Short news: Run Google Earth in IE; Blender imports KML

  • It requires Windows, Google Earth, Internet Explorer 6 and ActiveX installed, but once you have those, You can run Google Earth inside the browser with a plugin. It works, it’s free to use, and it’s a surprising and impressive effect. It’s brought to you by Google Earth Airlines, and the code is easily embedded in any website (with instructions). You can also check out the source code, and there are links to examples. Wow. (No direct links as the site uses frames.)

    Caveats: The browser gets a bit confused if you open more than one window with a Google Earth display. You don’t have access to Google Earth’s sidebar. And it’s not a workaround for people without Google Earth, as you do have to have it installed.

    Google Earth Airlines also offers MovieBuilder4GE for free — for recording Google Earth sessions as an AVI. (I haven’t tested this.) (Via Google Earth Google Group)

  • On the SketchUp Google group, wyrmdragon discovers that the latest release candidate of open-source 3D content creator Blender (2.42RC1) can import KMZ files saved from SketchUp natively. Once in Blender, you can export your models to many different formats, including those you need SketchUp Pro for to do natively.
  • Mapz: A GIS Librarian posts My Powerful Geospatial Suite of Free GIS, a long list of free GIS tools. (Via Declan’s Connotea links)
  • Davester fact-checks Google Earth by taking his own aerial imagery, and puts the comparison up on Flickr. The verdict? You can guess.
  • In case you missed it, here is video of the Google Geo Developer Day presentations featuring Sergei, Larry, Eric, John Hanke, Michael Jones, Google Earth Blog‘s Frank Taylor and Google Maps Mania‘s Mike Pegg. It starts with some interesting strategizing by Google management. Definite must-see. (Via Google Earth Blog)