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International MODIS/AIRS Processing Package

 MODIS Direct Broadcast Google Earth (DBGE) Software Package v1.2 release     7 December 2009

   Direct Broadcast Google Earth (DBGE) version 1.2 is a software package that uses Terra or Aqua MODIS Level 1B 1km, 500m, 250m and geolocation files as input to create true color imagery in a format which is compatible with the Google Earth geobrowser. To obtain the free Google Earth software, please visit:

This package contains several changes to the original DBGE version 1.1 that was released in January 2009. These changes include:

  • IDL is no longer required to run DBGE. The freely available IDL clone "Fawlty Language" is now used by default to run the IDL portions of the DBGE package (thanks to Lajos Földy for adding HDF4 support to FL). Note that users who have a licensed version of IDL may continue to use it; the DBGE package runs identically under FL or IDL.
  • KML files created by DBGE are now identified by satellite, date, and last update time when displayed in Google Earth (web server is required).
  • The end user can add a logo image to be displayed in Google Earth (web server is required).
  • Reduced the verbosity of log output from process_granule.bash. However, the user can enable verbose output by changing an environment variable in dbge_env.bash or dbge_env.csh.
  • Increased the brightness of the MODIS true color images for better display of dark regions on monitors with a default gamma of 2.2.

DBGE is designed to run on Intel Linux computers (32 bit or 64 bit). The software has been tested on Fedora, CentOS, and Ubuntu Linux systems. The DBGE software should run correctly on an Intel Linux system with 512MB of RAM and 20GB of available disk space.

Level 1B files created by either MODISL1DB or SeaDAS are compatible with DBGE as well as files created at the NASA MODIS LAADS archive.

DBGE reads MODIS Level 1B data and geolocation, and creates tiled MODIS true color images at 250 meter resolution, along with the Keyhole Markup Language (KML) files which allow the imagery to be displayed in Google Earth. To make the MODIS images and KML files viewable on the Internet, you will need a web server where the images and KML files can be stored. It does not have to be the same system where you run DBGE. Any computer which runs a web server (even a Windows computer) may be used to serve the images to Google Earth.

The required input data for DBGE are MODIS Level 1B files in NASA HDF4 format:

  • MODIS Level 1B 1000 meter resolution (MOD021KM/MYD021KM),
  • MODIS Level 1B 500 meter resolution (MOD02HKM/MYD02HKM),
  • MODIS Level 1B 250 meter resolution (MOD02QKM/MYD02QKM),
  • MODIS Level 1B geolocation (MOD03/MYD03).
All four files are required for each granule or overpass of MODIS data you wish to process with DBGE.

For an example of a real-time web page containing 250m true color images along with the option to view them in Google Earth, please see the University of Wisconsin Direct Broadcast MODIS today web page:

For more information on this release, please see the top level README file that accompanies the software.