Short news: EarthBooker; miniature China

  • EarthBooker launches a service whereby you yourself can automatically add your hotel to their database and position it using Google Earth. It leads you through the whole process, including setting up an account, and then at the very last moment, after you’ve done all the work, it informs you that you’ll have to pay them if you want your hotel to be visible with their service: $5 for a week, $15 for a month, etc… The press release doesn’t mention that it costs to be listed, nor does the website. In fact, consumers using the service have no idea that they are only seeing hotels that have paid to be there. They may assume, as I initially did, that the list is comprehensive. There’s no way to avoid concluding that this constitutes two counts of misleading advertising. (Mac users are spared the bother, as it doesn’t work with the Mac version of Google Earth.)
  • Le Monde comes with its own multimedia Google Earth sightseeing guide, featuring some of the more stunning aerial views. You’d think the editors would add a link to the actual image in Google Earth, but no… It’s the equivalent of listing the titles of your favorite sites, but then not showing their URLs.
  • This post of Google Earth Community pointing to a spot in a remote part of China where there is a giant miniature landscape of another spot on the disputed Chinese-Indian border (if that makes sense) has received plenty of web attention today. Even The Age picked up on it. It’s certainly one of the weirder views available in Google Earth.

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