News Roundup – Taj Majal in 3D, KML as Open Standard, Katrina Imagery, New AIA150 Tour

  • Lost location in Google EarthTaj Majal in 3D – GEB reader Jan Melin has posted a new 3D model of the Taj Majal to the 3D Warehouse. He has used photo textures to both increase realism and to make the file size reasonable. Load the file into Google Earth, or read his post here.

  • KML as Open StandardAllPointsBlog adds another update on the OGC standardization process for Google’s KML file format. The post includes the preamble to an OGC “Best Practice” document describing the intent of the standardization process for KML which was written with Google’s participation. Read the post here for more details.

  • Katrina Imagery – You may remember the bit of unexpected media attention Google got when a few weeks ago regarding the pre-Katrina New Orleans imagery Google Earth had been showing for a few months starting last September. Google updated with post-Katrina, 2006, imagery a few days after the media storm. It was interesting to see that Google’s popularity has resulted in media storms and even government requests (like the recent Chile border problem). Well, Henry Jenkins has written an interesting blog post about some interesting questions regarding the influence of a mainstream digital cartographical application like Google Earth and how it may influence the political environment around us. He reveals some interesting thoughts from a graduate student named Amanda Finkelberg who brings up the topics of data integrity and, in particular, discusses the situation with the Katrina imagery.

  • New AIA150 Tour – Google has released a new collection of placemarks that make for a nice tour of some of the more interesting 3D models from the American Institute of Architects layer. Make sure you turn on the “Featured Content -> American Institute of Architects” layer first, then download the tour (currently found at the top of the Google Earth Showcase page). Open the folder “AIA 150 Highlights” folder, and double click on the placemarks for different cities which will fly you to different unique buildings from the collection. See more about the AIA 150 collection here and here is a GEB video showing some of the models.

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