News Roundup: New Icons, Michael Jones on Search, Google Acquisition, Competition

  • New Icons – GEB reader Frederic pointed out to me that as part of the recent layer update, Google has new icon designs for many of the layers. They are subtle changes in shapes and colors, but if you regularly use GE you’ll probably notice the difference if you look closely.
  • Michael Jones on Search – Google Earth Chief Technologist Michael Jones is certainly excited by the new Google Earth Place Search capability. And, I agree with him it is a significant new capability within GE. Directions Magazine’s Adena Schutzburg was first to get an interview with Michael on the subject. OgleEarth also asks Michael some good “questions. Michael explains there is a PlaceRank system which is somewhat different from the Google Search PageRank system. Michael also addresses the issue of “place spam” and explains Google will use its extensive experience in dealing with this like it has with its web page search results.
  • Google Acquisition – Late Friday it came out that Google was acquiring an in-game advertising company called AdScape Media. Read a good summary of the speculation on what this might mean from the San Jose Mercury News. The top rumor is that Google may be developing it’s own virtual world like Second Life (read my article “Third Life – Google’s Next Step?“). Of course, since Microsoft bought the largest in-game advertiser and makes its own games, many are saying Google is covering its ground to make sure it continues to expand its advertising prowess by moving into the gaming world. Fewer are mentioning that Google may also use this technology to expand its advertising repertoire into GE. I hope this doesn’t mean we’ll get billboard ads in Google Earth like what Microsoft is doing in VE3D.
  • Competition – The Fifth International Symposium on Digital Earth has announced the “International Digital Earth 3D Visualization Grand Challenge“. The concepts of the challenge are pretty grand. It seems they want someone to show the best application to use a 3D virtual earth representation for the purpose of communicating how our world is changing due to environmental and human influences. The prize is an all expense paid trip to San Francisco where the ISDE conference is being held this June. In reading the concept of the contest, it seems to me the best Digital Earth application currently in the world for winning is Google Earth. Is there any other answer? If Google wins this contest, I guess ISDE’s prize of an all expense paid trip to the conference will be pretty cheap. :-)

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Comments

  1. the new search feature is definitely very coel;-)
    i made some data sets for HDTV over the air stations in austin, san antonio and los angeles. if you go over those cities and then search for HDTV the kml files show up and you can see where the HDTV emitters for those cities are located, very nice;-)

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