Planet generator

The planet-map generator shown of this page has been developed in small increments over more than 20 years, so the code is a bit messy. But if you just want to run the program, this shouldn't matter for you.

As of Febrary 2013, a web interface is available. It does not have all the options of the offline version, and (so as to not overburden the server, which I share with many others) the size of maps is limited. But it is easier to use and does not require any installation.

The offline program (which you can download below) runs from a command line, so no fancy GUI. Lots of command-line options, though. A thing to note if you are using both the web tool and the offline program is that seeds in the web tool are integers that get "0." prefixed to then to get the equivalent for seed for the offline version. So, for example, the seed 1111111 in the web tool corresponds to the option "-s 0.1111111" in the offline program.

A few examples of maps generated by the program are shown below. Click on the pictures to see larger versions.

Mollweide projection
Mollweide projection of full planet with 30 gridlines
Stereographic projection
Stereographic projection of detail (with daylight shading)
Mercator projection
Mercator projection of another planet with 15 gridlines
Orthographic projection
Orthographic projection of same
Old-style map (detail) Old-style map (full planet)
Using monochrome colour map (yellow.col), bumpmap and outline to emulate old-style maps. The map on the left is a detail (using Mercator projection) of the planet on the right (which is shown using the square projection).

Download zip file

Last update: March 19 2014.

The zip file contains the source code (in C), a manual and a few other files. You need a C compiler to compile the program.

Download Windows executable

This is compiled with the Tiny C compiler, so no fancy optimisations are applied. You may also want files (e.g. colour maps) from the zip file.

Last update: May 1 2012.

See manual

Last update: March 19 2014.

The manual is a plain text file describing command-line options and instructions for compiling the program.

Conference slides

The slides explain how the maps are generated and compares to other map-generation techniques.


Torben Mogensen
DIKU, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 1, DK-2100 København Ø
E-mail: torbenm@diku.dk Telephone: (+45) 21 84 96 72 Fax: (+45) 35 32 14 01