Links: India river changes course, AGU meet deadline, cities at night

The past few weeks haven’t given me much opportunity to blog on Ogle Earth, but I did keep up the monitoring, so now that I am back in Cairo and settled in here’s a first attempt at getting some recent (and not so recent) news out the door, with commentary where useful:

  • Monsoon changes map of India: Monsoon rains in Bihar, India, changed the course of the Kosi river during August, displacing millions of people from their homes, reports the BBC (with new imagery). UNOSAT has updated flood maps from the past few weeks. I’ve georeferenced the top one and turned it into a KMZ file to download.
  • AGU Fall meet abstracts deadline looms: The 2008 Fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union will be held on 15-19 December 2008. John E Bailey reminds us that the deadline for submissions of abstracts for the Virtual Globes session is September 10.
  • Cities at night: Wonderful night photography from the International Space Station:

  • Flickr loves KML, cont.: Flickr’s Dan Catt continues to show how the photo sharing site stays at the forefront of making its API geo-format-friendly. More on the code.Flickr blog: API Responses as Feeds. Combined with social location broker Fire Eagle, Yahoo continues to punch way above its weight in ways that would make Thatcher proud. Could it be the best thing that Yahoo has going right now?
  • Trouble in the Kalahari: I stumbled across this closely packed placemark collection posted to Google Earth Commuity while ogling the lovely new Spot Image imagery in Botswana. Remarkable how areas that appear to be empty at first sight are teeming with interesting content.
  • WorldWide Telescope downloads top 1 million: Microsoft WorldWide Telescope hits the 1 million download mark. That’s quite a lot of downloads for an atlas of the sky, which, lets face it, is a lot more of a niche product than a 3D atlas of Earth.
  • Google geo-schema: Barry Hunter published a schematic overview of how all of Google’s geo properties relate to one another. It’s quite hilarious:


  • Photoshopped Netherlands: Photoshop Disasters discovers a bit of the Netherlands that’s been photoshopped on Google Earth. Most likely the explanation is innocuous, but it’s remarkable nonetheless, because the Netherlands has a policy of clearly marking censorship on aerial imagery taking within its jurisdiction. Google is investigating, reports Stinky Journalism.
  • RoofRay: Getting solar panels in northern Sweden might not be a good idea, financially. In Cairo, it’s another story. calculates how much wattage you can wring from your roof’s surface area were you to slather it solar panels, simply by drawing the shape of your roof on top of Google Maps, and inputting the roof’s inclination. The web application takes into account your latitude, and presto, a cost estimate. Very clever (if your roof is in a high resolution area). (Via RiverWired)
  • GPS2Aperture Lite out of beta: Geotagging application GPS2Aperture for Mac’s Aperture photo management software is out of beta. Writes the developer, Ian Wood: “It’s temporarily changed to only tag referenced files but that will be changing as part of the process of finishing off the pro version.” Ian’s also looking for beta testers of the pro version.
  • Chrome Earth: Google releases its own browser, Chrome. Chrome is going to be Google’s way of making the operating system irrelevant when it comes to getting most everyday tasks done — a faster, more stable cloud computing terminal than current browsers. (Having tried cloud computing this summer, I’d say speed and responsiveness are crucial if cloud computing is going to replace desktop apps.) Chrome doesn’t support the Google Earth plugin just yet, but considering how Chrome is optimized for Javascript and Google Gears, I think it is only a matter of time before the functionality of the standalone Google Earth (such as the sidebar) gets replicated and begins rivalling the original. I’d love to be able to save and share my places; I suspect Chrome will make this feasible. (A Mac version is in the works.)
  • GeoEye and Google in exclusivity deal: In a deal similar to the one made with DigitalGlobe two years ago, Google has the exclusive online rights to the imagery coming from the new GeoEye-1 satellite being launched September 6 7, tropical storm permitting.
  • Wikiloc hits the big time: Wikiloc is a GPS community started by Jordi L Ramot back in 2006, and it was first blogged on Ogle Earth soon after it had won the Google Maps Mashup contents prize. Honorable mention in that contest went to a photo sharing site called Panoramio (and we now all know where it ended up) so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by the announcement that Google has chosen to elevate Wikiloc as the repository for GPS tracks shown by default in Google Earth. Just as with Panoramio, expect the popularity of Wikiloc to explode — having your tracks appear on a Google Earth default layer should be an irresistible draw for GPS-enabled hikers. (Oh, and what is it about the Iberian peninsula that creates star geo-coders?)
  • Photosynth launched: Microsoft’s Photosynth 3D photo matching software has gone live, as a standalone Windows application with a plugin for viewing in Windows browsers. A Mac version is in the works. O’Reilly Radar has a thorough post.
  • All that’s round… Is not necessarily a meteorite crater. Try telling that to a man in New Jersey however, who’s convinced that round features in Australia constitute a crater from an impact half a billion years ago. Others are skeptical.
  • Google Earth, mistrial enabler: A juror on a manslaughter trial in the UK decided to investigate the case further on his own initiative, using Google Earth among other tools. The judge hears about it and halts the trial.

3 thoughts on “Links: India river changes course, AGU meet deadline, cities at night”

  1. Oops. Jon, you’re right. I’ve now fixed it by rasterizing the PDF of the top map and georeferencing that. That’s now the new KMZ link.

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