Google has added a NASA Google earth layers group to Google Earth, and they have updated the European roads in Google Earth, adding 15 new countries in Europe, as well as adding more content for the Netherlands, like business listings layers and country names in Dutch. Get Google Earth as part of the Google Pack here,
A few months back, Google Earth team and NASA began a collaborative effort to bring awareness and promote knowledge of NASA’s “earth” programs. After months of production, the “NASA” layer group is now live in Google earth.
Personally, I find it quite eye-catching. People are usually familiar with NASA’s space missions, but not everyone knows that NASA also devotes a considerable amount of effort to Earth explorations. This new NASA layer group showcases some of their most interesting content.
The new “NASA” layer has three components:
Astronaut Photography of Earth
Earth City Lights
Source: NASA in Google Earth
The Satellite Imagery layer highlights some of the most interesting Earth imagery taken by NASA satellites over the years. Some place marks also offer the option of downloading additional imagery from different years or seasons and overlaying them on the earth’s surface.
“Earth City Lights” offers a new perspective on this popular image. One can identify some interesting urbanization patterns around the globe. I find it even more interesting to have roads and place name layers on at the same time as I fly over this layer. The United States interstate highway system appears as a lattice connecting the brighter dots of city centers.
Google has created another blog, this time for Google Earth and Google Maps, called Google Lat Long Blog, and they are talking about the Geoweb.
So… what is the “geoweb”? Some people will scratch their heads and call it buzzword proliferation. Others, including Mike Liebhold, who has a long history of thinking and writing about this area, have a very well defined notion of what they believe it is (or should be). I don’t think that there is agreement on what the geoweb is, but I think there is a lot of enthusiasm and energy across many fronts to make it happen. I expect the “it” will evolve substantially over the next few months and years as we (the geo ecosystem on the web) collectively figure out how “earth browsers,” embedded maps, local search, geo-tagged photos, blogs, the traditional GIS world, wikis, and other user-generated geo content all interrelate. Those of us who work on geo products and services at Google believe we have an opportunity to make the web more useful — and ultimately, to improve people’s lives through better information and understanding. Source: A new world unfolding
One searcher at a time…
A new feature called geo search, gives users the ability to search all kinds of geographical information and makes it possible for people to discover these maps through normal “local” searches simply by clicking on the “see user-created content” link. Looks pretty cool.
A company from California has created software that will allow creators, etc, to layer sounds in Google Earth. The firm is already in talks with Google, smart, but no official agreement has been made.
As well as homing in on visual feasts around the globe, users of Google Earth may soon be able to listen to the sounds that accompany them.
A Californian company has created software that can layer relevant recorded sounds over locations in Google Earth, New Scientist reports. Source: Sounds bring Google Earth to life
An example of a use they mentioned was people are talking about selective logging and how is was a good way of not harming the environment, but, even though the images are the same, the sounds coming from the natural world is completely different.
Be sure to check out the Google Earth Layers, Google Pack from which you can download Google Earth, click this link, Google Earth Search to search for everything relating to Google Earth and click this link to download Google Earth here
Google has teamed with the American Institute of Architects, AIA, to launch two new Google Earth Layers which you can use to explore some of architecture’s most popular structures in 3D! The first layer, America?s Favorite Architecture has 150 structures to explore, including, ballparks, bridges, memorials in one layer, the other layer, Blueprint for America, in which AIA members donate their time and expertise are collaborating with community leaders and local citizens to enhance the quality of life in their community, and you can track the progress in Google Earth.
Fly to America’s Favorite Architecture, a layer featuring the American public’s favorite architecture (as selected though a national poll announced earlier this year). View all 150 structures, including many with just created 3-D models of the buildings, ballparks, bridges, and memorials that characterize architecture in the eyes of Americans. And then explore the second layer, Blueprint for America. Blueprint is a community service effort funded by the AIA, in which AIA members donating their time and expertise are collaborating with community leaders and local citizens to enhance the quality of life in their community. You?ll be able to track the progress of these projects on Google Earth as they unfold over the next year and, we hope, become inspired to take action where you live. Source: New 3-D layers from AIA on Google Earth
Google has purchased some video conferencing software, no, not just copies of the software, the software from a company called Marratech. I foresee free video conferencing from http://gmeeting.google.com with lots of Google video ads and adwords ads to increase the bottom line a little. Add it to some software you already have, and herd users there.
