Do you really want to know what happened to this blog over the past week? Read below the fold. For a round-up of interesting news that caught my eye this week, read on…
Frank at Google Earth Blog had a spate of interesting original content this week, so I can easily shirk my reporting duties by linking to the bicycle UI for Google Earth and Earthscape’s amazing 3D virtual globe for the iPhone that responds to two-fingered gestures for zooming as well as the accelerometer for tilting! Oh, and just like Google Books, Google News now has a layer in Google Earth that mostly works.
- IMINT & Analysis: Soviet Russia’s 10 closed cities in Google Earth. Wonderful. If only the coordinates were actually a KML file for downloading.
- 3D data is not manna: Richard Treves comments on a KML in the North presentation regarding best practices when it comes to visualizing data, making the point that 3D visualizations are not always the best way into data.
- Google Maps 2 KML: Barry Hunter has a great new resource: A script for converting multiple pages of results in Google Maps into one KML file.
- Default geotagging on iPhone? Mac Rumors says the latest 2.0 iPhone firmware candidate lets you turn on geotagging for photos taken with the built-in camera. Does this imply built-in GPS?
- MapWiki: Another community-based mapping tool, this one developed by Valery Hronusov, among others. It’s aimed more at allowing residents of real-world communities to provide authorities with feedback about specific locations. It works on the iPhone/iPod, so now if you see a pothole in front of you, you’ll be a few clicks away from having it reported.
- Libkml 0.2: Google’s libkml KML parsing library has been updated to Alpha 0.2: in OS X you can now just “make” builds from the command line. (Thanks to Mapperz for the heads up.)
May 2008 has certainly proven to be a mensis horribilis, productivity-wise — and I’m not just talking about the pneumonia from earlier in the month: Last Sunday, my MacBook Pro committed suicide. The rest of the week went something like this: Monday: Find a place in Cairo that repairs Macs. Tuesday: Find out there are no warranty repairs for Apple computers in Cairo, let alone in the Middle East. (Apple, wtf?) Wednesday: Find a place in Cairo that rents Macs until I’m back in Europe. Thursday: Wait for the rented Mac to appear. Friday: Brand new rented Mac in hand (in Cairo, anything is possible if you really want it (except free warranty repairs)), move all applications and data over. As everything was backed up (thank you Time Machine) I am now again in a position to update Ogle Earth.
(Aside on RSS readers: I would move my RSS newsfeed reader to Google Reader so that I am desktop-independent but NetNewsWire for Mac is just an extraordinary power-user tool. I wish there was a way to sync it with Google Reader, much as I can now sync both my OS X contacts and calendar with Google using Spanning Sync. Google, in addition to great web apps, how about some great syncing tools to best-of-breedstandalone apps? After all, you believe in great standalone apps too, like Google Earth.)