I have been occasionally frustrated by photospheres as they're implemented on Facebook, because (at the time of writing) you can't rotate past the poles, and the equations governing the rotations become singular there, leading to rapid spinning. I thought it'd be interesting to add a photosphere option to three_d.js, since I have the rotations working as I want them here. It's a bit of a kludge – photospheres don't really belong in amongst graphs, and there are a few new parameters I wrote specifically for this use case – but I like the results.
It may take a second or two to load the image, which on this page comes from one of NASA's pictures of Earth, compiled from observations by MODIS. Since the camera is at the centre, it shows the Earth as if it were concave.
Mouse controls: Left-click and drag to rotate; scroll or shift-click-drag to zoom. Touch screen controls: one finger to rotate; pinch to zoom. I have disabled panning so that the camera stays at the centre of the sphere.
You can see how the "plot" is constructed in the HTML source.
photosphere_image(URL or base-64-encoded string), which is assumed to be in equirectangular form: width twice the height (I use 4096×2048 in this example), the width covering longitude, the height latitude. There does not need to be any metadata associated with the image to be used on the photosphere (as is the case on Facebook, for example).
camera_ris set to zero.
rotate_less_with_zoomis set to
reverse_rotationis set to
While not used here, there is also an available parameter
photosphere_inverted to make it a normal, outward-facing
photosphere_origin to locate it somewhere else. So you could have the Earth just floating off to the side
of a regular scatter plot, if you wanted.