Did the Chinese discover America?

The BBCNews website posted an article today about a Chinese map that, if authentic, may suggest that Chinese mariners visited and mapped the coasts of America before Columbus. Chinese characters on the map apparently say that it was drawn in 1763 as a copy of a map made in 1418. The map’s ink and paper are being tested to try to confirm the 1763 date, but the article notes that there is a great deal of skepticism regarding the map’s authenticity. Even if it can be traced to the eighteenth century, the only evidence for the original 1418 comes from the notation on the map itself.
Via Digg.com

Perspective mapping using Google and Yahoo!

Google3DSliced bread may be nearing its end as the measuring stick for greatness, as new ideas are leaping onto the web for ways to use all of the AJAX and Flash goodness of Google and Yahoo!. Matt over at PlaceMap references a Japanese site that allows you to interact with Google Local in 3 dimensions. You start with a 45 degree perspective view, but as you pull out you move to the more traditional orthogonal view. You can spin the scene as opposed to panning, but I am sure they will add panning functionality as a Ctrl-click or something eventually (of course they may have already, but I can’t read kanji).

Matt offers up another perspective view using Yahoo’s flash maps, which, while it doesn’t offer the same navigation options, is very clear and just plain cool. The PlaceMap Project » 3D YMaps

NSG Statement of Strategic Intent Available

The NGA issued a press release today announcing the availability of the National System for Geospatial-Intelligence (NSG) Statement of Strategic Intent, a document that gives a vision for the future of geospatial intelligence. If you are interested the full press release is available from your favorite geospatial news sites. Here is a link to the full document on the NGA site (PDF).