Description: Elevation Mars is an app that can almost be considered a learning tool, that can help you learn about Mars and the terrain of the red planet. It's almost like Google Earth but for Mars, with a full 3D view of the planet and the capability to pan and zoom to check out every peak and valley of the Martian globe.
How It Works: The Very first thing you'll need to do is download Elevation Mars from the Play Store, once you've done that you can move onto looking over the planet from a full 3D scale rendered view.
As soon as you open up Elevation Mars you'll be asked to start exploring, after which you can start dragging your fingers across the screen to look over every nook and cranny of Mars. All the imagery from one of the color schemes is pulled directly from NASA satellites, and provides the user with a 3D topographical model to look at in extremely high resolution. The elevation exaggeration is a great way to display the high res imagery, as you can take the elevation scale from it's normal state, and modify to as low as -100 or as high as 150, completely changing the landscape of the planet and creating totally new peaks and valleys.
There are tons of various pieces of data you can learn about and study, like landing sites, canyons, and the different craters and mountains all over the planet, totaling over 80 important pieces of data. There are also 1,000 other labeled locations across the surface for you to explore. You can adjust Mars imaginary sea level and watch it flood or drain various parts of the planet while also comparing it to the sea levels on earth.
Elevation Mars provides you with eight different color schemes, including NASA satellite imagery, a yellow dusty array of colors, red layers of colors in the red range, vivid layers with strong colors that provide lots of contrast, and a terra form layer that depicts what the planet and the terrain would look like if Mars was being terraformed, along with a few more color schemes. Once you've picked your color scheme you can create even more interesting images using the color slider bar, which lets you change and alter the color schemes original contrasts for some really vivid looking images.
The app provides direct links to wikipedia through the info window, so in case you want to find out where the first Mars landing was and get more detail than what the app provides, you'll be taken to your devices browser via the link. You can even share your images via Facebook, Email, messages etc. so others can see the high resolution pictures of the various parts of Mars that you've explored.
Opinion: Elevation Mars is a great tool for learning about the terrain of the entire planet, and it can be awesome to create different scenarios like adding water by raising the water level, which ends up getting rendered and generated into the valleys and canyons of the planet's surface. It is definitely a handy tool for those who might be studying Mars in school and has great little tidbits of information thanks to the info window and the direct Wikipedia links. The full 3D navigation and the pinch to zoom makes it easy to explore the planet from all sides.
- Speed (4/5) The app itself opens up rather quickly, but at times it felt like the imagery rendered slower. Overall, Elevation Mars works pretty fast and smooth
- Features (5/5) The app provides plenty of detail through the various types of imagery, and there's much information to learn about various points of the planet. The info panel is great and every inch of the rendered planet's surface will give the user detail on the exact elevation.
- Theme (4/5) Overall the user interface is more minimalist and not too flashy, and while things like that would certainly pretty up the design, the app itself, the 3D modeled imagery and the info windows are detailed and designed very well.
- Overall (4/5) If you're interested in learning about the terrain of Mars and the different elevations throughout the planet, as well as enjoy the different factual information about Mars, there may be no better app to give this stuff to you.
- Beautiful three dimensional imagery in complete detail
- Easy navigation with pinch to zoom and drag to pan around the planet and see Mars from a different view
- Lots of different ways to view the planet through various color schemes
- Image sharing option through social media, email, and messages etc.
- User interface can be a little complex at first, making it potentially off-putting
- Image rendering speed can sometimes take a bit longer than normal
Conclusion: Elevation Mars gives a great level of detail about the surface of the planet, ranging from elevation, names of various locations, wiki info about different landing sites and other factual information, and has an easy to navigate interface that is just fun to play around with. The movement is very precise, so the slightest touch can sometimes cause the 3D model to continue moving which will result in slower image rendering, but this can be overcome with a quick tap on the screen. The app is free of ads and seems to be virtually bug free, which is a giant plus. Overall, Elevation Mars is a great learning tool and application.