Links: KML => OGC? Berlin in 3D? Sky-map.org

I’m in Cairo and loving it, and just now firmly ensconced in a fast internet café on Zamalek island, catching up on events of the past week:

  • Metacarta press release announcing support for KML, February 26, 2007:
    For the first time, companies and governments can now search unstructured text documents for geographic locations and visualize these references on a map using Google Earth, ESRI ArcGIS Explorer or NASA World Wind interfaces.

    How is that different from the Metacarta press release announcing support for KML on May 15, 2006? That was for Google Earth Enterprise only. (The original post on Ogle Earth.)

  • Quirky but fascinating KML content of the month: White-tailed deer density in Connecticut. (Via GIS Planet, which has more info.)
  • Looks like the process of making KML an open format, managed by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is under way. All Points Blog points us at the discussion. I wonder if this means that the bulk of the rapid development we’ve seen have been made — previously, the Google Earth team has argued that opening the format would slow such innovation, and that it would make KML open once the torrid pace subsided.
  • Internetnews.com’s Nicholas Carlson talks to Google Earth Product Manager Peter Birch, and comes away with these interesting bits of info:
    • He too gets told there is no Second Life-like future for Google Earth. It’s all going to be about the real world.
    • We’re now talking 200 million downloads, (up from 100 million in June 2006 and near 0 in June 2005). That’s an increasing pace.
    • Google’s monetization strategy for Google Earth will involve selling priority placements in KML search results, in a manner analogous to Google Search.
  • More about Google Earth’s demographics on Pi: Quiet Musing, whose author was at at a presentation by the Google Earth team of Google Earth Enterprise.
    One astounding statistic quoted was the vast number of users GE has been able to accumulate over its short life- approximately 200 million; reportedly many more than those by Google Maps, with nearly 80% for casual uses. And a surprising number, or so we are told, falls in the 45+ age group.

    It would be interesting to know what the criteria for casual use are, and how the age group data was gathered.

  • If my German is not worse than I imagine it, then according to this article, Berlin is coming to a Google Earth near you in all its three-dimensional glory on March 8, brought to you by Berlin’s business promotion body, Berlin Partner. They may be the second city to announce this, but if Hamburg doesn’t hurry up, Berlin may soon be the first to go all 3D (if that is what we get — the article talks about using cadastral data, but without informing us if the resulting buildings will be textured.)
  • Only tangentially related, via comments, but awesome: Sky-map.org is exactly analogous to Google Maps, but for the night sky. I love the fact that you can get live coordinate data, a permalink to a specific view (!) and also that you can overlay the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) over your view (!!). Here, for example, is a permalink to the SDSS view of M13, a massive globular cluster. How come I didn’t know about this before?:-)

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