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31 de Marzo 2006

Google Releases Very High Resolution Imagery for Las Vegas

Today Google released some very high resolution (3 inches/pixel) imagery for a part of Las Vegas. You can see an example here of the Luxor Hotel (a pyramid with mirrored windows). If you visit the Luxor Hotel in Google Earth, and lower yourself (or zoom) to see in detail, you can easily read advertisements on the side of the building, see cars reflected in the windows, and if you look around the area you can not only make out car types, but can even see people (and their shadows).

An airport is also captured in the high resolution section, and you can easily make out plane types and see the support equipment around the airport. You can see the Paris Hotel's Eiffel Tower replica in great detail as well. An awesome area to explore. Here's the announcement from Google. According to the post, the Las Vegas imagery was taken very recently (March, 2006). In addition, they put back some islands around Thailand which were accidentally removed in the 23-March update. Google didn't give any reason for why they released this new high res imagery for Las Vegas. Maybe they are taking a gamble?

Read about the bigger data update made 23-March-2006.

Check out the new real-time Global Cloud Map overlayed onto Google Earth making it look like the real Earth from space.

Also, you may find the story about the world's largest Apple iPod ad interesting.

Enviado por FrankTaylor at 7:56 PM | Comentarios (20)

Google Earth for VW Car Navigation Demo

Last week CNET, one of my favorite online technology information resources, released a video review of Volkswagen's technology demonstration of a navigation system which uses a custom version of Google Earth with a touch screen interface. You can watch the video review here. The demonstration shows some pretty nice features including touch screen manipulation of panning, stored routes, the classic GE "fly to" mode, and searching for restaurants with description bubbles. The VW demonstration technology was first publicly demonstrated during the Google's CES Keynote last January.

Enviado por FrankTaylor at 9:33 AM | Comentarios (0)

30 de Marzo 2006

Database Update More Extensive Than Previously Thought

The database update made on 23-March was more extensive than previously thought. Unsure why Google would not tell us about the full extent of the update. It's possible some of the changes were satellite photos which were aligned improperly. In the future, I hope Google will document the extent of database updates more thoroughly. The reason the changes were discovered is due to the extensive list of placemarks for planes in flight. 'Cyclonic' is the GEC member who found these new changes, and who is now maintaining the planes in flight database. In reviewing the data, he documented over 20 locations not previously discovered which were changed. The new list mostly contains small areas of update to areas already in high resolution, and apparently many African capitals. See the complete list of updates here.

Enviado por FrankTaylor at 9:05 AM | Comentarios (1)

29 de Marzo 2006

Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race in Google Earth

Following in the wake of the Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race, the Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race will allow those using Google Earth to follow their race. The race starts in a little less than two days (at 0150 GMT on 01APR2006). You can read about the Goolge Earth feed (or network link) for the race here, or you can download the network link now and be ready for the race when it starts. You will be able to see each of the race boats, its position, and possibly other information such as speed, distance to finish, or distance to the leader. A red rhumb line will be shown giving the shortest distance route from start to finish.

Enviado por FrankTaylor at 11:11 PM | Comentarios (0)

28 de Marzo 2006

Sking Alta Shown in Google Earth

My family and I are taking a vacation in Utah for Spring Break. Today we went skiing at Alta - which has a well-deserved reputation of awesome powder. There was a 162 inch base, and we experienced 3 or 4 new inches while we were skiing. Naturally, I took a GPS along while skiing, and have generated a 3D track colorized by altitude and overlayed in Google Earth. It turns out Alta has pretty good high resolution data, although it's a summer-time satellite photo, not winter. Check it out!

Used a Garmin 60Cx GPS and GPSVisualizer.com to do the track for Google Earth. Don't be surprised if my articles this week are a little less predictable than normal.

Enviado por FrankTaylor at 7:48 PM | Comentarios (3)

27 de Marzo 2006

Apple iPod Ad in Google Earth?

Got an E-mail over the weekend from a Rich Boakes to check out his blog entry about his discovery of a new ad campaign by Apple. Apparently, according to Rich, Apple has built a 1.4 km tall picture of an iPod viewable from space (as seen from Google Earth). You can see the iPod in Google Earth here. According to the blog the ad campaign starts next month.

This is just amazing! We have already heard of people planning to go into the business of doing roof-top and crop advertising. But, it had been noted the business will be a hard sell, since many of the photos in GE are two to four years old. So, if you put up your ad now, it may (or may not) be seen for two to four years (or more). Since Apple first released the iPod in 2002, I guess its possible they built this ad back then. And, although Google Earth wasn't even a twinkle in Larry Page's eye in 2002, Apple does have an amazing marketing reputation. Although, one has to wonder about previous mis-interpretations of satellite photos like the supposed Flying Car in Australia, or the face on Mars.

I just don't know, could this really be an iPod ad? It sure looks like one. Nice find Rick! We'll be waiting this Saturday to see if the ad campaign starts as promised.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 9:06 AM | Comments (9)

Enhanced Avian Flu Outbreak Tracker

The work by Nature Magazine Senior Editor Declan Butler to share Avian Flu Outbreak data using Goolge Earth was enhanced this weekend. Declan has announced a network link which will automatically reflect his weekly updates. The underlying data is now based on ESRI's ArcGIS software, and converted for Google Earth using Arc2Earth. For reference, Declan has provided an excellent (and quite colorful) poultry density map for the world to show the relation of cases reported to the population of poultry. And finally, you can visit the web page he has created which provides the link to the network link and also provides background information on the data. This new version replaces the version previously reported.

One thing the new data makes apparent is that the avian flu continues to spread. If you open the folders you can turn on the placemarks for each year since the flu was first reported. Someday Google Earth will have a feature allowing you to automatically reflect the time spread of data. For now, you'll have to click the folders for each year on and off. The new Avian Flu tracker lets you easily distinguish between bird and human cases as well. This is an excellent example of using GIS data and visualizing it with GE. The authors of Arc2Earth have recently released a new walkthrough guide on how to convert GIS data for use with GE.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 1:30 AM | Comments (0)

26 de Marzo 2006

3D - Panama Canal, Leaning Tower of Pisa, and more

The proliferation of human civilization's contribution to the 3D surface of the Earth continues in the virtual world. That's right we are getting more 3D buildings. GE's widespread adoption as a free and easy way to experience geospatial data, combined with 3D modeling and conversion tools supporting GE's formats, means we continue to see more of Google Earth represent reality.

Here's a collection of the new models I liked the most at the Google Earth Community 3D model forum:

  • Panama Canal Control Tower (633 KBytes) - posted by 'jpwade'. This model blends well with the GE 3D terrain. Make sure the "Terrain" layer is turned on, and Elevation Exaggeration is 1.0, when loading this model. He's added two ships, and other buildings.
  • Peregrine Winery - Queenstown, NZ. This winery's building has been getting international attention and recently was named one of five winners of a prestigious architectural award from London. Posted by 'pivnice'.
  • Croix de Provence - Near Aix-en-Provence, France. A cross on a mountain, beautiful view. You may have to raise altitude a bit after loading. Make sure "Terrain" layer is on. Posted by 'Lexoulefou' .
  • Ski Dubai - A huge snow ski resort in the desert has been built in Dubai. Read the post for pictures and details. Posted by 'pivnice'.
  • Leaning tower of Pisa - this link is just to the post by 'pivnice' The models he's posted for the Leaning tower are preliminary and are very large (2.7MB and larger). He has both a leaning and a non-leaning version of the building in very high detail. However, I found they really tax GE unless you have a lot of video and computer memory. Maybe he'll post smaller versions soon.

