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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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 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
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.