Glider Towing – GoogleSightseeing highlights a great plane in flight find showing a glider being towed to altitude in southwestern England. See it here . The amazing thing is that this aerial photo is clear enough to see the tow cable – probably due to the right sun angle glinting off the cable. The sighting was discovered by Noisette at the GEC.
3D Bonanza – The 3D Warehouse can help you find all kinds of interesting model collections in Google Earth. Some 3D building collections are amazingly detailed. Fly to “Beaver Creek, Colorado ” and turn on the 3D Buildings layer for a very detailed model of this ski village. Even the chair lifts are models (and there’s no lift lines! Hmmm). Note: depending on your connection and computer, this collection may take a while to load due to the detail.
John Hanke Presentation – John Hanke, Director of Google Earth and Maps at Google, and the CEO of Keyhole before it was bought by Google, spoke at Berkeley where he got his business degree (video here – Real Player required). This is a fascinating lecture as it tells the story of his several business ventures and the challenging history of Keyhole before it was acquired. Also, at the end he shows some interesting slides about the success of Google Earth. I especially liked the heat map showing all the placemarks on Earth in their search index on a map. He also shared a photo of the fleet of cars Google is deploying to take Streetview imagery which was taken by a blogger. Well worth watching if you want to know more about the history of Google Earth. Video discovered via this blog post.
Google Maps Profiles – Google is increasingly adding social networking elements to Maps. This week they announced you can make a real profile of yourself in Google Maps (picture photo, pseudo, and other info), plus when people look at your photo they can see your reviews, photos, links, and the My Maps you’ve chosen to share. They also made a video talking about the new profile features presented by SketchUp newsletter Googler Tasha.
Virtual Earth 3D Modeling – There haven’t been many blog posts about this, but when Microsoft released their big update to Virtual Earth this week they also released a free application for building 3D models. This is not a SketchUp killer or anything, but it was yet another move to have the same suite of tools Google has created for Google Earth (gee, is this a competition or something?). Earthware Blog has three posts mentioning, showing a video demonstration, and comparing Microsoft’s 3D tool to SketchUp.
Links: Glider Towing, 3D Bonanza, John Hanke Presentation, Google Maps Profiles, Virtual Earth 3D Modeling
October 19, 2007