Stefan Geens of OgleEarth during a good portion of the spring had not been writing much on his blog. This was because he was busy developing the first official embassy in a virtual world – the Second House of Sweden is a virtual embassy inside Second Life. I’m glad to see that in the last few days, while Stefan has been traveling around the US, he has been busily writing up all kinds of interesting stuff about Google Earth/Maps. Here are some highlights, along with my own thoughts, if you haven’t already been reading his blog:
Illegal Fishing Caught – Stefan read in the Spanish media that someone was complaining to the European Union about illegal bottom trawling in the Canary Islands. How did they find out? Well, the found a picture in Google Earth. So, Stefan did a bit of searching, and found the boat caught in the act .
Picasa Web Albums Review – Stefan reviews the new features of Picasa Web Albums’ (why doesn’t Google just shorten the name to PicasaWeb like the URL?) new feature to allow you to map photos using Google Maps. He compares the new features to Flickr and Google’s newly acquired Panoramio service. His conclusion is that PWA (at least the acronym is shorter) and Panoramio work better than Flickr both in terms of geotagging, and seamless integration with KML/Google Earth.
Geo-Ads Patent – In a roundup this morning, Stefan finds a post at SEO by the Sea which analyzes a new patent filed by Google which has to do with monetizing geo-spatial content through advertising. The patent is clearly talking about ways Google could offer advertising to those who want to get better visibility in Google Maps and Google Earth through possibly their layers and/or KML search results. This is an obvious mechanism for them to consider as these tools become more ubiquitous. I’ve been expecting Google to consider treating the Geoweb in a similar manner to the real web in terms of Google’s primary revenue source – advertising. Thankfully, the Geo team at Google seem prepared to do this in a way that does not thrust unwanted ads over our maps and 3D views. Stefan also mentions a new upcoming competitor to Google Maps StreetView (which I had also read about) called EarthMine.
HeyWhat’sThat – I meant to include Stefan’s mention on HeyWhatsThat. This cool Google Maps Mashup, which came our earlier this year, already allowed you to see 2.5D views of mountains at various places around the US (and let you determine what a nearby mountain’s name is). It also lets you see contour overlays in Google Maps. The author, Michael Kosowsky, gave a tech talk at Google about his mashup a couple of months ago. And he now describes some refinements to the mashup. Not only that, but he has also created some Google Maps Maplets which you can easily keep handy in the Maplets tab. Read all the details and see the video in Stefan’s post (link above).