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.)

Continue Reading

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.)

Continue Reading

Google Ocean to Extend Planetary Quantification

January 26 2009 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Information   Year: 2009   Rating: 5 Hot

google_ocean.jpgIf the rumors prove true, Google is about to add 1.35 quintillion liters of water and 361 million square kilometers of surface area to its Earth and Maps applications with the long-awaited release of Google Ocean.

According to CNet reporter Stephen Shankland it's rather likely that Google will announce the new monster app next week at a star-studded Google Earth event:

Gore is set to join Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt and Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience, at the on February 2 event at the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco's newly rebuilt aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum. But it's another speaker's name that gives the tip-off about what the event might be about.

That person is oceanographer Sylvia Earle, explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society and the founder of the Deep Search Foundation.

When viewed together with Google's space-based initiatives (Google Sky, Google Moon, Google Mars), the Ocean project indicates that Google is very clearly working to lay down the scaffolding (3d wiki) for Total Systems Quantification (TSQ), a very necessary strategy considering the company's mission to make all information universally accessible. 

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Geo-Spatially Mapped Life-Lines Will Soon Amplify Our Memories

October 21 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: The Web   Year: General   Rating: 4 Hot

A few years into the future when someone says, “I think I’ll use my lifeline,” they will no longer be referring to Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, but instead their geo-spatially coordinated content history.

According to John Schneider, CTO of clever geo-web annotator Abaq.us, we’re about to experience a powerful convergence of mirror worlds and life-logging that will enable all sorts of interesting applications including community feedback mechanisms and amplified memory.

“You’ve been to something like an antique shop last month with your wife, and you just can’t for the life of you remember where this place was or what the name of it was,” lays out Schneider, “But because you’ve life-logged you can get on your account, you can take the time slider and move it back in time to the place you were. ... Now you project that lifeline on something like Google maps, bring up the Street View, look around and there it is – there is the place you’ve been looking for.”

I totally buy that scenario. Do you?

For more interesting future videos be sure to check out the MemeBox YouTube Channel

Will the juxtaposition of personal data atop geo-spatial simulations fundamentally augment our memory?

or Show Results

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.