Category Archives: Uncategorized

Google Earth needs you!

Google is hiring a tools engineer for Google Earth. Requirements:

3+ years of development experience.

Excellent Python or C++ programing skills.

Excellent Unix/Linux and shell scripting skills.

Perl and Java a plus.

Excellent communication skills.


GIS experience is desirable, but not required.

That should beat the hell out of hacking the app. And shall we start a Google Earth for Linux rumor now, or later?

Brave New Earth

Google Earth is proving to be many things to many people – mapping tool, information browser, game board, learning tool for history and geography… But it is also exciting futurologists for its potential as a mirror world – a shared digital space that is virtually inhabited by users.

Jerry Paffendorf will be looking at Google Earth in just this context in his presentation “Brave New Virtual Worlds” at the World Futures Studies Federation 2005 conference in Budapest in the coming week.

GeoDRM. Who’d have guessed?

After yesterday’s news that WMS server data can easily be served as KML, I emailed The Atlas of Canada, which serves WMS for free, if they wouldn’t consider opening up their data to Google Earth.

The answer? “We’re working on it”:


Because of some restrictions in terms of Policy issues i.e. access control (who?) and Digital Rights (licensing, liability), we can not provide this feature at this time within our WMSs. We are addressing these issues as we speak as part of the overall effort through internal means and within the Open Geospatial Consortium GeoDRM group.

We will keep you informed ….

All the best for now

— Mohamed

Mohamed Habbane, Ph.D.

Canada Centre for Remote Sensing/Centre Canadien de télédétection
Natural Resources Canada/Ressources Naturelles Canada

GeoDRM? I should have guessed there’d be such a thing. Soon we’ll be faced with the phenomenon of illegal layersharing:-)

GeoDRM stands a better chance than DRM for music or video, however — music and video have as an achilles heel that they are not interactive, so they can always be recorded at the experiential stage. Dynamically served maps and data appear far more difficult to “record” for playback. Perhaps in the future we will have pirate Earths, where de-DRM’ed data is available, but I imagine the cost of running such a place would be prohibitive.

Interestingly, the library metaphor is bandied about quite a bit in the context of serving spatial information for free. Rights are protected, but access is subsidized as it is perceived as a “community good”. This is where the Atlas of Canada appears headed.