News Roundup – Chile Border Crisis, Caribou, Gumball Rally, Emotions

  • Chile Border Crisis – A small town in remote southern Chile is shown to be in Argentina in Google Earth. This is due to an error in the database Google is using. In fact, if you search for “Villa O’Higgins, Chile ” GE flies you to the town, and the results come back “Villa O’Higgins, Argentina“. And, if you turn on the “Border” layer you can see the border is drawn to show the town in Argentina. However, officials in Chile say the border is wrong and should be fixed. Apparently there were disputes about borders in this area that almost caused war until the Pope settled the dispute. Google has said it is in the process of fixing the error and appreciates feedback on such errors. This story hit the news media over the weekend. This isn’t the first time Google has had to fix borders in GE, and I’m sure it won’t be the last – borders are always changing.
  • Caribou – Logging giant West Fraser Timber has come under the hi-tech magnifying glass of Google Earth. ForestEthics, an environmental group, has produced a video that “flies” viewers over West Fraser’s operations in endangered caribou habitat in BC and Alberta using Google Earth.
  • Gumball Rally – The 2007 Gumball 3000 car rally started yesterday. It’s an opportunity for owners of nice cars to show theirs stuff as they travel Europe. The “race” course is mapped, and of course someone has created a way for you to follow the race in Google Earth. You can find the Google Earth maps here (each day gets a different link apparently). With the files comes a course map, placemarks showing the start, finish, and other important way points. The site says it has “live” information, but I’m not sure what the source of the information is yet. There is also a Google Maps version.
  • Emotions – Someone has created an emotion map of parts of San Francisco for Google Earth. This was first done over a year ago in Greenwich, England where people put on a Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) device and used cameras and a PDA to document their feelings and they walked around town. The same thing has apparently been done for San Francisco. You can see the resulting Google Earth emotion map for San Francisco here.

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