As a company, we thrive on casual interactions and spontaneous collaboration. So we’re excited about acquiring Marratech’s video conferencing software, which will enable from-the-desktop participation for Googlers in videoconference meetings wherever there’s an Internet connection. Source: Collaborating with Marratech
Interesting. Om Malik suggests it could be added to Google Talk and that video conferencing is starting to take off as manufacturers add cameras to laptops.
If they are making a deal to buy the software for internal use only, then you need to wonder why this company, and why acquire a piece of software? It doesn?t exactly seem to be a good way of spending their cash. I think they might have bigger ambitions though, as it also tries to capture the small-and-medium enterprises with its office-suite. Perhaps some of the Marratech functionality ends up in the Google Talk client.
Conferencing – video, voice and white board – is now part of work life, whether you are a small company, a web worker or a large corporation. Source: Video reasons for Google-Marratech deal
Mashable says MySpace News sucks. I had trouble finding it as it wanted me to login, I don’t have a MySpace account, so I guess I will never see it, so it sounds like I am not missing anything. I guess lots of users are in the same boat, as they say it’s impossible to find on the MySpace site.
MySpace News has the advantage over Digg because of its huge audience, but they?ll need to do some substantial tweaking if they want to make this work. I feel the same way about MySpace Video: if they could make that service 80% as good as YouTube, it would win. So far, MySpace has failed to push that huge audience to its own services (think: MySpace IM, MySpace Video, fact that photo hosting is mainly done by Photobucket etc). Source: MySpace News?Kinda Sucks
Business 2.0 Beta agrees and says no wonder MySpace users are still using Youtube and Photobucket, and are not using MySpace IM, they can’t find the MySpace versions of either.
What is it about the Web that made Rupert Murdoch lose his taste for synergy? Offline, his News Corp. (NWS) empire is as self-promoting as always. But MySpace, Murdoch’s Internet jewel, can’t even seem to promote its own services. Source: Rupert, the Cowardly Internet Lion
The Google Earth ban in the Sudan is not because of the Sudan, it is because of US export restrictions which say,
SELLING TO SUDAN – Except for information or informational materials and donated articles intended to relieve human suffering, such as food, clothing and medicine, and the licensed export of agricultural commodities, medicine and medical devices, no goods, technology, or services may be exported from the United States to Sudan, either directly or through third countries, without a license. Source: Oh the irony: Google Earth ban in Sudan is due to US export restrictions
This in effect helps the current regime, and makes it hard for its citizens and aid workers to find information about what is going on in the country.
Google Earth has teamed with Trimble Outdoors to bring you interactive hiking information, you can view hundreds of hikes that have already taken place, complete with personalized content, like videos, pictures, points of interest, etc, and then you can click one button and the exact trail route will be sent to your GPS enabled phone or device. How cool is that?
Many of you reading this may already know that Trimble Outdoors has partnered with Google to provide Google Earth viewers with GPS-based interactive hiking information. We?re very excited about being able to share all the great GPS content we’ve developed over the years and through partnerships with magazines including Backpacker, Bicycling and Mountain Bike. It?s an outstanding resource for outdoors enthusiasts, or really, anyone who wants to do a little research before setting out on a hike. You can access lots of multimedia info on fitness and outdoor adventures, including routes, points of interest, pictures, video segments and even audio clips. Essentially, anytime, anywhere you can launch Google Earth, you can view hundreds of hikes that have already been logged and completed, and view personalized web content. Then, through the convergence of Trimble Outdoors? technology and Google Earth, you can click one button, and the exact trail route is exported to your GPS-enabled phone.