For many more 3D models, read the stories in the 3D Models category here.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 9:48 AM | Comments (2)

25 de Marzo 2006

French Watercolors in Google Earth

For those who regularly read the Google Earth Community (GEC) forums, we often take note when someone writes a good first post. Normally someone will post something silly like a placemark to their house, but sometimes there is an exception. A couple of days ago someone called 'zab_paris' (She signs her post Elisabeth) posted one of the best starting collections of placemarks I've seen. Her Google Earth file shows the locations and pictures of some of the 150 water color paintings she has painted since 1991. Most of the paintings were done in France. Not only is the concept inspiring, but her paintings are excellent. Many of the regulars at the GEC have taken note and lauded her for her work. Make sure you have a look. Great work Elisabeth (and I mean both the art and the placemarks)!

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 10:03 AM | Comments (1)

24 de Marzo 2006

Maldives Island Group in High Res

Part of the new Google Earth data update made last night, are a few excellent high resolution satellite photos of the islands around the Maldives. The Maldives are located southwest of India and look like a great vacation location. Three planes in flight have already been discovered in the area, and a nice "little" sailboat next to a real island paradise (as seen in the screenshot) . There are many high res islands to look at, and you can see many other sailboats enjoying the area. Check out the islands and see the placemarks for the planes and sailboat for yourself.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 9:28 AM | Comments (5)

23 de Marzo 2006

New Data Update in Google Earth!

[EDITED: 30-Mar 2006 at 07:00 EST] It's now official! Google released new satellite/aerial photo data for Google Earth on 23-Mar-2006. Here's a summary of the updates found so far:

30-Mar - More data was updated than previously thought Thanks to the efforts of 'Cyclonic' at the Google Earth Community, who is maintaining the database of all planes found in flight, numerous other locations updated in the 23-Mar update have been found. Places where planes were previously found were missing, which indicated the change in data. Most of the changes were small alterations to areas already in high-resolution, some cities are new though. Here's the list from 'Cyclonic's post:

  • Tempe, AZ
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Sedona, AZ
  • Watsonville, CA
  • Byron, CA
  • Venice, FL
  • St Cloud, FL
  • E of Pittsburgh, PA
  • S of Boulder City, CO
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Montreal, CAN
  • Toronto, CAN
  • Gifu Airport, Japan
  • Mountain Home AFB, ID
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • S of Hyderabad, India
  • Damascus, Syria
  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • Oson, SKorea
  • Incheon, SKorea
  • Many African Capitals

Here's list of known updates shortly after the announcement:

  • This new data is not in Google Local/Maps yet. - But, Google says it will be later.
  • The basemap for the whole Earth has been changed to another source called TrueEarth. This new data looks better than the old one. Look at all the continents more closely. The colors are much more vibrant and green. (Read one of the comments below which explains more about the TrueEarth data)
  • Most of Germany is now in high resolution
  • Some minor fixes to old data
  • It also appears many Tropical Islands are in higher resolution than before, this includes French Polynesia, some in the Caribbean and the Azores.
  • Even many of the Atolls in the Pacific Islands around French Polynesia are much sharper.
  • The beautiful shallow turquoise waters around the Bahamas have been put back
  • More of the islands in the Caribbean are in higher resolution (previously just fuzzy blotches) - e.g. some of the Grenadines.
  • New high resolution photos for parts of the Maldives Island group. I found this cool seaplane flying there. Here's a blog entry about the new Maldives photos.
  • I'm getting reports of other random changes. For example the photo in Taiwan of the Taipei 101 tower shows it under construction now, whereas before it was finished (so an older photo now). Check out the 3D model of Taipei Tower if you want to really see it finished.

Here's the official announcement from Google (which doesn't include all the details above).

Check out the Sightseeing, 3D Models, and Flying categories for places to see in Google Earth.

Thanks for visiting Google Earth Blog - stories on the best things being done with Google Earth and the latest news are reported daily. Here's an RSS Feed.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 10:47 PM | Comments (107)

Flyagogo - A Pilot Google Maps Mashup (with GE tie-in)

Those of you who regularly read GEB know I'm very much into flying-related Google Earth use. I was just contacted by a guy named Leif who has recently released an excellent Google Maps mashup called Flyagogo.net designed for pilots. Even if you aren't a pilot you might enjoy playing around with it a bit. The mashup shows sectional/terminal maps (pilot visual guide maps), infared and visual satellite weather views, Google Maps' satellite/aerial photos, and NEXRAD radar weather. The interface even allows you to simply put in a flight route (e.g. "ATL-BKV-MIA"). Right now, his Google Earth integration is limited to letting you fly to an airport view. For example, if you enter "Apt:MIA" you will see the small GE logo icon (like I use here at this site) next to the name "Miami International" and if you click on it you will fly to the airport in Google Earth.

Lief has offered to take suggestions for better integration with GE. So, you can be sure he'll get a bunch of ideas from GEB's author. Obvious features will be to add a KML output when you enter a flight route and show the path in GE. Adding placemarks which allow you to bring up the METAR (weather) info, airport information, and even putting the weather data as overlays would be obvious next steps. If you are a pilot, definitely give Flyagogo a try!

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 5:21 PM | Comments (1)

Real-Time Sensor Net in Google Earth

Declan Butler, a senior editor at Nature magazine and author of the excellent Avian Flu Google Earth map, has recently told us that the latest issue of Nature includes several interesting technology stories with the title of the issue called "2020 Vision". The stories in the issue are available online for free thanks to a sponsorship with Microsoft whose 2020 Report formed the basis of this issue. Declan wrote an excellent story about the future of sensor networks, or sensor webs as he likes to call them entitled: "2020 computing, Everything everwhere". Make sure you read Declan's blog entry which includes links to all the stories in the issue. Also of note, Alan Glennon at the University of California at Santa Barbara wrote his thoughts on Declan's article. Having worked at NASA, I appreciated Alan's point that pervasive sensor networks will result in massive ignored data problems.

"Sensors and sensor networks provide coordinated, simultaneous, multi-modal observations of small-scale temporal and spatial ecosystem processes", according to CENS. Viewing of spatial information is GE's forte. Declan Butler pointed out that Brian McClendon, who is the director of Engineering for Google Earth, told him about an example of a real-time sensor network already showing its results in GE right now. The network was put in place by University of California students at the James Reserve - a protected wilderness area to the east of San Jacinto, California.

