Links: PhotoOverlay tool, Leopard reads GPS, Free Canada roads

This is what happens when things get busy around here: Stuff piles up. Time to dive into this week’s links…

  • PhotoOverlay tool: Digital Urban announces Google Earth PhotoOverlay, a free Windows app that automates the creation of the KML you need to publish your panoramas to Google Earth using the new PhotoOverlay tag in KML 2.2, supported in Google Earth 4.2.
  • NeoGeo Co-opetition: Oy, what’s going on here? First All Points Blog reports that Google Earth’s Brian McClendon and Microsoft’s Erik Jorgensen get all touchy-feely about KML, and now we hear on the Google Enterprise Blog that Google and ESRI are collaborating to better serve government employees. Let’s hope everyone’s faking:-)
  • Leopard does GPS metadata: I’m having Amazon Fedex Mac OS X 10.5 to a friend who will put it on the first plane to Cairo, as it would be intolerable to run an outdated operating system, and Amazon isn’t shipping Leopard to Egypt. One of the 300 new features of Leopard:

    GPS Metadata Support
    Get real information from your photos. If your image has embedded GPS metadata, Preview will show you exactly where that perfect photo was taken. Open the Image inspector and select GPS. Preview pinpoints the location where you took the photo on a world map. From there you can even open the GPS location in Google Maps.

  • Neogeoblogger minimeetup: Last weekend I had a pitstop in Antwerp to see the family. I also met up with Belgeoblog‘s Pascal, who has the Belgian market in Google Earth cornered. Here he is on Flickr.
  • AutoCAD to Google Earth: “An updated version of the Google Earth Extension for AutoCAD is now available on Autodesk Labs.”
  • Canada roads, for free: Peter Rukavina notes that Canada’s National Road Network is now available as free download as KML, ESRI Shapefile, and GML. Peter adds:

    For anyone interested in GIS, map-hacking and similar pursuits, the NRN is an amazing dataset. That it’s made freely available for any use is a dramatic departure from usual practice with government data in Canada, where we usually have to pay for data that is, by all rights, already “ours.”

    UK Ordnance Survey, are you listening? Take some advice from the colonies.

  • Dutch blog: Another Dutch-language Google Earth blog hits my radar screen for the first time, (I keep on reading it as Google Dearth, though:-)
  • Global Mapper to KML: Global Mapper is “a [$300 Windows] program that has an amazing ability to display, convert, edit and print the most popular image, elevation and vector datasets.” Now it also exports to KML.
  • Morocco censorship redux: More anecdotal evidence that Morocco continues to ban Google Earth, and a lot else besides. Glad I visited before the internet was invented:-)
  • Keyhole history:Frank Taylor links to an hour-long video of a presentation by Google Earth President John Hanke about the early days of Keyhole, and how they became Google Earth. Avi Bar-Zeev adds some color.
  • Unstructured data to Google Earth: Interesting press release:

    NetOwl, an advanced multilingual text mining platform developed by SRA, is now fully integrated with the Google Earth service. This new capability enables knowledge workers to rapidly analyze, geotag, and geoparse large amounts of unstructured data from a diverse number of sources and languages, and it georeferences the results in new and innovative ways through Google Earth. It also provides the ability to fuse structured and unstructured data and imagery, and to tailor specific requirements to their individual needs…

    Sounds like what Google did with their book layer in Google Earth.

  • Cool Virtual Earth feature: Here’s a feature I didn’t really get until Virtual Earth Blog explained it in detail (it’s item number 6): You can subscribe to a KML file on the web, and if it is updated you get the news via a GeoRSS feed. Clever!
  • Virtual Earth inside ArcGIS: This is verging on the freaky: According to Virtual Earth Blog, soon Brian Flood’s Arc2Earth will have the “ability to embed VE/VE3D directly into ArcGIS as a custom view. Watch for this update in about a week according to Brain Flood, creator of Arc2Earth”. Brain flood indeed:-) Check out the screenshot.
  • KML to GPX: KMLToGPX Converter 2.0 is out, free, and available for Windows and Mac.
  • LoadMyTracks: The free LoadMyTracks utility for Mac gets an update to fix Leopard compatibility. This is my utility of choice for getting GPX files to and from GPS receivers and turning them into KML.
  • Free KML tools: Free Geography Tools flags two new online KML tools by Zonum Solutions: KML-GRID (which draws a grid to your parameters as KML) and KML-Area & Length (which takes your KML polygons ad calculates areas, which Google Earth Free doesn’t do).
  • California fires: Google releases a master layer that includes all the imagery released so far. GeoCommons has also collected all its fire maps into one place.
  • Comet! And finally, thanks to Frank at Google Earth Blog for alerting me to the brightening of Comet 17P/Holmes, and where to find it.

3 thoughts on “Links: PhotoOverlay tool, Leopard reads GPS, Free Canada roads”

  1. Thanks for the links to all of the great tools, Stefan. Have any of you (or any readers) found a good (free) solution for creating super-overlays?

    I’ve used the Super Overlay Tiler, but found that it dies on jpegs that are larger than 7MB and only does that when using the low-quality option.

    I’ve also tried to uses the regionator – but couldn’t even find what the command-line arguments are.

    I’m tempted to write my own script that would use ImageMagick to chop of the images, but would not go to the trouble if a viable solution exists.

    – Adam (

  2. Hello Adam,

    thanks for showing my link. I did googledearth because I didn’t know if I could use googleearth and then I thought of the word google as a verb. That you have googled something. So that you have googled up the earth.

    The weblog is about the use of google earth, alternatives and space in education. I want to point people to interesting things.

  3. Hello Stefan,

    I’m sorry I didn’t look very well and saw the name of Adam, but I ment you in the comment just right above this comment

Comments are closed.