This partnership between Google Earth and Trimble Outdoors is designed to support the community of outdoor enthusiasts with exciting new ways to explore the earth and share adventure stories online. Source: Hikes on the fly
Okay, the other day we had politicians complaining that Google was showing old images of New Orleans in their Google Earth program, so, how about this turn around in another region. Google Earth is marking atrocities in the Darfur region of Sudan with high resolution satellite images of the region to document destroyed villages, displaced people and refugee camps. The icons displayed in Google earth represent destroyed villages with flames and the refugee camps with tents, so that when users zoom in Darfur on a computer screen, the icons make it look like the region is on fire. Clicking on the flame icons will open a window with the village’s name and statistics on the extent of destruction. Google enhanced the resolution for certain areas of the region so that users can zoom in to see the burnt remnants of houses. Google says it will periodically update the images. Wow. Download Google Earth from the following link,
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum today joined with Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) to unveil an unprecedented online mapping initiative aimed at furthering awareness and action in the Darfur region of Sudan. Crisis in Darfur, enables more than 200 million Google Earth? mapping service users worldwide to visualize and better understand the genocide currently unfolding in Darfur. The Museum has assembled content?photographs, data and eyewitness testimony?from a number of sources that are brought together for the first time in Google Earth. This information will appear as a Global Awareness layer in Google Earth starting today.
Crisis in Darfur is the first project of the Museum’s Genocide Prevention Mapping Initiative that will over time include information on potential genocides allowing citizens, governments and institutions to access information on atrocities in their nascent stages and respond.
Crisis in Darfur content comes from a range of sources, the U.S. State Department, non-governmental organizations, the United Nations, individual photographers, and the Museum. The high-resolution imagery in Google Earth enables users to zoom into the region to view more than 1,600 damaged and destroyed villages, providing visual, compelling evidence of the scope of destruction. The remnants of more than 100,000 homes, schools, mosques and other structures destroyed by the janjaweed militia and Sudanese forces are clearly visible. Humanitarian organizations and others now have a readily accessible tool for better understanding the situation on the ground in Darfur. Source: U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Google Join in Online Darfur Mapping Initiative
They have also created another mapping project on the Holocaust, the Museum is using Google Earth to map Holocaust sites with historic content from their collections. More info on the Holocaust project available here. A News.com article brings up an interesting point,
“This mirrors the type of things that news organizations deal with: deciding how much resources to spend on an issue and what you cover,” said Steve Jones, a professor of communications at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “It raises the question of what their responsibility is to decide what to cover.” Source: Google Earth focuses on Sudan atrocities
Google has decided they are going to index all of the World’s information, it doesn’t matter what it is, books, maps, satellite images, so they should have an internal organization that handles the public since they are showing the information to them. They should be held to a higher standard of operation if they are going to become the gatekeepers of the Earth’s knowledge and data.
Microsoft has released a new version of their Live Maps program, with this being the sixth different update since it was first released in July 7, 2005. Listed among the updates are bug fixes, performance improvements, enhancements, GeoRSS publishing of Collections, which would allow you to include a special markup to encode the geographic information of every item in the collection, area calculations and more. GeoRSS was just released in the Google Earth program as well, so we should see some great collections, google earth layers and all kinds of great add-ons.
You can now read reviews of businesses entered by other users, as well as adding your own ratings and reviews for any business in Live Maps. To get started do a search for businesses in the Yellow Pages like this search for Book stores, restaurants and Supermarkets. Click on one of the listings to bring up its details page, like the one shown below for Bailey-Coy Books. There you can see the average user rating for the business and page through reviews previously entered by others. We’ve partnered with sites like Judy’s Book to feed thousands of quality reviews into the system already. Of course you can contribute your own Rating and Review right there on the details page with the ‘Write Review’ button. Had a good experience with a physical therapist? Tell your neighbors about it. Tired of the over hyped bar in Belltown that’s too crowded, serves watered down drinks and takes a 10 dollar cover weeknights even though every other place on the block is free? Call em out on it..
