Obviously Marble exists already for some time (part of kdeedu-kde4 package?), it is however not untill today that I came across this project after reading about it in a dutch magazine.
At first sight it appears a Google Earth like application, free software, running under Qt4.
Are there users here that have experience with Marble, and if so what is your opinion about it?
It is a well known application within the OpenSuSE community I read, and it can use e.g. Open Street Map data. But also KML (Google) data format is supported.
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.
In opposite to other virtual globes Marble also features multiple projections: Choose between a Flat Map ("Plate carré"), Mercator or the Globe.
The best of all: Marble is Free Software / Open Source Software and promotes the usage of free maps. And it's available for all major operating systems (Linux/Unix, MS Windows and Mac OS X).
A Marble blog: http://kdedevelopers.org/blog/551