Google Earth Changing the Way Scientists Collaborate

A pretty interesting article in Nature.com talks about how free tools like Google Earth are changing the way scientists collaborate on projects. The best quote comes from Michael Goodchild when he says, “‘It’s like the effect of the personal computer in the 1970s, where previously there was quite an élite population of computer users,’ Goodchild enthuses. ‘Just as the PC democratized computing, so systems like Google Earth will democratize GIS.'”

Real Time Mapping with Google maps

This is one of the cooler uses of Google Maps. The DARTmaps Project shows the real time movement of trains on train tracks in Dublin. While you can watch the trains move around in the default view, for more dramatic effect, click on one of the trains to zoom in. It’s a pretty interesting use of AJAX and utilization of real time data. Hopefully it’ll inspire others to start toying with real time data and mapping!

Spidy Tracer for real

Anyone who has followed Spiderman knows about the Spidy Tracer – a device that Spiderman can throw at his enemies which allows him to trace bad guys wherever they go. Apparently somone at the LA Police Department is a big Spiderman fan, because they’ve started using GPS unit they can propel at cars to track their movements rather than engage in a highspeed chase. Way to go true believers!

New Location Based Services in Japan

A company called Mapion has launched a new service that lets phone users point at a building, click, and find out what’s in that building.  If your phone is GPS and integrated compass enabled, you can wonder around the streets of Tokyo pointing and clicking all over the place to find out what’s in what building.  Pretty cool.

Via Engadet

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!

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!

Mapping Video Games

I personally find virtual worlds mapping an interesting niche in the mapping world.  Most world builders have no real training in any sort of geographic principles, so I find it facinating how they link various geographic regions together in world.  Here’s an interesting site that shows maps for vintage video games (and a couple of not so vintage ones too!)  I’m hoping we get to do a podcast in the future on virtual world mapping.