Natural Earth III
Data for Visualizing Earth from Space

Natural Earth III is raster map data for creating illustrations and animations of our planet with a plausibly realistic appearance. Using the data requires 3D or mapping software. Legibility is a key feature. Compared to photographs of Earth taken from space, Natural Earth III offers brighter colors, fewer clouds over land areas, distinct environmental zones, 3D mountains, and continuous rivers. Other features include:

..Interchangeable data files that align precisely with each other.
..Georeferencing information.
..Seamless edge matching at 180 degrees longitude.
..High resolution: 16,200 x 8,100 pixels (80 arc second).
..Natural Earth III is free and without use restrictions.

Tom Patterson
US National Park Service