Short news: Panorama Viewer; Google Spreadsheets 2 KML

  • Andrew Hudson-Smith has a really cool preview of his upcoming Panorama Viewer for Google Earth (complete with YouTube video). This is a must-visit link. I can’t help but wonder if this is the sort of thing that’s in store for the Google-Pennsylvania Civil War project announced last week.
  • Valery Hronusov demos an undocumented feature of Google Spreadsheets. Just as EditGrid does, Google Spreadsheets now also lets you access specific cells or a range of cells via a URL and have it display as text. The secret is to append “&output=txt&range=a1:b3” to the URL of a spreadsheet, where the range of cells to display is A1 to B3. Just put “&range=a1” if you want to display just one cell — which is precisely what Valery did to produce KML from a Google Spreadsheet.

    How? Just as with his early experiments using EditGrid, Valery put the shell of a KML template in cell A1, and then used the CONCATENATE function all over the place to build valid KML markup from cell-based data.

    Here is his sample spreadsheet.

    Here is the contents of cell A1 as a textfile.

    Here is that output stuck into Google Maps (as one does).

    Google Spreadsheet still doesn’t have EditGrid’s more advanced features: You can’t get your spreadsheet as XML, nor can you apply an XSLT stylesheet to it to convert it to KML systematically (like this). But, says Valery, the one main advantage of Google Spreadsheet is: “It is fast!”

  • On a Related matter — Valery Hronusov was at the AGU in San Francisco last week, and he has just put his photos from the event up on Flickr. Here he is with Alan Glennon (of Geography 2.0).
  • Looks like there is a Virtual Globes Symposium in Massachussets on January 19. NERCOMP: Virtual Globes: GIS 2.0 (Via GIS@Vassar)