The James Reserve sensor network project includes sensors for measuring the climate/microclimate, towers for sensors, bird nests with video cameras, bird feeders, plant monitors, and more. You can download the James Reserve network link now and see the variety of information available. This is an excellent beginning to their GE data and includes 3D models of towers and other databoxes, placemarks, and links showing the network layout. Click on the towers, bird nests, or other sensor placemarks to see more information. Some of the placemarks pull up a variety of graphs and data showing measurements for that sensor location. Others have web cam photos, and a few even have links to a web site where you can take control of the camera. The UC students have a GIS database which shows the locations of all the sensors, this aided their development of the Google Earth data.

The James Reserve web site indicates they plan to release tutorials and video demos soon. Here's a link to more information about the James Reserve which can only be visited by applying for permission from the University of California.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 8:00 AM | Comments (2)

22 de Marzo 2006

Sightseeing Roundup

Haven't seen anything interesting in Google Earth lately? Try some of the placemarks below. These locations came from the blog at Googlesightseeing.com. With Google Earth you can get a good perspective on these interesting sites. GoogleSightseeing.com does an excellent job of picking interesting sites and usually present some relevant background material. Here'a quick summary of my favorites from the last week or so:

  • Miniature UK in Google Earth Miniature UK - This is a floating weathermap created by a local weatherman to make his weather presentations. Crowds would try to distract him hoping he would fall in while moving around the islands. Read more.

  • Giraffes at LA Zoo - here you can clearly see the shadows of two giraffe at the LA Zoo. Posted at the GEC by 'pkoetters'.

  • Train bridge shadow in Google Earth Bridge Shadow - This is a satellite view of the Lethbridge Viaduct near Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. It is a train bridge which spans a river valley. The low-angle sun produces an elongated shadow on the valley below. Very cool shot. Read more.

  • Abbey Road album cover Abbey Road crossing - This is the pedestrian crossing in the UK made famous by the Beatle's Abbey Road style= album. Check out the web cam showing a nearby Abbey Crossing. Read more.

Check out the above GE files to see these places yourself. Or, go check out many more places at GEB's Sightseeting Category.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 3:26 PM | Comments (0)

Business and Google Earth in Information Week

Information Week has just published a story called "Google Earth Catches on in the Business World". This story starts off by pointing out how Google really is taking over the Earth. "Search for 'Earth' on Yahoo and the first result you get is--Google Earth." There's a mention of Bentley's Microstation CAD software now supporting GE, and several other businesses supporting or using GE. This was the first time I'd heard that "Dell uses Google Earth to track business customers' equipment in Asia as part of its inventory management system." It then goes on to talk about the rapid evolution of the many applications and businesses supporting GE, and the diverse uses people are making of it. Definitely worth a read.

Google Earth Blog regulary writes about business applications of Google Earth. Check out the Business Category for many other interesting business-related stories.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 8:41 AM | Comments (0)

Google Earth Visual Guides

(click for bigger images)

Noel Jenkins recently contacted me about an addition to his blog Digital Geography which provides excellent visual guides for basic and advanced Google Earth use. You can look at the images provided here, or you can download the DOC files at his site, which will let you print the visual guides out. He thought these guides would be useful for those using Google Earth in the classroom. But, I think anyone will find these useful if they are new to GE or, if they want to learn more about it. This gets added to Google Earth Basics.

Noel also produces the excellent Juicy Geography web site which provides excellent lesson ideas for using Google Earth in the classroom.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 7:09 AM | Comments (3)

21 de Marzo 2006

European Speed Cameras in Google Earth

Those of you living and driving in Europe are probably quite familiar with Speed Cameras (speedcams) used by the police to catch speeders. Lately I've been reading more about databases you can buy for GPS units which have the locations of speedcams, so you can be warned to slow down in advance. It's only natural to find out one of the first things someone did with Google Earth last summer was to start collecting speedcam data for use with Google Earth. The main post was by someone called 'cybarber' from the Netherlands - you can download the collection of European speedcam placemarks here (which was last updated in December). Don't turn on the main folder or you will get the entire collection (a large amount of placemarks). Instead, open the subfolders and choose which country you want to view. The placemarks are categorized by traffic sign (50km, 70km, etc.). You should probably turn on the "Roads" layer to enhance your information. This speedcams collection happens to be one of the most downloaded files at the Google Earth Community - I wonder why?

The speedcams collection is yet another tool to help you do your route planning. Use the GE search to get directions, then use tools like Earthbooker for hotels, World Heritage Site locations, and if you're taking your GPS you'll want to know about Geocaches.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 1:54 PM | Comments (2)

A Few 3D Buildings for Bemidji, Seoul, Torino, and Moscow

Here's a new collection of 3D buildings. The largest collection here is for Bemidji, Minnesota, USA where someone has converted over 50 structures from a GIS database, then used SketchUp to make them look better for Google Earth. Also here is the just announced building in Moscow proposed to be the tallest in Europe. Here's the collection:

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 7:17 AM | Comments (2)

20 de Marzo 2006

Track "Amazing Race" TV Show in Google Earth

Some enthusiasts for TV shows and movies enjoy identifying the locations where scenes in the shows are made. Some shows are almost made for being followed on maps. Among these, the "Amazing Race" from CBS is a particularly good example. The show focuses on teams given physical and mental challenges as they travel around the world. Several fans of the show have been documenting the locations filmed in each episode and placemarking them in Google Earth.

The most recent season is Amazing Race 9, and you can already find the locations for the first three episodes in this thread at the Google Earth Community. Included in the posts are screenshots from the show. Here are the collection of placemarks from Episode 1 , Episode 2 , and Episode 3 . Threads for previous seasons (with placemarks) can be found here: Amazing Race 8, Amazing Race 7, Amazing Race 6

GEB has reported about movie locations shown in Google Earth, for example a guide to locations where "Lord of the Rings" was filmed in New Zealand, or other movie locations. The best TV mapping application I've seen to date is called the "Jack Tracker" (Google Maps mashup) for following all the details in the popular TV show "24" (via GoogleMapsMania)

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 7:35 AM | Comments (1)

18 de Marzo 2006

Tutoriales para Google Earth

Para ver una excelente colección de videos tutoriales sobre Google Earth les recomiendo esta colección creada por Richard Treves. Son videos Quicktime (compatibles con podcast) con audio, que muestran cómo hacer cosas básicas con Google Earth incluyendo: "Volando con GE", "Utilizando Marcas de Posición", "Consejos GE", "Superposición de Imágenes", etc. Richard tiene una agradable voz con acento británico (están en inglés), con pistas visuales claras y mucha paciencia para explicar paso a paso cómo sacarle jugo a Google Earth. Estoy agregando esta colección a mi colección Google Earth Básico. Parece que Richard estará agregando cosas a su colección cada semana, durante las próximas 10, aproximadamente.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 9:39 AM | Comments (3)

Football Stadiums Update (4500)

[NOTE: the Football Stadiums collection was deleted by its poster, but I have found you can still download it at Google Earth Hacks.]

