Another Small Step For Google, A Giant Leap for Earth

May 29 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: The Web   Year: 2008   Rating: 7 Hot

Google Earth is the ultimate palette for myriad developers whose products require geo-spatial context, but its utility and reach has been capped by the fact that it’s a stand-alone API that exists outside the standard browsing experience. As of today that’s no longer the case. With the release of the new Earth Browser Plug-in Google’s little Hulk), the future hub and entry point for many of the company’s offerings, has escaped its cage and is now free to roam the halls of the worldwide web and look for new friends… millions of them.

In the immediate to short-term, this allows those who have installed the plugin to embed frames of Google Earth directly into their web pages and to manipulate and mash objects and places.

“Driven by an extensive JavaScript API, you can control the camera; create lines, markers, and polygons; import 3D models from the web and overlay them anywhere on the planet,” writes Paul Rademacher, Technical Lead of the Earth Browser Plug-in project, “In fact, you can even overlay your content over different planets, stars, and galaxies by toggling Sky mode, letting you build 3D Google Sky mashups. You can also enable 3D buildings with a single line of JavaScript, attach JavaScript callbacks to mouse events, fetch KML data from the web, and more.” (cont.)

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Earth + Street View: Google Stays Ahead in the Race to Build a Mirror World

March 31 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Business & Work   Year: 2008   Rating: 6

Rumor has it that Google is set to make available its Street View software directly through the already formidable and engaging Earth platform.

Rafe Needleman over at Webware reports: “A source tells me that the Google Earth app will get the Street View feature, currently available only in the browser-based Google Maps service, within a few weeks. What’s not clear is whether this refers to general release or internal testing.”

While this merger may at first glance seem like a novelty, it marks another significant step in Google’s relentless march toward the real-time quantification of the entire planet, aka the creation of a total systems Mirror World .

Check out this demo of Street View if you haven’t already explored the product/service:


As the company strives to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”, Street View integration is an inevitable step for Google Earth and is likely to be followed by inter-stitched geo-tagged photos, richer layers of user-generated content, more up-to-date / high-rez satellite imagery, plus whatever additional applications the behemoth can conceive and implement. The stakes are simply to high for the company not continue adding info nodes and value to their budding centralized network.

(cont.)

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Google Earth Updates New York to Near Photo-Realism

December 18 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Gadgets   Year: 2008   Rating: 6 Hot

afternyc.jpg

The Google Earth Blog announced it has made a huge update to New York City regarding 3D buildings.  "Google has completed nearly every building in Manhattan Island for Google Earth. Just fly to "New York City" and turn on the 3D Buildings layer in Google Earth."  Google engineers tried to keep a lot of user-submitted 3D buildings along with their own updates.  Head on over to their site to see before and after pictures of the update, it gives you the same feeling the latest update for Google Streetview gives you — Awed and creepy.

Google Earth Adds Virtual Time Travel, Moves a Step Closer to Gelernter's Mirror World Vision

February 02 2009 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Information   Year: 2009   Rating: 5 Hot

Not only did Google add an ocean to its Earth platform today, the company also enabled "Historical Imagery", a new feature that brings to life a crude version of what Yale computer scientist David Gelernter's 1992 prediction of the planet on a “time toggle”. 

The Google Blog: Until today, Google Earth displayed only one image of a given place at a given time. With this new feature, you can now move back and forth in time to reveal imagery from years and even decades past, revealing changes over time. Try flying south of San Francisco in Google Earth and turning on the new time slider (click the "clock" icon in the toolbar) to witness the transformation of Silicon Valley from a farming community to the tech capital of the world over the past 50 years or so.

Along with a new 3d Mars feature, the additions have increased the scope and resolution of the largest publicly accessible simulation of our physical system, thus expanding the Google's information scaffolding and future monetization opportunities through an increasingly valuable Mirror World.

The new features also reinforce the notion of a rapidly growing retro-quantification industry rooted in our social desire to achieve topsight over space and time.  A resource that quickly allows people to surf physical history is obviously critical to bettering our view of reality and thus improving the efficiency of our economic behavior.

