Links: Google buys Adscape; details on 3D Shanghai

It feels good, catching up on geobrowser news after a hectic workweek:

  • The WSJ had it right: Google is buying in-world advertising firm Adscape, for $23 million, reports Red Herring, citing “people familiar with the matter”. If you believe some of the people Red Herring talked to, it’s mainly for the patents.
  • Following up from the story in Shanghai Daily earlier this week about the Chinese 3D view of Shanghai slated for 2010, a far more nuanced and informative article on China View. For example, quoth the dev team leader Shu Rong: “We’d like to co-operate with Google Earth or other international companies, and put this technology in use.” Excellent idea.
  • New Google Earth help resources, in the form of monitored Google Groups. These replace several Google Earth Community forums. (The KML and data discussion forums stay put in the GEC.) (Via Google Earth Blog)
  • NASA World Wind 1.4 is out for the PC. Here’s what’s new since 1.3. This is a belated mention in anticipation of more time to give that virtual globe a proper whirl and a thorough review.
  • What’s the difference between neogeographers and naïve geographers? Mapping Hacks‘s Schuyler Earle explains the former concept at FOSSG4 in this video, while Richard Treves — who made the Kokae Google Earth tutorial screencasts — explains the latter concept in this writeup of his speech to the Society of Cartographers last September. In short, writes Richard, “the difference is that naive geographers are everyone, neo-geographers […] are web designers and developers without much GIS knowledge.”
  • If you have a great KML layer, building or network link you made just lying around, why not enter it in the International Digital Earth 3D Visualization Challenge? The deadline is April 1, and the finalists get an all-expenses-paid trip to San Francisco to attend ISDE5 on June 5-9.
  • Twingly is a newly launched (Swedish) blog ping service, but with a global geospatial twist. Check out the screensaver that is a virtual globe (PC only), showing off where the latest blog posts originated. It’s a very neat visualization.
  • user jlawhead‘s comment on this forum thread is very funny: “I sleep better at night knowing 15-year-old nerds are monitoring Google Earth forums for terrorists.”
  • Pro tool Photomodeler is up to version 6, and with it comes the ability to export to KML. Here are the details and some examples. (It costs $1,000)
  • is Dave Bouwman‘s new aggregator for blogs by ESRI users and developers.
  • In the aftermath of the BBC article earlier this week on the usefulness of Google Earth for survival in Baghdad, the Daily Telegraph ran an article yesterday pinpointing precisely how Iraqis are using the application. I wonder if this is meant to be atonement for the hysterics the paper engaged in when it reported on the use of public domain imagery by local insurgents in Basra last month — overall, this article is somewhat more balanced than its previous attempt.
  • A new tutorial for making videos in Google Earth Pro, by the Google Earth team’s John Gardiner.
  • On this page, a treasure trove of South Africa-themed KML files (scroll down).