Last summer I first wrote about a fan-collected database of information provided in the form of placemarks for Google Earth which showed 1650+ football (aka Soccer) stadiums from around the world. Since then, they have greatly improved not only the quantity (now 4500+), but also the quality of information on football teams and stadiums. Since the FIFA World Cup 2006 will be held this June in Germany, football fans are already getting excited. You can download the collection from Google Earth Hacks, and you can view the thread of discussions at the GEC here.

The information is organized by leagues, by countries, and teams. Placemarks use the flag of the country for their icons, and the placemarks may contain photos of the stadium, logos of the teams/league, and links to information about the stadium and/or teams. For those stadiums located in big cities, you will often find high resolution photos in Google Earth of the stadiums. By the way, when I last reported the file had been downloaded 9000 times, now it's been downloaded over 25,000 times. This is still the largest fan-collected GE information I've seen. There must be a few football fans out there.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 7:59 AM | Comments (1)

17 de Marzo 2006

Sierra Club Shows Public Land Sale Proposal in Google Earth

The Sierra Club has created a Google Earth file providing information about a proposed plan by the US government to sell 800,000 acres of its own public lands to fund a program. While the program may be important (funding for schools), I don't think I'm the only US citizen who thinks selling our public lands is the way to fund government programs. Especially when you view the number of parcels and exact locations of the proposed lands in the satellite and aerial photos of Google Earth. Most of the proposed parcels of land fall within National Forests and are pristine areas with primeval forests with mountainous terrain and untold amounts of wildlife and other plants and organisms important to our environment. See for yourself, load this Sierra Club GE file and you can easily see the extent and type of land we would be giving up. There's no better way to see what this land sale proposal consists of other than driving out to see the lands yourself.

The public comment period on the proposal is open through March 30. If you are like me, a US citizen and against this proposal, then take action now. There are more details on the proposed sale at the Sierra Club here. This also includes a place to sign a petition. The file shows the congressional representatives and the number of acres proposed in their districts. You should also contact your congressional representative about your lands.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 8:58 AM | Comments (4)

16 de Marzo 2006

ZNO 3D Buildings NOT Built with SketchUp

According to a comment to my blog entry earlier today about the proliferation of new 3D models for Google Earth, the guys at ZNO are NOT using SketchUp. ZNO has published over a dozen nice 3D models of unique building architecture around the world in recent weeks. Apparently they prefer to use an architectural-oriented CAD program called ArchiCAD by GraphiSoft (which has it's own plugin for outputting KML in beta). Read the comment posted by ZNO for their views. ArchiCAD's starter edition costs US$1500 at one distributor I checked, and a team (multiuser) edition costs US$4000. Not for your general user I don't think. Interestingly, ArchiCAD actually provides a supported integration with SketchUp as well.

Given that the ZNO blog is published by an architectural firrm (based in New Zealand), it's not surprising they would favor an application they are familiar with, and find useful for their work. However, I think many more non-professional 3D model developers are going to start developing their own 3D models with wide-spread dissemination of easy to use software like SketchUp. Especially if Google does something "crazy" like release a free version of SketchUp or even incorporates some of its basic modelling tools as an add-on module to a future version of Google Earth.

It's funny, but just from looking at the models from ZNO and comparing them to the many SketchUp models out there, I had thought the ZNO ones were produced by SketchUp. I guess that's why they wanted to clarify things.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 2:43 PM | Comments (1)

Mini-News Roundup

Trying to catchup with a backlog, here's some mini-writeups of news related to Google Earth:

  • Bentley's Microstation software supports Google Earth - Microstation is used by serious architects and engineers for building construction. Read more at Directions Magazine or OgleEarth
  • Geobloggers is dead - The Geoblogger site had my favorite mashup for Flickr photos, and had a network link to let you view georeferenced photos. The maker of Geoblogger got a job working for Yahoo/Flickr, and now says the project is dead. But, he promises good things will come from it.
  • GPSVisualizer adds new map overlay creator - partially in response to my article here, Adam creates a network link which allows you to overlay a choice of different maps or satellite photos based on your current view. See review at OgleEarth.
  • Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) - while we're on the topic of topomaps, another web site which provides an interface for topo maps including topo maps for Australia, Canada, New Zealand. GBIF also provides a number of other interesting data sources and allows you to annotate your own information.
  • How to discover craters with Google Earth - Slashdot wrote a story about a GE user who after seeing the Kebeira Crater story went looking and found some other craters which were subsequently verified by other geologists. He got lots of subsequent news coverage. Apparently the story I wrote the same day as the big discovery on a new crater near the North Pole didn't get picked up by the media.
  • Arc2Earth was officially announced a couple days ago - Arc2Earth allows ESRI GIS developers to convert data for use in GE. Already reported here two weeks earlier.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 8:19 AM | Comments (0)

3D Models Proliferate for Google Earth

One thing you can expect to see a lot more of, now that Google purchased SketchUp (a popular 3D modeling package which will probably become the most popular in the world now), is a surge in the number of 3D models in Google Earth. If Google will release a new version of GE that supports texture mapping (which allows you to put photo textures onto sides of 3D models), you would have even more realistic looking models. Maybe the next release will have this. Anyway, here's a list of just a few of the best new 3D models for GE published in the last week:

For all the 3D models blogged here, read the 3D Models Category.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 7:29 AM | Comments (4)

15 de Marzo 2006

Get Your Google Earth T-shirt Now

Google Earth tshirtYou can now buy your very own cool Google Earth T-shirt at the Google Store. From the photo it says "4.7 Billion Years" - picture of Earth - "Still in Beta?". Better, hurry, they may not last long! (I've already got one, they're very geeky!)

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 10:37 AM | Comments (1)

GlobalFlyer Attempting Third World Record

Global Flyer in Google EarthSteve Fossett launched from Salina, Kansas, for the third major record attempt in the GlobalFlyer yesterday morning. This time Steve is attempting to set the closed circuit distance record around the world. Someone forwarded me a new network link for watching Global Flyer's track as it makes the attempt in real-time. It includes a GlobalFlyer icon, which currently shows him flying over Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

This network link is being provided by Blue Sky Networks, a sponsor for GlobalFlyer. The network link was developed by Metal Toad Media.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 8:35 AM | Comments (1)

14 de Marzo 2006

Google Just Bought Makers of SketchUp

Sketchup acquired by GoogleOn Google's Official Blog they have announced they have acquired @ Last Software, makers of the popular 3D program SketchUp which has been the favorite for creating 3D models for Google Earth.

The Google Earth team has worked closely with the makers of Sketchup for at least the last year. Their product was the first to support 3D model conversion to the Google Earth format. Many people have created 3D models seen here using the tool. Here's a blog entry showing their office location in Boulder, Colorado. According to the Official Blog story they are still working in their usual office, they are just working for Google now. They say they won't be moving because: "Once they saw Tom W and me descend on the free food at the Googleplex cafeteria (picture locusts on a Kansas wheat field) they knew they had to keep us in Boulder. We aren't going anywhere."

