Ages ago I created a script to generate a visual representation of the earth from space. Since then it stopped working, but I’m happy to announce that I’ve updated the code and it now works again.
Code and full instructions are available at bitbucket.org/kennethjor/visualearth.
It uses the City Lights and Blue Marble images from NASA, as well as topographical information also from NASA. Semi-live cloud data is downloaded from various sources, and the whole thing is combined in xplanet to get correct sunlight and projection.
It requires Linux or Mac hacking skills. I’m not aware of it working on Windows, but if you make it work let me know!