Links: Microsoft frees trueSpace, novel map use, British Columbia frees geodata

  • Microsoft frees trueSpace 3D authoring tool: Microsoft’s Chris Pendleton over on his blog announces that trueSpace 7.6 — the $595 3D authoring tool by the recently acquired Caligari — is now free for all to download (Windows only), putting it smack in the same competitive space as Google SketchUp, with a similar ability to create 3D models and then position them on a virtual globe, in this case Virtual Earth. Chris’s post is detailed, and he implies that trueSpace is a much more advanced tool than SketchUp. (I haven’t had a chance to compare.)

    Not sure where this leaves Dassault Systemes 3DVIA, which Microsoft integrated into Virtual Earth as a kind of browser-based 3D authoring competitor to SketchUp. Ironically, it turns out that while Google’s been working on a browser-based version of its stand-alone virtual globe, Microsoft’s been working on acquiring a standalone replacement for its browser-based 3D authoring tool:-)

  • Novel map use: Clyde Ford writes:
    Thought you might be interested in my new geo-mashup that integrates VE and GE, switching between the two for the best satellite imagery. I’m a long-time software developer, but also a thriller writer, who wanted to design a site that allows readers to fly-to places in my book and once there to enjoy multimedia experiences. Hang out on the site long enough and you’ll hear Morgan Freeman’s voice talking about Precious Cargo, my latest book.

    It’s Windows only for now. For a book that name-checks a lot of locations (as a nautical novel is wont to do), this is certainly an interesting way of making places come alive.

  • British Columbia geodata in Google Earth: The Map Room finally made me look. Here is a belated link to guided tours of some lovely geospatial data of British Columbia in Google Earth.