Links: Under Virtual Earth’s hood,, Iran blocking Google Earth?

  • Thirteen minutes into the most recent BBC Television’s Click new-technology program, there is a 5-minute report on 3D mapping, with a focus on Graz-based Vexcel, which Microsoft bought to get hold of its aerial digital camera system for Virtual Earth’s cities. Read the related story, or just click on the Watch Now button to see the program. Interesting quote:

    Director of Microsoft Photogrammetry [and Vexcel founder] Dr. Franz Leberl says: “The aerial mapping field is one of the few domains where film was still relevant. In other areas film has long been documented to be dead, so I think with this camera we are contributing also to doing away with film in the aerial mapping.

  • Youtube video of the TED presentation by Stephen Lawler, general manager of Microsoft Virtual Earth. Blog istartedsomething picks out the highlights, including “cute view”. I especially like the part at the end of the video where he blends bird-eye view imagery with the 3D map. Worth a look.
  • A really well-done Google Maps-based realt-time global disease alert map. (Thanks Jonathan Thompson)
  • Those of you lucky enough to live in the promised land (as in, chosen by Apple for the launch of the iPhone), here is a KML file of all AT&T stores where you will be able to get one on June 29, in addition to Apple stores.
  • Antony Loewenstein says access to Google Earth’s servers is blocked in Iran. That would make Iran and Morocco the only two countries where such a blockage is in effect.
  • Plazes, a European web service that lets you share connections between events, people and places, now does KML.
  • Andrew Turner at High Earth Orbit

    writes a completely sensible and clear precis on how exactly KML and GeoRSS could coexist. Still, if KML is to HTML as GeoRSS is to RSS, then what I really want is GeoCSS.

  • A bit late to mention here, but very very cool: In addition to having GPS, a 5 megapixel camera, wireless communication abilities, a huge memory and an open operating system, the Nokia N95 is very light. Which makes it the perfect choice to be programmed for imagery acquisition from atop a remote-controlled plane. Pict’Earth does it again, with live positioning in Google Earth. Not surprisingly, Valery Hronusov was instrumental to the improvement over the previous, heavier solution.
  • Google Earth Blog and share details on how to add a realistic sky to your close-up view of Google Earth, ideal for when taking snapshots of city-scapes.

4 thoughts on “Links: Under Virtual Earth’s hood,, Iran blocking Google Earth?”

  1. I would really like GeoCSS as well. I really wish KML didn’t mix style with presentation. I think the best I’ve seen thus far is OGC’s Styled Layer Descriptor (SLD) language, as a CSS for maps. Perhaps we can get some alignment of SLD and KML’s style elements for KML 3.0.

    Note too that GeoServer will let you play with SLD as a GeoCSS, by letting you apply your SLD on the server side to produce KML according its rules.

  2. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. It is always great pleasure to read your posts.

  3. In KML you can in fact link to a ‘styleURL’. See the KML Reference: styleURL.

    So you can split out your presentation to a presentation only KML and leave only ‘markup’ in the rest of your KML’s. This would let you have a generic, site-wide KML-SS.

  4. Yes I use styleURL but it doesn’t let me combine styles like with classes in CSS…

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