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 11:01 AM | Comments (1)

Google Earth E-mail Signature

Signature File Using Google EarthThis is an interesting idea: Add an additional link to your E-mail signature which contains a Google Earth signature "card". The "GECard" is a placemark showing your business (home, hobby, or whatever) location, and the description includes the typical details you would include in a signature file. A GEB reader named Reynald Passerini wrote me that he had created a "GE Card generator" (it's in French). By filling out a simple form, you create a GE KML file with your signature automatically. As an example, here is the signature he sent in his message.

There's no reason why you couldn't have a more extensive signature KML file which contains all kinds of information. If you have a business you could contain information and pictures about your products with links to more information. You could have other placemarks showing where your products are made, where your products are being used, or customer endorsements. For your personal signature you could create placemarks related to your favorite hobbies, favorite Google Earth files, the possibilities are endless. What a great idea!

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 8:47 AM | Comments (10)

13 de Marzo 2006

User Develops Mars Add-on for Google Earth

Mars in Google EarthSince there is a lot of interest in Mars at the moment, we should turn to the many innovative users of Google Earth for help. So, let's look at Mars in Google Earth right now!

Last summer, someone called 'rottenapple' at the Google Earth Community (GEC) announced a Mars overlay with placemarks for Google Earth. You can load his Mars map with labels (v1.1) (4.5 Mbytes) and look at Mars now. Included is a high-resolution satellite photo of the entire surface of mars. In addition, are many placemarks showing the significant landmarks on Mars. Note: you may want to turn off "Atmosphere" in GE's "Tools->Options" menu choice.

When Google re-releases their Mars database for Google Earth (see this) it will have even more data. Instead, you will have a 3D terrain model of Mars (just like we have now for the Earth). And, there will be layers for the various types of information available about Mars. Also, I presume users will add their own placemarks to make viewing it even more informative. With Mars coming soon, it can't be long before Google releases the Moon in 3D for GE.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 8:58 AM | Comments (4)

Coming Soon - Google Mars for Google Earth in 3D

Google Mars in Google EarthGoogle just last night released a Maps version of Google Mars. You can choose between Elevation, Visible, and Infared versions of the map which shows high resolution photos of the surface of Mars. And, if you click on the links at the top you will get layers of waypoints showing places of interest on Mars. Clicking on the waypoints gives you more details.

What some of you may not know is that the Google Earth client in an earlier life (before Google bought Keyhole), used to have a Mars database you could browse. According to the new FAQ for the Google Mars map:

4. Can I see the Mars data using the Google Earth client?

Not yet, but we're working on it. To whet your appetite, you can check out this 3-D fly-through movie of Valles Marineris made using this data.

In fact, there is already a Mars forum at the Google Earth Community which comes from the old Keyhole version of the Mars database. I suspect the new version will have even better data. Given they are mentioning the Valles Marineris movie, we have to assume the database will have a 3D terrain layer and we'll be able to fly through the canyon ourselves!

Oh yeah, and don't forget to check out Google Moon (and make sure you zoom all the way in).

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 7:51 AM | Comments (2)

11 de Marzo 2006

USGS Virtual Tour of Hayward Fault in California

USGS Hayward Fault in Google EarthThe USGS has put together a Google Earth presentation allowing you to easily take a virtual helicopter ride along the Hayward Fault. The Hayward Fault is a geological formation, less well known than the San Andreas Fault, located in the range parallelling the southeast side of San Francisco Bay, California. The USGS team was looking for a way "to provide data to the public in a way that's interesting" said Luke Blair, geographical information manager for the USGS earthquake hazard team. ``We're very excited about this.'' The Hayward Fault Google Earth file contains the path of the Hayward Fault with annotations highlighting the critical areas of the fault. It also has photos showing pictures of streets and buildings that are effected already by the average one-fifth of an inch creep north each year. Pictures of curbs that don't match, cracks in streets, etc. Once you open the GE file, click on the "Hayward Fault Virtual Helicopter Tour" placemark (open the folders), and then select "View->Play Tour" or hit F10 to fly along the fault. Click on the camera icons to see the photos.

The fault line goes through many dense residential areas, and right through the middle of a football stadium (shown occupied in the aerial photo shown in Google Earth). I'm not sure I would be happy about this presentation from a real estate point of view if I owned property there. But, its certainly of benefit to those looking to buy. The geologists were quoted in the news stories (see below) that the fault is "cocked and ready", but it may take 70 or more years before the next major quake in this fault.

Read more from this article at the Enterprise Record. This story was also picked up by the San Francisco Chronicle. Via OgleEarth. This is a well done Google Earth presentation, and I highly recommend it.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 12:25 PM | Comments (0)

US Medal of Honor Recipients - 1900-present

US Medals of Honor in Google Earth

The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States. It is awarded "for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty, in actual combat against an armed enemy force."

This collection has been expanded since I wrote about it last month to include the recipients of the US Medal of Honor from the major campaigns since 1900. The plan is to include all 3000+ recipients over the course of the next few months. The collection shows the placemarks of the birthplaces of each winner and the descriptions show date of birth, rank, organization, location of deed, and the citation. Photos are also available. The collection was developed by 'Up_The_Spurs' from the Google Earth Community who also did the recipients of the Victoria Cross.

The collection doesn't show fancy photos, or 3D models, but each and every placemark contains a hero.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 9:10 AM | Comments (0)

10 de Marzo 2006

Robots Attack New York City

ZNO vs R4 robots in NYC in Google EarthLast week someone called 'robotguy4' at the Google Earth Community (GEC) published a 3D model of a red robot attacking Google Earth as an experiment with SketchUp (a 3D software modelling product which supports output to GE). They placed their 3D robot in the middle of New York City, but it's best looked at with GE's built-in 3D buildings turned on.

The guys at the ZNO blog, who have done a number of 3D models for GE lately, just couldn't let it stand, so they brought in their own robot (rather like a Star Wars Imperial Walker) to take out "any red robot that tries to attack any civillians".

Make sure you load the two GE files above, and turn on the building layers for the full effect. A close-up zoom between the two robots will show a detailed missle is headed toward the red robot complete with a "ZNO" logo. A pretty funny show, and good stuff for the weekend.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 3:32 PM | Comments (2)

Melbourne Commonwealth Games 2006 in Google Earth

Melbourne 2006 Commonewealth Games in Google EarthThe Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games start with Opening Ceremonies on March 15. An Andrew Harris has published on his blog a Google Earth map of some of the venues and includes some paths showing the routes of some of the races. The Melbourne, Australia area has some pretty high resolution satellite photos, so it's worth checking out if you have plans to visit. Andrew says this is his first Google Earth file, and I think this is an excellent first product. Interestingly, there doesn't appear to be any maps at the official web site (a security step perhaps?). Thanks to Mike at GoogleMapsMania for bringing this to my attention.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 8:48 AM | Comments (1)

9 de Marzo 2006

Buenos Aires in 3D with Street Maps

Buenos Aires in 3D in Google EarthA Google Earth Community member called 'ezegalottiarg25' just announced he has released a new map of Buenos Aires which includes 3D buildings, street maps and even subway maps. You can download Buenos Aires here .

