Short news: Google government, MapCruncher, Dutch politics

  • I suspect you’ve already tried Frank Taylor and Barry Hunter’s very nice overlay combo of NASA’s Blue Marble imagery and global weather. If not, do check it out.

    Earlier, Frank wrote “This is the kind of thing Google should implement built-in to GE.” Yes and No, I think. There is no reason for Google to duplicate the efforts of dedicated amateurs, but there is every reason for Google to make available more such user-generated content in the default layers. In this way, Google can play the role of government, fulfilling those tasks not easily taken on by individuals. For example, I think that the Google Earth Community BBS remains too bewildering for more mainstream users, and that these users especially need to be nudged towards the best user-generated content. Another role for Google: providing content that is difficult to scale up by individuals, such as 3D textured buildings and high resolution height meshes.

  • The Virtual Earth 3D plugin is now up to version 1.1, fixing the bug where only PCs localized for the US were able to connect. There is no need to download it again if it already works.
  • Microsoft Research’s MapCruncher 3.0 is released. (Version 3.01, out Nov 20, fixes a problem with transparency in PDFs). MapCruncher is a PC application that lets you marry points on your overlay with points on the underlying map, to create an accurate combined map The link to the tutorial for version 3 is still dead, but the the tutorial for version 2 gives a very good idea of how it works — look, no code! I’ve found that it is easier to be accurate with MapCruncher than with Google Earth when placing overlays — and MapCruncher also works with the Virtual Earth 3D API.
  • Brink Expedition, an Australian expedition around the world with educational aims, has put its GPS track into NASA World Wind. (Via The Earth is Square)
  • Want to know where Dutch parties stand on Google Earth prior to voting in the parliamentary elections on Wednesday?
    2. Google should stop spreading maps of satelite images on Google Earth because they could be used by terrorists for planning attacks.

    PvdA: No
    CDA: No/neutral
    VVD: No
    SP: No
    GroenLinks: No
    ChristenUnie: Yes
    SGP: No/neutral

  • Weekend Projects of a Geek: Using Python to utilize the Virtual Earth geocoding services on your PyS60 handset, and how to download the maps of the location of your choice.
  • CarbonTools PRO Beta 2, a .NET SDK for location content, now supports Google Earth, Virtual Earth and Yahoo! Maps.
  • Spiros has written an CPAN perl module that acts as an API for the Geograph.org.uk database of user-contributed photos of every square kilometer of the British Isles. Nestoria, a UK property search service, incorporates Geograph into their search results: Click on “Pics” under local information.
  • What’s next for GeoIQ’s heatmaps, blogged here last week? Well, it depends on you, say the developers. Support for Google Earth is the top request.

2 thoughts on “Short news: Google government, MapCruncher, Dutch politics”

  1. Stefan, are you saying MapCruncher can be used to generate overlays for KML? Is that what you meant by saying “I’ve found that it is easier to be accurate with MapCruncher than with Google Earth when placing overlays”. Or are you just comparing the two methods?

  2. I’m comparing the two methods of placing overlays. Connecting several points on the map and letting the software deal with the adjustments is a lot easier than doing it manually, I’ve found.

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