Trip Report and News Roundup: Flight to Las Cruces, Sensors, BBC on Maps, New blog

  • Flight to New Mexico in Google EarthTrip Report: My blog entries may be a bit lighter this week. I left on Sunday to fly my Cessna 182 out to Las Cruces, New Mexico from North Carolina (where I live) for the X PRIZE Cup. It’s a long trip for a plane with a cruising speed of 140 knots (165 mph). You can see my flight in 3D in Google Earth (altitudes are colorized) by looking in Google Earth with this file . Trip report continues below.
  • In April, I wrote about an ocean sensor web developed by Jeremy Cochran of the University of South Carolina. He sent me an E-mail to let me know he has published a new release with more capabilities. You can read a good summary of what’s new, with links, at OgleEarth.
  • The BBC News has published an article called “The Map Gap“. The article makes comparisons between hundreds of years of paper-based 2D maps compared to new virtual globe 3D maps like Google Earth. The reporter interviewed Steve Chilton, chair of the Society of Cartographers. Mr. Chilton makes some positive observations about the advantages of the 3D perspective and dynamic data, but fails to recognize the significance of the vast amount of data available at your fingertips in the form of the layers in Google Earth. Read Stefan’s observations at OgleEarth.
  • New Google Earth Blog – one of the writers for the Google Earth User Guide, John Gardiner who works at Google, has begun publishing a blog called Using Google Earth. He intends to start with some basics, and then write some entries covering advanced features of GE.


Trip report continued: There was a weather system moving across the continental US, and I needed to head north quite a bit to reduce the chance of thunderstorms. (By the way, I forgot to turn on my handheld GPS for the first 15 minutes when I left Sanford, NC). First stop was in Indiana for some fuel and a much needed break (after 4.5 hours of flying). I stopped for the night, to get some rest and wait for the weather to start moving over, in Saint Louis, Missouri. On Monday morning, I flew out in light rain intending to stop in Clinton, OK for inexpensive fuel. But, low clouds at that location caused me to divert to Hobart, OK. After a brief lunch and refueling, and continued my flight to Las Cruces. I made another stop in Lubbock, TX for a brief rest stop. Mountains and restricted airspaces required me to fly almost to El Paso before turning towards Las Cruces. The reason I flew my plane is so I could take some aerial photography of the X PRIZE Cup. I did a practice run yesterday and the photos turned out pretty well. I’ll be making some of them available in Google Earth soon. You will also be seeing some web cam shots of the event in Google Earth on Friday and Saturday (the two big days of the event). Watch the X PRIZE Cup site on those two days for web casts which will let you watch the events all day.

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