Links: WSJ Article, Tornado History, Google Sky Exoplanets

  • WSJ Article – The Wall Street Journal wrote today about some of the Google Earth Outreach content. The article highlights the Appalachian Voices Mountain Top Removal campaign and a new feature on their web site which determines whether your power company gets their coal from destroyed mountains by giving your zip code. The article highlights Google’s GE Outreach program which was announced in New York last June. It also quotes yours truly as saying we should “see an onslaught of new environmental content” thanks to the Outreach program. It takes a while to develop top-quality content and get it ready to be included as a layer in Google Earth. I expected this article to contain an announcement of a new Google Earth layer. But, for some reason its taking longer than I expected for Google to release new Outreach-approved layers.

  • Tornado History – Google Earth Community member ‘giasen’ has produced another cool data visualization. He’s tapped into a historical archive of tornado reports in the US for the last several decades. He created time stamped placemarks for each report and categorized them based on the number of fatalities resulting. Download the tornado data here (1.5 Mbytes). Select the folders for the different categories of tornadoes. Use the time slider to watch the animation. Fortunately, most (the green ones) had zero fatalities. And also fortunately, you can observe how there are fewer fatalities over time thanks to better warning systems, better construction, and safety precautions.

  • Google Sky Exoplanets – A post today about using Google Sky in the classroom had an interesting reference to a collection of placemarks which show the locations of all the known planets discovered outside our solar system. These come from the web site exoplanets.org which is the California and Carnegie Planet Search project. See the exoplanet collection in Google Sky . To me, having lived most of my life only dreaming there were planets outside our solar system, it is amazing to see how full the sky is of planets already discovered in just the last few years. It’s amazing to realize that there are many more planets out there than the stars we see when we look at our night sky.

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