Links: WarViews, TileCache 2.0, restful text to KML

Welcome to 2008. Let’s get to work:

  • War views: The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology has published a really interesting dynamic KML layer: WarViews: “Visualizing and Animating Geographic Data on Conflict.” The idea is that if you map data that is usually associated with the causes of conflicts, such as ethnic groups, oil deposits and pipelines, and diamond fields, you get a better understanding of existing conflicts and regions prone to conflict.

    WarViews is also a sort of best practices example when it comes to using open-source software: The static browser-based version uses OpenLayers, and content is served with with GeoServer.

  • Map tiles for everyone: TileCache 2.0, “a Python-based web tile server,” is out. (Announcement). Christopher Schmidt at Technical Ramblings blog points out that TileCache “now has limited support for KML SuperOverlays, allowing you to use browse your worldwide dataset in Google Earth”. TileCache also supports Mobile GMaps, letting you serve your tiles to mobile phones with ease. (BTW, the most recent version of Mobile GMaps, from December 31 2007, supports OpenAerialMap imagery.
  • Geo convert: Also via Technical Ramblings: OpenLayers Format Conversion, a simple web tool for converting between GeoJSON, KML, GeoRSS and GML.
  • Text to KML icons: Yet another Valery Hronusov hack: He and Sergey Devyatkov wrote a PHP script that takes text, coordinates and styling parameters as part of a URL and returns KML with a PNG image icon of the text at the specified location. It also works with charts — in other words, it automates the process of wrapping KML around charts, as described by the Maps API Blog last month.
  • Road safety: Taiwan is georeferencing all its road accident data with a view to making it publicly available as a KML file.
  • Python hack: Control Google Earth’s API in Windows with Python, using pywin32.
  • GPS Photo Linker: GPS Photo Linker for the Mac is now Leopard compatible.
  • Google Maps route to KML: Export Google Maps multi-destination routes to Google Earth using Barry Hunter’s latest web tool. (All of Barry’s collected tools here.)
  • Search and Rescue redux: How to turn the impromptu online aerial imagery search for Steve Fossett into a sustainable infrastructure for future such searches? You create, Internet Search and Rescue, the result of a post on Google Earth Community. Currently, you can help look for pilot Ron Boychuk. Vancouver’s The Province newspaper’s blog posts about it.
  • GPS iPhone? Well, the add-on looks a bit vapory, but mmmm. (Via Mapperz)
  • Live weather: Another cool global live weather dynamic KML overlay from this page. (Via
  • Neogeo paper: Science Daily flags Michael Goodchild’s “Citizens as sensors: the world of volunteered geography” in GeoJournal and writes:

    [Goodchild] concludes that “collectively volunteered geographic information represents a dramatic innovation that will certainly have profound impacts on geographic information systems and more generally on the discipline of geography and its relationship to the general public.”

    (Via Slashdot)

  • iPhone + Google Sky redux: Alasdair Allan at the Daily Ack has another go at bringing Google Sky to the iPhone, this time using Google Code UI.