Here is his description of the contents:

This is the entire Federal district of Buenos Aires with complete highway system, the main roads (with minor corrections from the previous "buenos aires main roads) and all of the remainding roads in the city. This file includes a large 3d portion of the downtown area and main buildings in Buenos aires. It also includes the entire subway system of buenos aires (current subway plus future plans and building of subway). This also includes the division of neiborhoods in Buenos aires. This file has alot of 3d buildings with rich characteristics created with google earth polygons and also has some of the buildings and structures that are currently in construction in the downtown area.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 5:34 PM | Comments (9)

Best Topo Map Interface for Google Earth

Longs Peak Topographic map in Google EarthI believe it started today with this blog entry at The Map Room, but suddenly there is a resurgence of interest in generating topographical maps in Google Earth. I've spoken about techniques for doing this in the past (here and here). However, let me share the easiest way to view US Topographical maps in Google Earth. This is a portion of a network link created by a company called 3D Solar which does USGS Topographical Overlays automatically. You just zoom in to an area of interest, wait for five seconds, and suddenly you have an overlay of a topo map. Just turn off the "USGSO topo maps" network link when you are finished using it. I recommend saving this one in your "My Places" for future use. For the full 3D Solar collection of network links (which also includes weather, NASA MODIS satellite images, and Landsat overlays as well), check out this GEC forum post.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 4:54 PM | Comments (4)

Iditarod Dog Sled Race in Google Earth

The Iditarod Dog Sled Race in Google EarthI was contacted recently by Matt Nolan who works on a project called EarthSLOT whose mission is "to advance earth science and earth science education through the use of on-line 3D terrain visualization and GIS tools". They recently have published a Google Earth file about the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race®, which is an 1100 mile dog sled race through the middle of Alaska. The race just started a few days ago, and the EarthSLOT Iditarod file shows the path of the race along the satellite photos and 3D terrain in Google Earth Also, if you click on the checkpoint placemarks you can find links allowing you to see the progress of the racers.

At this point, they do not have a way of visually following the competitors in Google Earth or an automatically updating network link like the one for following the ongoing Volvo Ocean Race. But, this is the only one for following the Iditarod I've seen.

EarthSLOT also provides their own virtual globe tool for viewing the race, and they say it has more features for following the race because they are more familiar with their own tool. However, their EarthSLOT tool is only available on Windows. You can read more about the tool and download instructions here.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 7:54 AM | Comments (1)

Jane Goodall Chimpanzee GeoBlog

Jane Goodall Gombe Chimpanzee Blog in Google EarthThe Jane Goodall Institutde has developed the Gombe Chimpanzee Blog which is dedicated to the Gombe Stream Research Center in Tanzania, site of the longest-running field study of wild chimpanzee. The blog contains well written content and interesting social commentary on the life of the chimpanzees in the area. The content includes the human names and interpretations of the lives of these wild animals. What really makes it interesting, from a Google Earth perspective, is that you read the blog entries exclusively from within Google Earth. Each blog entry is contained within a placemark which shows the location of the blog entry's subject matter. Here's an example blog entry , you click on the placemark and read the blog entry. Links to further information and photographs are often provided.

There have been many blogs which have started geotagging (placemarking) their blog entries. But, this is the first site I have seen to dedicate their blog content to the Google Earth format. It would be nice if they would provide a network link showing the blog entries from say the previous month all at once. As it is now, you have to click on each blog entry to load each placemark one by one. But, the content is well worth reading and is updated regularly.

In the future, I expect there will be much more geoblogging which will use a combination of Google Earth, Google Maps and other geospatial tools. Ogle Earth wrote recently about a set of tools called Blojsam for the Mac which are designed to enable geo-blogging. I'm sure more tools like this will proliferate as the geospatial tools like Google Earth advance in capability and popularity.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 7:14 AM | Comments (1)

8 de Marzo 2006

Marine-related Google Earth Files

Aerial Photos of Coast of France in Google EarthAn excellent collection of marine-related Google Earth files is provided by a French software company called Magic Instinct Software. A Peio Elissalde sent me an E-mail about it a while back. He has a number of interesting collections, but my favorite is a collection of placemarks showing 15,000 aerial photos of the coasts of France which came from francecoastline.com. These are large (about 800x600) photos you can load when you click on the camera placemark icons lined along their route of flight.

Here is a sample of other interesting GE files to be found at the web site:

There are a lot of other interesting things at the web site complete with credits to the data sources. Also, some of the collections have Google Maps mashup versions. Great stuff Peio!

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 9:07 AM | Comments (0)

7 de Marzo 2006

Bermuda Treasure Shipwrecks Map

Bermuda Treasure Shipwrecks Map in Google EarthA member of the Google Earth Community, Bertrand Sciboz is from a French company called CERES (short for Centre Européen de Recherches et d'Etudes Sous-marines) which specializes in all sorts of underwater activity. Bertrand has posted many interesting collections of placemarks from his underwater experiences. I thought this collection of Bermuda Treasure Shipwrecks in the form of Google Earth placemarks combined with the nice high resolution satellite photos of Bermuda was quite interesting. Each placemark contains details of the ship which was wrecked at that location and possibly what was found there. Bertrand says in his post (worth looking at as it contains photos of treasure and the man who made the map) he was given the map by Teddy Tucker, one of the most famous treasure hunter of the world and that the locations are only approximate.

Bertrand has posted several other interesting collections which I will write about in the future. Excellent work Bertrand!

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 2:31 PM | Comments (1)

Fun and Games in Google Earth

Timed Challenge in Google EarthOne of the most popular forums in the Google Earth Community is the Fun and Games Forum. In the forum, the most common activity is for people to post a portion of a screenshot showing some unique location of interest on the planet. The poster then challenges someone to find that location by naming the location and providing other interesting trivia about it. Some of the games are simply a trivia question with a very minimal hint. The expected response is a placemark in Google Earth and possibly a link to a web site with more information.

I was recently contacted by Bob Fleet (who did the Heritage Trees in Scotland) who told me about a daily contest held at 2100 GMT. This one is a timed challenge where the winner is the one who is fastest at a) identifying the location, b) taking a screenshot (without the coordinates) and uploading it to a server, and c) posting the image as a reply to the challenge post. The "Timed Challenge" series (the last one was XX) are posted by someone called "fwatkins6", and has quite a following. The image shown here is an example of this timed challenge. It was solved and posted in 2 minutes by Bob Fleet. And, there were 15 posts in 7 minutes.

SPOILER - The Answer

Here's the location , and here's a post about it.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 9:03 AM | Comments (1)

Architectural Delights

Architectural Delights in Google Earth

The folks in New Zealand known as Pivnice ltd. have posted three new buildings in the form of 3D models for Google Earth at their blog called ZNO. Each building is well-modeled and is placed in the actual location of the building on top of the satellite photos in Google Earth. The latest models include the following (NOTE: some of these models take up a lot of memory, you might want to turn off each one before loading another):

Check out the ZNO blog for other interesting 3D models. Or, go to Google Earth Blog's 3D models category.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 8:07 AM | Comments (1)

6 de Marzo 2006

New Crater Discovery Using Google Earth?

