Most Earth-like Planet Detected

Continuing last week’s podcast “space theme”, CNN has this story about astronomers using new techniques to discover the most Earth-like planet found yet. From the story, “an international team has detected a cold planet about 5-1/2 times more massive than Earth — still small enough to be considered Earth-like — orbiting a star about 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius (The Archer), close to the center of the Milky Way.” Now THAT’S remote sensing!

Ok, bad joke… but still exteremely interesting to those of us fascinated with space!

Eyebeam R&D’s OpenGLExtractor

Want to add your favorite 3D game character to GoogleEarth? Eyebeam R&D’s OpenGLExtractor allows you to capture and re-use 3D geometry data in other 3D graphics applications, basically a “screen grab” for 3D objects. The example on Eyebeam’s OpenLab site shows a couple of mashups with Google Earth where 3D data was captured and imported. If you are interested in 3D development for virtual worlds and 3D mapping, check out OpenGLExtractor.

*Note* OpenGLExtractor runs as a plugin for Eyebeam’s GLIntercept, so you would have to have some familiarity with OpenGL programming to use it, but it is a free download.

Via BoingBoing

Maps for illegal immigration

A Mexican government funded commission is moving to distribute 70,000 maps to aid people trying to cross into the US. They will feature water cache locations, show transportation routes, and locations of rescue beacons. Although I’m not an expert, this is one of the first instances I’ve heard of a government using mapping to help people leave its own country. CNN has the details

From Jesse:  A map of Arizona!