Links: GoogleLit Trips, Barry Hunter’s PHP class for KML, Itidarod

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  • What literature lends itself especially well to georeferencing? Travel literature, of course. And there is no better travel literature than The Aeneid and The Oddysey. Both are available at GoogleLit Trips, a wonderfully single-minded website devoted to turning great works of literature into KML files. The author is Jerome Burg, a Google Certified Teacher. (If I may make a request: Herodotus)

  • Nearby.org.uk’s Barry Hunter writes a PHP abstraction class for KML and shares.
  • Erik Gregg and Matt Nolan have a live KML tracker of dogsled racers in the Itidarod across Alaska. Frank Taylor at Google Earth Blog has more.
  • More remarkable than the discovery of an out-of-date label for a German mountain in Google Earth is the extent to which the Reuters article that was written about it got picked up by scores of newspapers. The same conclusion must be reached yet again: People perceive Google’s toponyms as some kind of standard, their wide use molding opinion and hence something worth fighting over.
  • Microsoft tries to sensor its satellite imagery by asking the US government which bits exactly it would like blacked out, but gets rebuffed. Silly Microsoft.
  • A Turkish court blocked access to Google’s YouTube from within Turkey on Wednesday, as the IHT reports, because one of the user-submitted videos “insulted” Ataturk, which is a crime in Turkey. This is precisely the kind of stuff that will happen more and more as authoritarian laws of old meet the brave new world of user-generated content.

    I wonder, though, does Google need Turkish YouTube viewers more than Turkish viewers need YouTube? Google says it has now removed the video that “offended” Ataturk, which is not a promising sign. Would Google then also remove sensitive content posted to Google Earth Community, if Turkey were to ask?

  • ABCNews flags the fact that the blocking of Google Earth in Bahrain and Morocco (was the latter ever confirmed?) made it into the US State Department’s 2006 Annual Report on Human Rights. (Why can’t I do a text search that covers the entire report?)
  • Is it just me, or have the most recent new map-based applications seen more Virtual Earth-based solutions? Two datapoints: Superpages.com and Weather.com.
  • New niche blog on the block: Aidan’s Census KML Data Visualization. (Via comments)
  • That one Digital Globe image from 2004 that was yanked from Basra wasn’t the only one. This blogger documents how an Australian base near the Ziggurat of Ur has also disappeared, as imagery is reverted to pre-war views. Not surprising — and there are certainly more such spots in Iraq.
  • Slashdot reports on a new search engine for matching 3D shapes that is purportedly 1,500 times faster than previous attempts. I wonder if this will have implications for finding plagiarists in Second Life and 3D Warehouse:-)