New Crater in Arctic Google EarthIn response to the new Saharan Crater story, I was contacted by E-mail by an Editor at Sky & Telescope Magazine. He told me a reader had recently written them about a crater up on on Melville Island, on the northern part of the Sabine Peninsula. Here's what Gerald Hanner wrote:

I have read with interest your pieces on impact craters -- especially the ones found on Earth. Some 40 years ago, when I was an Air Force navigator, I used to fly a route from Fairbanks, Alaska, to Thule, Greenland. At the northern tip of the Sabine Peninsula, on Melville Island, my ground mapping radar would pick out a circular structure with a peak in the middle; it sure looked like a crater to me, although I never actually got a visual on it.

He goes on to say he recently checked for it in Google Earth, and there he found it very easily in this GE satellite photo . He wasn't sure whether this was an impact crater. Based on what I've been learning, I think it is an impact crater. It quite clearly has two rings which is evidence of a strong impact. The main crater is about 7.5 km wide, the secondary crater is almost 14 km wide! One expert confirmed it wasn't in a database of impact craters (I checked out this GE database of known craters as well), but didn't have enough data to confirm. Can any other experts comment?

Thanks to Stuart Goldman, Associate Editor for Sky Publishing, for bringing this to my attention.

[EDIT 12:20 EST: Looking nearby, there appears to be an oval-shaped crater just to the northeast of this new crater. Also, there are other possible craters to the south and southeast. Very interesting!]

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 9:40 AM | Comments (4)

Bed and Breakfast Locations in Google Earth

Bed and Breakfast Locations in Google EarthThey call themselves Pillows and Pancakes (an amusing variation on Bed and Breakfast). Their web site's focus is to collect information on Bed and Breakfast lodgings all over the world. PnP has written a network link for showing their database in Google Earth. So, you have a new way to look for alternative lodging while travelling. Once you load the PnP network link, you need to zoom down to the area of interest. The network link will then load the nearest bed and breakfast location to your current view. If you click on a placemark you will get the name of the location, usually a photo, and a link to the more in-depth information at the PnP web site. A nice resource for storing in your Places folder. By the way, when you are done testing it, make sure you turn off the network link.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 8:08 AM | Comments (1)

5 de Marzo 2006

Huge Crater Discovered in Saharan Desert

New Saharan Crater in Google EarthAt a site in the Saharan desert on the border between Egypt and Libya, scientists have determined a huge 19 mile-wide crater was formed by an impact of a rock from space. More like an entire asteroid probably. They used satellite photos to help make the determination. Provided was a picture from an enhanced Landsat satellite photo. Naturally I had to go into Google Earth to see if I could find it. Not only did I find it easily, but it was quite recognizeable in GE that its a meteor crater . I'm surprised it took this long for someone to notice! The scientists said this crater is so large it probably would not be noticed except from space. Here's the story at space.com.

You can check out lots of craters in Google Earth, and here's a link to an earlier story I did about the crater collection.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 8:13 PM | Comments (5)

Here Comes the Oscars

Academy Awards and Oscars in Google EarthTonight the Hollywood stars will be dressed up, the paparazzi will be filling their SD/CF chips, and HDTVs and DVRs will be cranked up to check out those new dresses. Yes, tonight is the night of the Oscars. You can check out the scene of the action in Google Earth - the Kodak Theater . Look for the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame just a bit to the south. While you're in Hollywood, you might want to look at the homes of some stars (from this post).

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

4 de Marzo 2006

Eye in the Sky Advertising

Land Ads in Google Earth

With the enormous popularity of satellite and aerial photos being shown in Google Earth and other mapping tools, people who had rooftop ads suddenly realized many more impressions per day than they originally intended. I just discovered there's a company in Germany which is selling services to make advertisements out of crop fields. Look at these amazing crop field ads (web site in German).

Just a few months ago, roof top ads suddenly...

Target Store Roof in Google EarthJust a few months ago, roof top ads suddenly got a lot of attention when people started spotting them in Google Maps and Google Earth. For example, Target has a few stores with their distinctive target-symbol logo painted on their large roofs. They did this when the roof can be clearly viewed by nearby skyscrapers or planes about to land at an airport. They have been pleasantly surprised with the much larger ad impressions they are getting.

Over the last few months, companies selling services to do roof-top advertising have been getting more attention and some new ones have been started to focus on the larger market of available viewers on roofs. Here's some articles from MIT Advertising Lab and Wired on rooftop ad companies.

The big drawback to doing this is that there is no set schedule for when new satellite photos of roofs and fields will be done. So, you could put up an ad tomorrow, but it might not be seen by a satellite or aerial photographer for months or years. And, it might be even longer before Google chooses that photo and puts it up in their database. So, expect your sky-viewable ad to be a long-term investment.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 8:51 AM | Comments (0)

3 de Marzo 2006

3D Buildings for the Weekend

GolfNation courses in Google EarthHere are some more 3D Buildings for your weekend pleasure to explore in Google Earth (make sure you use the pan/tilt features of GE and the 3D Terrain layer to see how the buildings fit combined with the satellite photos):

There are several new models for buildings in Christchurch, New Zealand at ZNO. See some other ZNO models. Also, here's a story about Trimensions.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 1:54 PM | Comments (0)

GolfNation.org - Courses in Google Earth

GolfNation courses in Google EarthGolfnation.org is a web site using a Google Maps mashup and Google Earth to help golfers choose and learn about golf courses. So far they have 73 golf courses for Atlanta, Georgia; Tampa, Florida; and Salinas, California. First, you can use a Google Maps mashup to find the location of each course for the 3 cities they've done so far. Each course has a web page describing the course, costs, location, etc. They also include screenshots from Google Earth of each hole. They use Google Earth's satellite and aerial photos to show the course, the clubhouse, and they placemark each hole. The flag for each hole is a placemark which gives the basic details on hole distances. You can download the GE file for each course.

For example, you can visit the map for Atlanta. If you select Georgia National Golf Club you see the web page with all the details including screenshots of each hole's aerial photo from Google Earth. If you click on the Google Earth file , you can see the entire course from Google Earth complete with hole paths, and hole information. They also have a network link allowing you to browse all the courses on a city by city basis.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 9:09 AM | Comments (3)

EarthPoint - Real Estate Listings with some GIS

Real Estate Listing for Boise Idaho in Google EarthDuring the last week I've been reviewing an excellent real estate listing application developed by a realtor in the fast growing market of Boise, Idaho. Bill Clark has worked long and hard and has developed a Google Earth interface which shows more information, and with more accuracy, than any other real estate listing service I've seen to date. Once you visit his Earthpoint listings page for finding listings, you select "Listing Category" ('residential' is default), and then select characteristics you are looking for (e.g. 500,000 to 2,000,000 price range). You then select "Count" to see how many listings you will get. Or, just go ahead and select "Download to Google Earth".

