: offline wiki support?

 by tackat on: Aug 28 2008
Score 50%

What would you need to have for that? just a Url? And would a setting in an .rc file be enough to solve your problem? (I only can imagine this to be interesting for people deploying Marble).

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 Re: offline wiki support?

 by daho on: Sep 22 2008
Score 50%

First of all, this is an amazing application and I am full of gratitude towards all the people that make it possible.

Then I want to second REMF's feature request, though I didn't even know that Marble uses Wikipedia data (at least I assume that this is meant with "wiki"). The same also should be possible for the OpenStreetMap data.

As both the Wikipedia and OpenStreetMap dumps can be imported into mysql, I reckon that it would be best to allow access to a local mysql database for these and maybe other data. Other applications (e.g. Navik) need to first export the osm data to another special format before they can use them and this uses a lot of diskspace, memory and cpu cycles, especially if one uses the planet.osm. And this way one could for example use the same mysql data for a local Wikimedia instance to mirror Wikipedia as well as for Marble.

Lastly, here are some things I'd like to see in Marble:
- Support for GPS Navigation (via gpsd?)
- Better searching, right now many smaller places can't be found, although they are available in the OSM data.
- Route planning
- Integration for other applications (plugins?):
-- Digikam could provide marble with geotagged images of locations and show icons on the map which could be enlarged by clicking for example.
-- KDE addressbook can also provide geo data and could be used to show contacts and routes on the map.
-- Kismet can provide wlan ap informations.
-- etc. There are probably many more applications that could interact with Marble and maybe it would be good to offer users an easy way to write own scripts, similar to amarok for example.

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 what would you need that for?

 by REMF on: Aug 31 2008
Score 50%

well marble is looking to introduce wiki support, but not everyone has internet available and wiki do make database dumps available.

just as projects like blue marble make database dumps of map caches, because not everyone wants to be dependent on the internet being available.

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 Re: what would you need that for?

 by tackat on: Sep 3 2008
Score 50%

My question was not "What would you need that for".

But it was "What would you need to have for that (in order to work well for you)? just a Url?"

Of course I see your motivation why you want to have the feature. And we'd be interested in providing it for you. However you need to tell us how you'd like it to work in detail.

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 Re: Re: what would you need that for?

 by REMF on: Sep 4 2008
Score 50%

Apologies for the misunderstanding.

My aim is not so much to increase the level of integration between marble and wiki, (tho that is always nice too), but rather to allow the same wiki functionality even when offline, if the system is aware of wiki dump.

Quite how marble would 'know' there was an offline copy i could not say, perhaps by looking for wikidumpreader when a wiki link is activated from marble when offline.......?

I hope this is useful. :)

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 how to add customed tile

 by yjcn on: Sep 9 2008
Score 50%

guys,thanks for the great job!
here is my question:
i have some Aerial Images,
which is tif+tfw files.
how can i show them in marble?
any clue? just cann't find any doc about it.

Reply to this


 Re: how to add customed tile

 by tackat on: Sep 15 2008
Score 50%

Not easily. We are currently using a global quad-tile set as described in


so from that it might be possible for you to create a map theme that would display the contents of your tiffs.

The only other option would be to wait or provide patches so that Marble supports the KML feature to add images to the globe (which hopefully will be the case soon).

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 by leviathan89 on: Sep 16 2008
Score 50%

An inferior Google Earth knock off. This a giant leap forward for the linux community.

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 Re: Hurray

 by OpenAugusto on: Oct 18 2008
Score 50%
None by the moment
Luis Augusto Fretes Cuevas 1

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Google earth is available for Linux too...

You aren't exactly informed it seems, Marble it's awesome anyway, congrats for the developers.

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