RSS is a family of standard formats used to publish frequently updated content, such as blogs or news feeds. You can now subscribe to an RSS feed for a Collection so that you can be kept up to date as the author of the Collection adds new items. When you subscribe to a Collection?s feed, your RSS reader automatically receives updates as the author makes changes. Source: New Version of Live Maps Launches!
I can see this becoming a great feature on Live Maps and Google Earth, but I have no way to monetize Live Maps, yet, so I will probably work on Google Earth instead.
Google has recently updated their Google Pack, the free set of software that anyone can download and use, it includes programs like Google Earth, Picasa, the photo organizer, Ad-Aware, Google Desktop, Google Talk, Google Toolbar, Skype and many more. They have added Symantec’s Norton Security Scan and PC Tools’ Spyware Doctor Starter Edition, both tools will help you protect your computer from viruses and malware, and both of which are free. They also updated their free photo screensaver, it will now display photo feeds, like the ones available from Flickr, and will show a constant stream of photos from the web. This is great for family members who live far away, and can’t see your kids, etc, it will allow them to see whatever photos you upload to your photo stream.
Google Pack makes it easy to setup and protect your PC, and now we’ve added two new applications to make your PC even safer: Symantec’s Norton Security Scan, which detects and removes viruses, and PC Tools’ Spyware Doctor Starter Edition, a top-rated anti-spyware utility. Both are free and include automatic protection updates with no paid subscription required.
We’ve also substantially updated our screensaver. Now you can turn your computer into a digital picture frame that displays pictures from photo feeds continuously updated streams of photos from the web. Many of your favorite photo-sharing sites support them already, so it’s easy to keep in touch with your friends and family this way. Source: Google Pack cures the PC blues
More info on the Google Pack available here. Download the Google Pack by clicking this link,
Google updated the satellite imagery associated with the Gulf Coast region Sunday because of complaints from politicians that they were airbrushing history by not showing the region’s post Katrina images. Boy, you would think our government could find something more to be concerned about that whether the satellite images that Google is showing on Google Earth or Google Maps are up to date or not.
A related article run by the Associated Press at the tail end of last week outlined the geographic changes implemented to the popular map engine. This then subsequently led to a U.S. House Subcommittee pointing accusatory fingers at Google with regard to “airbrushing history” for the sake of relaying a conveniently untouched depiction of New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Source: Google?s wrist slapped for ?airbrushing history?
Google addressed this on their blog with the following statements,
In 2005, shortly after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, a very motivated group of volunteers at Google worked with NOAA, NASA, and others to post updated imagery of the affected areas in Google Maps and Google Earth as quickly as possible. This data served as a useful reference for many people — from those interested in understanding what had happened, to friends and families checking on the status of loved ones and property, to rescuers and relief workers. Shortly after the event, we received a voicemail thanking us for the role Google Earth played in guiding rescuers to stranded victims.
Several months later, in September 2006, the storm imagery was replaced with pre-Katrina aerial photography of much higher resolution as part of a regular series of global data enhancements. We continued to make available the Katrina imagery, and associated overlays such as damage assessments and Red Cross shelters, on a dedicated site (earth.google.com/katrina.html). Our goal throughout has been to produce a global earth database of the best quality — accounting for timeliness, resolution, cloud cover, light conditions, and color balancing. Source: About the New Orleans imagery in Google Maps and Earth
Google Earth is a great program, but I fail to see the need for politicians to get involved in whether Google is showing the latest images or not. One would think they would be more worried about updating the images provided by the US Geological Survey. Download the latest version of Google Earth by clicking on this link,
This is pretty cool right here, I’ve never been able to get so close to the earth using Google Earth, but apparently, using Google Maps, you can zoom in pretty close in some areas. That one guy actually looks like he is looking at the satellite. Via Shawn Hogan. Click this link to download Google Earth,
Look at it in Google Maps here for a REALLY detailed image from space.
Of course we’ll probably find out that Google uses images from planes as well.