The GeoVirtual Alpha application is a preliminary test version of the new technology currently being developed. Although still a very simple application, it represents a first step towards the definitive version 3.5 of the GeoVirtual software. As such, it can offer a glimpse of the new technology being developed by the GeoVirtual team.

At this preliminary alpha stage, the current release comprises three separate programs. First, the GeoVirtual Alpha program is a straightforward visualization tool that displays a 3-D representation of the Earth, and allows the user to load .gvp (GeoVirtual project) files that specify lists of datasets to be viewed on the GeoVirtual globe. The GeoVirtual Alpha program will later split into two separate programs: the GeoShow FLY free visualisation program, and the fully-fledged GeoVirtual TEC Creator. The two separate programs will be available as soon as we reach the beta stage of development. At this alpha stage, however, it is still not necessary to make the distinction between the two main programs. A second application that is part of the Alpha suite is the GeoVirtual Importer. This can be loaded directly from the Alpha program through a menu option, but it currently runs as a separate executable file. In the future commercial release it will be fully integrated with the GeoVirtual TEC Creator program. Finally, the third application that makes up the current alpha release is the GeoVirtual Server, which manages access to datasets from remote clients. The Server allows users of the Alpha version to set up .gvp files that contain lists of datasets that are hosted at a remote location where a Server is running. As of version 3.5.0.2 an ActiveX control has been added to the official distribution.

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