Short news: VE3D blogs; see old Google Maps tiles; porta-domes

  • Now that Microsoft has a virtual globe out, it’s time to watch the Virtual Earth niche blogs more closely. Here’s my list. Am I missing any?
  • Arc2Earth‘s Brian Flood writes about coming functionality in his ArcGIS export and publishing tool that will allow output as the by-now familiar map tiles, replete with code to view the data in a number of web mapping clients. Might there also be a script that gets called by a network link in Google Earth, much like ones made by Rev Dan Catt and Bernhard Sterzbach back in the heady days of September 2005?
  • In a slight segue, I had no idea that old generations of Google Maps tiles are still available for the asking, as this comparison page makes clear. Here you have the Swedish spy base, obscured in older version of Google’s global dataset, and visible in more recent updates. This answers James Fee’s recent question as to what happens with older generations of Google’s imagery. Now wouldn’t it be great if a there were a server-side script/network link combo that overlays older Google Maps tiles in Google Earth, so we can catch more Hyderabad land scams? Anyone? Google?
  • Eye candy galore of Earth at Scaling The Universe, the website of the UniView visualization platform, aimed at planetariums.
  • Can’t afford your own planetarium? Are you sure? Can I interest you in the Elumenati portable inflatable dome with fish-eye lens? It doesn’t work with Google Earth just yet, but it does run Second Life, as well as SketchUp, according to Eluminati team member David McConville. Several scientist friends who have seen it have come away raving. Apparently, it brings the immersive visualization of a virtual world to a whole new level.
  • For my own reference more than anything else: Microsoft’s Photosynth is out as a technology preview. It still sounds too good to be true, IMHO. Postcards, maybe, but my shots — unlikely.

6 thoughts on “Short news: VE3D blogs; see old Google Maps tiles; porta-domes”

  1. The old tile comparison tool is great. That tiles-to-Earth app that you ask for would be welcomed, cause the map-tiles-to-earth tools that you also mention (the one at Geobloggers and the other by Mr. Sterzbach) don’t longer work. We know what happened to Geobloggers, but as for Sterzbach, I guess that perhaps it has finished working cause (my guess) it was tied to the v1 version of the Google Maps API? v1 was deprecated last week, and that has led to the demise of some un-updated Google Maps mashups…

    On the other hand, this Map-tiles-to-Earth thing… certainly, it should be Google the one to provide it. The African layer that you mention in another recient post… at the end, it’s just the new map layers that they’ve displayed in Google Maps and the API. Have a look at Tanger in hybrid mode, for instance.

  2. hi stefan

    in regards to the map tiles in GE, yes one of the files it will write and publish is a KMZ file containing the relevant Region tags to load the tiles at appropriate map scales. I still have to tweak that portion since GE4 doesn’t really like loading lots of small images (256×256 tiles).

    also, the VE3D api automatically loads custom map tiles that support their naming convention. This is one of the benefits of a shared 2D/3D api. unfortunately, I think sticking to the OSGEO naming spec is more important so a piece of shim server software would be necessary to convert file names (or store the tiles seperately, which seems like a large waste of disk space to me)

    I’ll let you know more in the future but fear not, getting the tiles into the 3D clients is a primary goal



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