Links: DigitalGlobe contract, Baghdad by night, Kosi river flood imagery

  • DigitalGlobe, Google, extend agreement: It’s described by DigitalGlobe in their press release as a “new multi-year, non-exclusive content agreement”. I wonder if that means the terms have been changed. The previous agreement gave Google exclusive web use of the imagery.
  • Iraq Surge “success” due to ethnic cleansing? Science Daily writes up an analysis of satellite imagery of Baghdad taken at night which concludes that several Baghdad neighborhoods saw distinctive reductions in night light over the past few years – a proxy for population density. The inference is that the depopulation of these neighborhoods is a cause for the lessening of the inter-community violence in Bagdhad, as there are fewer mixed communities left. It’s a feasible thesis, though to me the unit areas measured in the analysis look rather large and coarse for any definitive conclusions to be drawn.
  • The Google Earth censorship meme continues to spread: Emirates Business 24/7 believes that

    Google Earth is also victim to this arm-twisting tactics of authorities and, on the request of many countries, blocks geographical imprints of sensitive areas. Largely disputed areas are also blocked on Google Earth on the request of respective countries.

    I’m glad that UAE media pens articles critical of internet censorship (and some of the other points are spot on) but facts are facts and the above excerpt is fiction.

  • India flooding gets updated imagery: The flooded Kosi river now has some proper updated imagery, thanks to the German Aerospace Center (DLR), GeoEye and the Google India Team.
  • Virtual Earth v6.2 now out: The new map controls for Microsoft Virtual Earth are out. In this version developers get much better support for mobiles. I can’t wait to get bird’s eye view on my iPhone — until now, Virtual Earth wasn’t usable in the mobile browser. Alas, 3D still doesn’t work on Macs. (Talking of which, the Google Earth 3D plugin for Mac browsers still isn’t out yet either.)

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