News Roundup: Tour de France, Tasmania Logging, Somalia, GE-Sharing, More Biking

  • Tour de France – This year’s Tour de France will be held from July 7 to July 29. For each of the last three years (since Google Earth was released in June of 2005), bicycling fans have created detailed maps showing the routes of the various stages of the Tour de France as they bike through the country-side and mountains of France. Google Earth allows you to fly-over same route the bicyclists take and see the grueling 3D terrain they have to endure. This year will be even better because the mountains of France now have much better resolution imagery. Christoph of Germany has already begun posting some of the stages for this year’s TdF, as well as some of the prologue racing in the UK. Here is an example of stage 8 of this year’s event.

  • Tasmania Logging – Noel Jenkins mentions the Google Earth content produced by The Wilderness Society about the impact of logging in Tasmania. The story got mentioned in Telegraph magazine and Noel describes the Google Earth content in his JuicyGeography blog.

  • Somalia – Chad at Earth is Square normally focuses his attention on WorldWind content (since he is a developer of the NASA-sponsored virtual globe). But, he was recently asked to develop a map showing human displacement issues in Somalia for both WorldWind and Google Earth. This is similar in concept to the Crisis in Darfur layer to help make people aware of human atrocities. Chad started by creating an add-on for WW, and then develops a similar one for Google Earth . Since WW supports KML, it seems to me he should have just developed a KML file and the same file could be supported by both applications. Regardless, great work Chad!

  • GE-Sharing – Last week I was contacted by the developers of a new tool letting you share the same view of Google Earth called GE-Sharing. Similar in concept to Unype, this one doesn’t require you to use Skype or install an application to use. Everything is done with network links and E-mail. Stefan Geens at OgleEarth has written a nice review of GE-Sharing which I recommend reading. I may not have a chance to review it myself for a few days.

  • More Biking – Just got an E-mail from Stefan Lorimer who tells me a friend of his named Kyle Skidmore is biking with another guy across Canada and they are blogging their trip. More importantly, Kyle is a GE enthusiast and has created a GE map showing their route. I would be more impressed if they would show their track and location with each blog entry. But, maybe they’ll do a special GE file after they get back and include some photos.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was released. He worked in 3D graphics for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank left in 2009 to circumnavigate the earth by sailboat as part of the Tahina Expedition.



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