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space-nav-sm.jpg SpaceNavigator
Low cost six-axis mouse

The “mouse” tool that I use in conjunction with my mouse and mapping or imaging software is the SpaceNavigator, my regular mouse in one hand and the 3D mouse in the other. The mouse can assist with a number of imaging or 3D applications. The company 3dconnexion (owned by Logitech) sells a relatively low-cost, very high quality, 3D controller called the SpaceNavigator (Personal Edition), that you can get for about $50 (instead of $99 for the pro edition). This increases productivity with programs like Google Earth and Photoshop. The SpaceNavigator PE device is a six-axis controller that you use in conjunction with the mouse and keyboard. It allows for motion of a model in three dimensions, intuitively and without changing from one mode to another (e.g. pan to rotate to zoom) – like all those things that you do with the map controller in the upper right hand corner of Google Earth. It has two buttons that you can configure, and with just a little practice (it’s very intuitive) you can use it to move through and around the model using the mouse and SpaceNavigator PE, skipping the keyboard totally. It works with other 3D applications, like AutoCAD, Rhino and Maya. It will work with Windows, Linux, Unix, and Mac.

Available from Amazon
Manufactured by 3dconnexion

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Copyright © 2006 Drs.Cavanaugh  Last modified: March 06, 2008