Improved lunar details in Guide 7

When a man is tired of the moon, he is tired of life. -- Tony Flanders

I have long been searching for a way to drastically improve the detail of images of the moon generated by Guide 7. The images are currently generated using a 1440 x 720 bitmap on the Guide 7.0 CD-ROM. This results in a resolution of about 7.5 kilometers. If you zoom in beyond this point, you get no increase in details.

There is, however, a much more detailed lunar map available in digital form, providing a rather amazing .5 km/pixel scale. This data comes from Clementine data. The CD-ROM is available for $10 from the National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC). The NSSDC provides a 15-CD series of this data. The only disk you'll need is the final one, "Vol 15", which provides the planetwide .5-km/pixel map in question. Ordering data is available at: 

The data on the CD-ROM is in a rather bizarre format. To make use of it, download this .ZIP file to your Guide directory and unZIP it. Then put the Clementine disk in the CD drive, and run CLEM_BMP.

It will take at least a few minutes to process the data (a progress gauge is provided). The resulting file, PLANET10.QWE, will consume 88 MBytes on your hard drive.

However, once done, you'll be able to zoom in and see truly immense amounts of detail all over the moon. To see this, click here for a "before" image of Clavius, created using the default lunar bitmap supplied with Guide. Compare it to this image of the same region around Clavius made with the new data.

Actually, this example does stack things a little in favor of the new bitmap. The Clementine images were taken at local noon, so areas near the lunar equator are in full sunlight and show little or no relief. Even so, the Clementine data provides immensely more detail than the previous data.

Owners of Volume 15 may also be interested in this Clementine Skimmer software by Alister Ling. This Windows software provides a good way to just put the disk in the drive and browse through images. (Volume 15 does have a built-in browser interface, but Clementine Skimmer makes finding a given area somewhat simpler to do.) Alister's Lunar Calculator program is also on this site.