Each listing is identified to roof-top accuracy (if the house is built). And, as with other listings, clicking on a placemark shows more information about the listing, usually a photo, and a link to more info at the web site. But, Earthpoint goes further, the property lines are also drawn (in yellow). Some of the developments have scanned maps overlayed as well. This is more like Geographic Information System (GIS) data than the typical placemark for a listing you see in most listing services. Earthpoint does point out on the page that this information is not guaranteed for accuracy, that the buyer is responsible for checking with legal resources for accurate property layout. But, this definitely helps when trying to understand extent of property and its relation to the nearby environment. So, if you're looking for property in Boise, this is the best way to do it. Excellent work Bill!

By the way, Bill had an interesting problem caused by an error in the imagery surrounding Boise put in place by Google. Some of the imagery was placed incorrectly. Since he was unable to get Google to correct the mistake (after numerous attempts) he acquired his own images and overlayed them to cover the mistake. Unfortunately, this means his customers have to load an 8MByte image overlay for outlying areas of Boise. Google really needs to address this problem, because numerous people have complained at the GEC and to me directly about data errors not being fixed.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 8:16 AM | Comments (2)

2 de Marzo 2006

Census Data Visualization in Google Earth

Population Density/Census Maps in Google EarthAn excellent case of visualizing data sets is this collection taken from US Census data showing population densities, median ages, and male/female ratios. There are two levels of data, one at the county level, and a higher resolution level at the census block level with a file for each of the 50 states. The results are polygon maps overlayed over the satellite photos in GE. These awesome visualizations were produced by Florida population density (white highest density, black lowest), and the Florida median age (white 46 year mean or higher, black 29 years mean or lower).

This geospatial data shows both...

This geospatial data shows both the shape of the census units or counties as polygons, and the color represents the number associated. In aggregate you can quickly get a picture of meaningful information. When you turn on other layers in Google Earth the data can be better understood. For example, my daughter was asking why the population density was so low (black) in the western part of North Carolina. I turned on the Parks and Recreation layer and you could immediately see why no one was living in that area. In fact, you could see other areas around the state which were parks and therefore had low or zero population density. You can turn on the Roads layer, and the Populated Places layer to understand the geographic references to the data better. There are many other layers to explore in relation as well. This is great stuff!

Check out Juice Analytics' Absolutely Google Earth which is a collection of useful links for serious Google Earth users. You can find some of these links in Google Earth Blog's Reference Links Page. Saw this first via OgleEarth. Digg it!

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 6:57 AM | Comments (3)

1 de Marzo 2006

Arc2Earth Released

Arc2Earth for Google EarthA new product specifically targeted for Google Earth and GIS professionals was released today called Arc2Earth. Arc2Earth is an application which allows GIS professionals using ESRI's ArcGIS products to convert their data for viewing within Google Earth. This means serious GIS information can more easily be made available to the many millions of Google Earth users in the world. Unique data and maps can be overlayed onto the 3D terrain and satellite photos of Google Earth to enhance visualizations and presentations. For some months now, Brian Flood (one of the authors of the product) has been blogging about the development of the product and shown us a number of cool screenshots of its capabilities.

Now they have released the...

Now they have released the product with a new web site documenting the product and its features, screenshots, and a link to purchase two versions standard ($99) and professional ($299). This looks like a serious product and I'm sure the GIS folks will be publishing reviews soon. Here's an example KMZ showing a simple vegetation analysis which illustrates how symbology is maintained for polygons and graphics.

Here's an interview with the author by Stefan Geens at OgleEarth about Arc2Earth and Google Earth's ability to handle a variety of data and geospatial formats.

By the way, there is also another product from an outfit in Russia called KMLer which has some of the same types of features for working with ESRI products.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 3:49 PM | Comments (3)

Identifying Planes in Google Earth

Plane IDs in Google EarthAs noted in this blog before, some aviation fans like to try and find planes in flight in the satellite and aerial photos of Google Earth. Some of the fans like to identify planes found in flight or on the ground. There are collections of all SR-71s (aka Blackbirds), and unique planes like the Lancaster Bomber. Someone called "Cyclonic" at the Google Earth Community posted an ID helper showing various identified planes and example screenshots from Google Earth. The helper includes basic measurements of length and width of the planes which is useful when you use the GE Measure tool. Cyclonic has found a large number of planes in flight himself. The screenshot shown here shows just a sample of the ID collection.

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 9:21 AM | Comments (3)

Manejando al Nivel de la Calle en Google Earth

Manejo a nivel de la calle de Seattle en Google EarthSe ha hablado mucho acerca de la nueva tecnología de visión del Microsoft para Windows "Live Local". El sitema muestra vistas al nivel de la calle y te permite "manejar" un auto virtual por las calles de Seattle además de ver vistas laterales al "auto" que, realmente son cuadros fijos de una cámara. Y todo esto a través del Navegador. Si bien estas vistas son increíbles, el sistema es muy limitado (actualmente sólo una parte de Seattle está disponible) y es realmente muy lento y molesto de usar. Estaba pensando en la capacidad de GE, parecida a ésta. Sí, en GE puedes "manejar" a través de una ciudad y tener la sensación de los edificios circundantes complementado con fotos satelitales. Y eso ya está funcionando en la mayoría de las ciudades de Estados Unidos. No, no está tan bueno como esta cuestión de Microsoft, pero GE es realmente muchísimo más práctico y trabaja mucho más suavemente.

Primero, si nunca has usado GE en el modo "Tour", lee aquí. Luego regresa a esta página.

Ahora nos vamos a...

Ahora vamos a simular un viaje en auto manejando por las calles de Seattle en GE. Para hacerlo más realístico, necesitas modificar un par de opciones en GE: Primero, tilda la casilla de la capa de "Edificios". Luego vé al menú "Herramientas->Opciones" (NOTA: "Google Earth -> Preferencias" en el Mac OSX). En la ventana Opciones selecciona el panel"Control" y luego "Avanzado" abajo. En "Opciones de Tour" primero fíjate las opciones que tiene seleccionadas y luego mueve la "Inclinación de Cámara " toda a la derecha (80 grados), y el "Alcance de Cámara" a la izquierda (150 metros). Listo, ahora selecciona "Aplicar".

Ahora descarga este ejemplo de manejo simple para Google Earth. Selecciona la Marca de Posición "Seattle Drive (Manejo por Seattle)" que acabas de descargar (asegúrate de tener la capa "Edificios" marcada). Haz doble clic en ella y deja que GE cargue los edificios de Seattle primero. Luego aprieta la tecla F10 (o "Ver Tour"). GE te llevará ahora a una calle principal del Centro de Seattle. Solamente hice un viaje en línea recta. Esto se vé muy bien en cámaras más elevadas, pero al viajar a la altura de la calle, GE trata de "acomodar" la cámara cuando doblas y puede ser que entres a un edificio 3D.

Cuando la hayan visto no se olviden de volver las "Opciones de Tour" a como estaban previamente seteadas, (las mías eran 65 grados y 1500 metros)

Enviado porFrankTaylor at 8:03 AM | Comments (2)

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