Links: Beirut imagery, Google Earth Gallery

  • The Google Sightseeing blog notices that Google’s latest update now has imagery of Beirut that shows the aftermath of last summer’s war. The post also mentions how this data was intended for inclusion then, but I think that in the end, the nature of the material simply proved too controversial and simply could not be presented neutrally while such a war was still raging.
  • Google Earth’s site has a new page that highlights particularly helpful or impressive KML layers: The Google Earth Gallery. Currently highlighted: the HMS Endurance’s trip to Antarctica, and another take on Darfur, this one with a lot if site-specific information about individual villages. Excitingly, a lot of this content is tagged with categories, so expect plenty more of such “best of” content. It’s a 3D Warehouse for geospatial datasets, if you will. (Google’s announcement)
  • BeLight’s Live Interior 3D 1.1 gains the ability to import SketchUp content. Coming at the tail end of a slew of similar announcements by 3D authoring tool developers, it seems that in the CAD world, SketchUp’s native file format is attaining a prominence not unlike what KML has achieved in the GIS world.
  • The Mediterranean Archaeology Geographic Information System (MAGIS) project looks like it will soon be available as KML.
  • Roderic Page’s iPhylo blog writes about his own recent efforts at “playing with Google Earth as a phylogeny viewer”. (Previous posts on phylogenetics: here, here and here).
  • does not currently have a Google Earth layer associated with it, but it is a wonderfully executed amalgam of 360-degree panorama imagery, soundscapes, Google Maps, and textual guided tours of some of the most interesting cities in Europe, but also of places in the US and even of missions to the Moon. Worth a visit.

3 thoughts on “Links: Beirut imagery, Google Earth Gallery”

  1. Considering how well the Darfur situation is covered by Google, it is outright ridiculous to claim that showing the damage in Lebanon would be “controversial”. If Google wants to portray itself as pro-humanitarian, it should shamelessly expose all atrocities committed anywhere if only possible. Given how essential part Google plays on Internet, cowing to pressure from one side (or censoring data) threatens the neutrality of Internet and that is ultimately harmful to everyone.

  2. I really cant see how satellite imagery could be called controversial. Of course one or other side may wish to censor it to cover up the facts but to say it is controversial implies that there is a possibility that they are inaccurate in some way. You have been outspoken about censorship in the past but now appear to be endorsing it.In fact censorship for security reasons is far more admissible than censorship as a propaganda tool.

  3. I would certainly have put it up — and in fact did so, as an overlay published to Google Earth Community. I’m merely telling you what I believe was the reason why Google did not, in the end, add the imagery to the base layer then. Whether you agree with them or not, I can assure you that it would have been controversial , as it would have presented a side of the suffering without immediately balancing it with suffering on the other side.

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