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Astrophysicist Believes We'll Locate "Hundreds of Earth-Like Planets" by 2013

March 24 2009 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Information   Year: 2013   Rating: 5 Hot

Astrophysicist Alan Boss believes Nasa's Kepler Mission will turn up "hundreds of Earth-like planets", many of which will probably be "inhabited with something."

Considered a leader in the search for planets outside our solar system, Alan Boss says we are at a turning point in our search for extraterrestrial life.  He expects we are on the verge of finding many different Earth-like planets across the universe, and he expects it will be common to find life on those planets. He shares his ideas for how the United States can be on the forefront of the next great discovery: life on another planet.

The Growing Impact of Towns and Cities in Google Earth

July 28 2008 / by justinelee / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Environment   Year: General   Rating: 3

In its effort to catalog and effectively share the world’s information, Google continues to improve its dynamic representation of earth and has now extended its reach to cities and towns.

The first time I experienced Google Earth, I was pretty impressed. Accessing satellite information, I was able to navigate most any location on the planet that I was interested in, from a bird’s eye view. Of course the first thing I did was check out my street, the homes of my past, and landmarks around my town.

Next I was introduced to Street View, a visualization composed of photos taken from automobiles that allows full 3D street navigation. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago, when Street View was at last integrated with Google Maps, that I could travel down my street take a glance at my house and my car parked neatly on the curb. That was really cool to me. I found myself wondering where I was the time the photos was taken, and being thankful they hadn’t caught me outside my house in an early morning stupor.

After some light research I found that Google isn’t just concerned with satisfying my curiosity. It has found ways to make money with this technology while expanding its functionality for important, decision-making parties.

Google introducing advanced versions of the platform with Google Earth Pro ($400/year), a collaborative tool for commercial and professional use and Google Earth Plus ($20/year) for everyday map enthusiasts. It also provides non-profit organizations with Earth Outreach, a program that allows organizations to map their projects to help engage users.

In March 2008, Google Earth introduced Cities in 3D which is unsurprisingly a complete 3D visualization of numerous cities. To contribute to this effort, users can submit and share renditions of structures and buildings using Google’s SketchUp. The program primarily relies on city governments to submit their 3D information electronically (for free) and invites them to review the benefits.

The benefits for local governments seem rather extensive. They include: engaging the public in planning, fostering economic development, boosting tourism, simplifying navigation analysis, enhancing facilities management, supporting security and crime prevention, and facilitating emergency management.

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Our Planet: Views From Space

August 07 2008 / by justinelee / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Space   Year: General   Rating: 3

I just came across and wanted to share this fascinating video montage of our planet as seen from space that features footage from the BBC’s hugely popular television series Planet Earth.

Generated by Burrell Durrant Hifle (BDH), a multi-disciplinary design company, these scenes stitch together many high-resolution photographs from NASA. It took BDH and the production team over four years to piece everything together – talk about patience.

While this isn’t anything particularly advanced, watching it I’m reminded of just how crazy limited (one little sphere in the universe), but also how crazy dynamic our earth is. In the future I expect that we’ll continue to get better and finer images of the planet, but this six-minute video is well worth the watch and opens the mind to the more radical perspectives that we’ll be generating in the coming years.

Google Earth Adds News, Baby-Steps Forward

May 21 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Environment   Year: 2008   Rating: 2 Hot

Google Earth took another baby-step into the future yesterday with the integration of geographically pertinent news feeds.

“By spatially locating the Google News’ constantly updating index of stories from more than 4,500 news sources, Google Earth now shows an ever-changing world of human activity as chronicled by reporters worldwide,” wrote product manager Brandon Badger .

I took the new layer function for a spin and found it to be rudimentary and moderately useful. But it’s clear the service will gradually become more valuable as Google adds more geographically tagged stories/feeds, filtering options and sub-layers that I can toggle on or off at will.

Ultimately it seems likely that the new feature will work hand-in-hand with search, possibly even showing up on Google’s main results pages alongside maps, pictures and video which were added earlier this year.

My main take-aways: Google’s inexorable march toward an information-dense and variably sortable Earth platform continues. As the company continues to systematically add physical and information “resolution” to its Earth application, I expect it will evolve into a resource that I and billions of others use on a daily basis and become one of Google’s top money makers.