A good day for consumer GIS: Maxim, Discovery Channel, USGS

  • Ogling Earth, literally: There is a new thank you page (Mac, Windows) that you get to see when you download Google Earth, with new favorites. One of them links to the giant Maxim magazine cover (KML) in the desert near Nevada — a new breed of ad has well and truly arrived.
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  • National Parks: Another link off the new download page leads to the Discovery Channel’s website, which is starting to publish layers for Google Earth that georeference its video library. Today, a video tour of US national parks. This press release promises more where that came from in the coming months, including HD video.

    It’s all done very professionaly, but for a second I thought (and hoped) they were offering live video of bits of Earth, rather than georeferenced video. A live webcam of Times Square from the top of a skyscraper, or of hippos watering from an observation tower, as a live updating image overlay — now that would truly blow me away. I’m assuming that asking for the same from a geostationary satellite is still something only the CIA can afford, à la Syriana. (National Geographic was first to Earth with georeferenced video of Africa, and indeed has a default layer in Google Earth.)

  • Earthquakes: The USGS website on the 1906 San Francisco quake is now up. It is state of the art, and well worth the visit.

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