Google announced today that Google Maps is no longer in beta and has been merged with Google’s local search technology. It is now known as Google Local and is now found at http://local.google.com/
This free game uses Google Earth to play a kind of geocaching, where you launch the game from within Google Earth and follow the clues to various location checkpoints. If you find the envelope “hidden somewhere on Earth, you will advance to the Big Game.”
I haven’t played it myself yet, but I may give it a try in between actually trying to get my GIS work done.
For a basic tutorial, check out the Earth Contest website
Via Ogle Earth
One avenue of research in geospatial technologies and geovisualization is immersive Virtual Reality. One of the biggest issues is how to simulate moving through a real landscape. The VirtuSphere rotates as the user walks in any direction while wearing the head mounted display that delivers the virtual environment. I’m sure it’s not the only apparatus out there, but the fact that it’s portable and doesn’t require the extensive structure of a CAVE or other projection-based system is kinda cool
If you’d like to see some pictures and demo video, check out the VirtuSphere website
While we were at the Podcasting Symposium last week, we heard a presentation from the guy from ITConversations, which is an online catalog for audio presentations. They mainly cover IT related conferences and speakers, but some of them are relevant to geospatial technologies, and they are adding new links every day. You can check out the ITConversations website
David Rumsey’s talk on “The Past and Future of Mapping” listed on ITConversations is available here
Once again, something cool for people in the UK. ViewRanger 1.0 is a mapping application for mobile phones that gives you a 3D landscape display as an interface for accessing local information, using downloadable Ordnance Survey maps. Right now, it only works with certain phones, but if I lived in Britain, I would definitely be checking this out.
Even if you don’t live there, take a look at the ViewRanger website here
via Press Release at SpatialNews.com
ESRI is serving an ArcWeb Services powered Hurricane Disaster viewer on its website. It offers a number of data layers from before the hurricanes, such as population density and imagery, and several layers related to post-hurricane conditions. There’s even a layer showing the US Postal Services closed service areas. Nothing earth-shattering, but pulls together GIS layers to go with imagery.
You can check out the Hurricane Disaster Viewer
CNET posted their review of MSN Virtual Earth beta, which you can read here
Their review of Google Earth beta back in July can be found here
CNET gives Virtual Earth a plus for its trip planning and search features, but gives the edge to Google Earth in terms of the quality of satellite imagery features and coverage. Their concluding remark: “Travelers looking for local maps, driving routes, and businesses will like Virtual Earth, but students and casual browsers will prefer Google Earth.”
Whatever your beliefs on the global warming issue, the recent spate of articles on the melting of Arctic ice and the warming of the climate in Alaska seem pretty scary. Satellite imagery is being used to show that the Arctic ice cap is shrinking at an alarming rate.
You can check out the MSNBC.com article here
Here is another at the London Times Online