As I am still in an anti-IT funk I held off posting on the recently released Google Earth iPhone App in order to show solidarity with my protest. Frank and Stefan have already covered it six ways to Sunday so I’ll just link to all of their good stuff which is way the hell better than anything I could come up with. Here’s Frank’s Google Earth Blog write-up and here is Stefan’s Ogle Earth write-up.
My quick and dirty take on it is:
1) Don’t miss the overly ostentatious iTunes App store page. Above is a glimpse of what you can expect.
2) It is exactly like a little, tiny Google Earth in an iPhone.
What I’d like to know is when are we going to see an OSM App for iPhone? Steve? Mikel? Andrew?
TechCrunch once again has the story on hot stuff iPhone Apps. Earthscape is FREE for a limited time so get on over to the iTunes store (LINK) and get one! In case you don’t know what it does here is Google Earth Blog‘s Frank Taylor with a video introduction:
Our heart felt thanks go out to the folks in Mountain View. Dave Barth posted yesterday over at Google Lat Long Blog to let us know that new data is now available for Georgia. The was a minor brouhaha a few weeks back when it was noticed that there was no data for Georgia. Dave quickly responded that they’re working on it and now, a little over two weeks later, there is a slew of new layer material. There was a small spurt of data shortly after the very vocal uprising but now they’ve gone and added Panoramio images along with other data sets.
Thanks to Dave and the team and now we just have to ask one question: When are you posting the new Bihar imagery?
MSF has reached the flood affected regions in Bihar state and reports back from the frontlines:
An emergency relief team from the humanitarian aid agency, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has reached the areas worst affected by the flooding in Bihar State, India. The team, including a logistician, a water-sanitation engineer and a medical doctor, are assessing the extent of the humanitarian needs in Araria and Purnea-Madhepura. The team has also brought supplies of non-food items for distribution to the affected population.
Stefan Geens over at Ogle Earth has converted the UNOSAT PDF maps into a KMZ file for those of you interested in viewing the flooding in Bihar in Google Earth. We covered this in an earlier post sans KMZ. When will UNOSAT start publishing all their data in KMZ?
PopPhoto.com has an article on how DigitalGlobe goes about collecting imagery for Google Earth. From the story:
When you launch GoogleEarth on your computer, you start in outer space and you miraculously zoom in. You might see two unsuspecting guys walking across the Blue Wonder Bridge way off in Dresden, Germany.
But the folks at Google Earth remind us that you’re not zooming in on just one picture. You’re actually going through a succession – seamlessly – of closer and closer shots, making the transition from a NASA shuttle shot to a satellite shot to a photograph made from an airplane. So that’s how they get such good close-up resolution.
The primary source of GoogleEarth images is, DigitalGlobe. They told Pop Photo how the system works.
I have been sitting on this one for a while I try to figure out if it dovetails with what I’ve been thinking about the need for a open source geobrowser which, most importantly, does not come loaded with imagery. (Yeah, it’s that bandwidth issue again.)
The Industry Standard has a write-up on Ron Lake’s (CEO of Galdos Systems) concern over the growing dependence on private mapping systems. From the article:
Ron Lake, CEO of digital mapping company Galdos Systems, is concerned about the world-wide dependence on private mapping systems, such as Google Earth. Lake, who wrote about the issue for the 2008 GeoWeb conference, states that digital maps are becoming an essential facet of public and government information and he thinks that it’s too important for private companies to handle alone. Instead he proposes a single, government funded virtual map of the earth.
Currently, there are a number of digital mapping systems maintained by different private companies, including Microsoft and Google. Lake believes this could lead to problems when private data is used in official capacities. For example, emergency services might need far more accurate digital maps of a specific area than a consumer-oriented online service can provide. Also, other geographic regions might resent that most of the world’s digital mapping research and collection takes place in the United States, and want information developed and centered in their own home countries.
Reuters is reporting that GeoEye will soon begin providing high-resolution imagery to Google for Google Maps and Google Earth. Here are some highlights from the article:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – GeoEye Inc on Thursday said it will provide imagery from its new $502 million high-resolution GeoEye-1 satellite to Google Earth and Google Maps after the spacecraft is launched on September 4.
If all goes well with the launch, GeoEye’s new satellite will be the world’s highest resolution commercial earth-imaging satellite, offering images at .41 meters resolution in black and white and 1.65 meters in color.
Google spokeswoman Kate Hurowitz said Google would begin receiving half-meter resolution imagery from the new satellite after 45 to 60 days, during which the company will make sure all the satellite’s systems are up and running.