Short news: Download numbers game: Canary Islands

  • Popularity contest redux. I have it on good authority that the 100 million figure cited for Google Earth downloads in June 2006 was in fact “for unique user activations (not downloads).”

    Meanwhile, equal time for The Earth is Square.

  • Middlesex University’s Steve Chilton writes:

    It might interest your blog-readers to know of a workshop on Google Earth that is being held as part of the Society of Cartographers Summer School this September. The course is at Keele University (UK) from 4-7 Sept, with the workshops on Wed 6 Sept. The Google Earth workshop is being run by Richard Treves. Richard is a tutor on an MSc at Southampton University. (Web course.) Full details of the summer school, which looks at the wider world of cartography, are here. Programme summary here.

  • Interesting article in a local newspaper of the Canary Islands (in Spanish). Apparently, local imaging firm Grafcan made a deal with Google to supply the high resolution imagery for the Canary Islands — except that it dates from 2002, and now the locals are clamoring for imagery from 2006, which has been promised soon. (This is the kind of problem you want to have, really). For the record, zoom in on the Canary Islands and Grafcan is indeed credited for the imagery.
  • Hmm. For Forbes, Rich Kargaard writes in his Digital Rules column (registration required):
    Recently I got a peek at a future version of Google Earth, which will showcase a much-improved 3-D depiction of terrain and buildings. This cool software could make tons of money–from ads.

    Imagine using Google (nasdaq: GOOG – news – people ) Earth to zoom low on a city street. Gone is the old pancake-flat look of buildings. They will be depicted in stark relief. And here’s the moneymaker: Addresses that have bought ads, such as restaurants, shops or commercial buildings for lease, will stand out as a cut above the rest–in perfect, rich detail and color. Click on one of these buildings and you’ll be whisked away to the establishment’s Web site.

    Not sure how much of that is meant to be new or speculative. He goes on to review Zillow.com and writes about how both Google and Zillow are about to “scarf up real estate ad revenue” that would otherwise go to newspapers.

  • TJMartin is also blogging GeoWeb 2006, and he seems to have a confirmation from Microsoft Virtual Earth’s Steven Lawler that their upcoming 3D building content won’t be user created (unlike what Google’s tactic seems to be for Google Earth, with SketchUp). That’s not a surprise, of course, especially after their purchase of Vexcel and GeoTango, photogrammetry experts both, but it’s a good thing to know.