News Roundup – Spiegel and Hanke, New FAQ, Licensing Issue, Military Strategy

  • Speigel and HankeSpiegel Online interviews John Hanke, who led the company Keyhole which developed the application which became Google Earth. A couple of interesting quotes: “A new version of Google Earth will soon hit the market that allows users to admire a whole gamut of cities in largely photorealistic detail. New York is one of them.” and also: “…points out that administrative authorities in Gran Canaria — one of the Canary Islands in Spain — have already provided three-dimensional images of all their towns.” Looks like more 3D buildings are coming.
  • New FAQ – John Gardiner has posted a new FAQ to help answer questions about the new Geographic Web layer. It helps answer questions for those interested in seeing Wikipedia information included in the new Wikipedia sub-layer.
  • Licensing IssueAn article written in the Guardian talks about the reason why the Virtual London 3D models (see sample movie) developed by the folks at CASA (who write the Digital Urban blog I frequently blog about) have not been made available to the public for viewing in Google Earth. Apparently the reason has to do with a licensing issue between Ordinance Survey (OS) in England and Google. The OS seems to have a real lock on mapping data in the UK. Read OgleEarth’s comments.
  • Military StrategyThe Strategy Page makes some interesting observations about how the availability of satellite photos in Google Earth has been changing the perception of the importance and desire of troops to get their hands on military-grade satellite imagery. I’m not sure how accurate the information in the article is with regards to whether the troops have the right tools available. It certainly seems that the appropriately cleared personnel should be able to get the imagery they need in an application as easy to use as GE. In fact, I’m sure Google has talked to the military about using GE for just that purpose (for use with the military’s databases). But, who knows whether the military would use GE, or spend millions of dollars developing something harder to use.

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