With the pre-Christmas work rush in full swing, it’s more bulleted news, I’m afraid:
- Mappic is a georeferenced photo sharing site, sort of like Panoramio, with a network link for its photos. And it also seems to have some very nice pics. (Via this Google Earth Community post)
- Raoul at ComeAcross asks why Zoomr wasn’t included in Google Earth’s “Geographic web” instead of Panoramio, and the comments thread leads off into a discussion about who was “first” and what it means. The obvious solution, in the medium term, is to include all serious georeferenced photosharing sites that want to have a presence.
I see the biggest potential problem for Panoramio (and sites like it) being spammers, as spammers might be tempted by the site’s exposure on Google Earth to try to pepper it with photo spam. This is possibly a reason why Panoramio’s default layer in Google Earth isn’t live — first, get the dedicated users to weed the submissions. (BTW, you can still get the live network link at Panoramio.)
In the medium term, then, Google Earth’s “geographic web” layer could becomes something akin to Yahoo!’s early days, when it was a pre-sorted directory of all interesting web content. But pretty quickly the “ordinary” web grew too large, and so will the “geographic web”. In the long run, then, we’ll need the equivalent of Google search for the geographic web, with all the KML content out there being crawled and made available on Google Earth depending on the context.
- It’s remarkable, too, how much the mainstream tech media has finally been catching on to the “geographic web” meme in the aftermath of these two new layers being released. Take this ZDNet post, for example. Regular users of Google Earth have had access to Panoramio and Wikipedia content for over a year, along with a whole host of other feeds, but it is only when Google made these social, user-generated sites default layers that the implications of Google Earth as a geobrowser hit home more widely. The lesson should be clear from the strength of the response: Much more of where that came from, please. It’s time for the mainstream to be shown what the early adopters have been playing with.
- Coming to a Google Earth near you soon: a KML version of FortiusOne’s GeoIQ heatmaps (blogged about previously here). So says Chris on the FortiusOne blog.
- An intriguing new Microsoft technology: WPF/E. What is it? In marketingese, it’s
the Microsoft solution for delivering rich, cross-platform, interactive experiences including animation, graphics, audio, and video for the Web and beyond. Utilizing a subset of XAML (eXtensible Application Markup Language)-based Windows Presentation Foundation technology, “WPF/E” will enable the creation of content and applications that run within multiple browsers and operating systems (Windows and Macintosh) using Web standards for programmability.
Yay for crossplatform browser compatibility. The immediate question that comes to mind is: Will this eventually work with 3D? And does this mean that Virtual Earth 3D will come to the Mac? And if it will, does this mean a change of tactics for Microsoft, from luring customers to its platform through Windows-only solutions (as is the case now) to luring developers to its platform through Windows-only solutions because the developers know their products can be experienced on any computer? That latter strategy would make a lot more sense, I feel. (Via Coding Day)
- Windows Live Spaces pinpoints the exact places where Virtual Earth’s bird’s eye views were added in last week’s update.
- And now for some eye candy:
- Frank Taylor’s found a beauty: The Turning Torso tower in southern Sweden is a gorgeous piece of architecture, and as imposing in Google Earth as it is in real life, especially as there is nothing tall anywhere near it.
- Frank also takes us to a large repository of NASA timelapse imagery, converted to KML.
- Declan Butler has updated his flu map.
- Digitally Distributed Environments posts a video of some early 3D output from a freeware application Andrew Smith and his team are working on to convert SHP files to KML.
- DIY Choropleth mapping: Noel Jenkins over on Juicy Geography uses R. Sgrillo’s GE Graph in combination with some readymade polygons and data to build a simple choropleth map, and writes up the experience. Useful for anyone who wants to make presentations that blow the competition away.