Short news: New world for NASA, VE3D dev videos, WorldCityDB

  • Slashgeo points to Slashdot, which discusses the announcement on KnowProSE that NASA will be building a “science-based synthetic world” starting in 2007, using the Unreal 3 game engine. Choice bits:
    The prototype is expected to be an introduction to NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration…”

    “We are combining the efforts of a commercial game developer, two universities and two NASA mission directorates into the project. If we can’t check off all three boxes at the end, then we’ll have done a poor job.”

    That’s another thing that sets apart geobrowsers from virtual reality: Physics engines!

  • A new template for the Blojsom CMS, by Adam Burt. This one takes the coordinate data for your blog posts and outputs them as valid GPX, so you can take them with you on your GPS device. Other templates already include output as GeoRSS and KML.
  • More video of developers at Microsoft Virtual Earth 3D. Laura Foy from 10 introduces the Microsoft Virtual Earth team and then gets a demo from Stephen Lawler, Virtual Earth’s general manager (“Mmm, it’s like a game.”). Lawler also discusses the Massive and Vexcel acquisitions, and promises to have eight new cities a month made into 3D, good for 100 cities next summer. He also says they’ll be looking at storefronts soon.
  • If you haven’t had your fill after that, Virtual Earth 3D development manager Duncan Lawler explains Virtual Earth over on Microsoft’s Channel 9. This is more for geeks — Lawler doesn’t shy away from technical terms and code.
  • Another database of georeferenced place names: This one contains several places I could find in Virtual Earth but not in Google Earth, for example, Sechery, a small hamlet in Belgium. So might this be the database Microsoft uses?
  • Geospatial search engine Geody (which also contains “Sechery”) now comes in a special “narrow screen” version that easily integrates within NASA World Wind’s upcoming built-in browser, reports the Earth is Square (with screen grab). Which means this should also work with Google Earth, as Geody returns results in many formats.
  • One user’s disappointment with Virtual Earth 3D.

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