Scrappad reports that ESRI has released its ArcGIS Explorer as a closed beta, which apparently means that scores of GIS pro bloggers will be playing with it without being allowed to blog it due to NDAs. How frustrating has that got to be? :-) Meanwhile, Geography 2.0 provides a non-NDA-constrained overview of ArcGIS Explorer, and how it will likely be positioned against Google Earth.
For NASA World Wind users comes news of an important plugin, Shockfire’s KMLImporter, which does precisely that. I’m on a Mac so I can’t test it, and I doubt it has the functionality of the network link, but this plugin opens a wealth of static content to World Wind users, including 3D objects and overlays found on numerous Google Earth content sites. I’ll be on the lookout for feedback on the usefulness of the plugin. (Here is the developer’s blog.)
The release of KMLImporter is not so important for Google Earth surfers, but it is important for KML content developers, who might soon want to start checking their work in both Google Earth and World Wind — just like how web developers check their work in IE, FireFox, Safari, etc… Let’s hope the geobrowsers manage to avoid the cross-app rendering quirks that have so plagued web browsers. (Via Le Blogue du CFM de Guadalajara)