Google Earth and SketchUp Classes Available – Alex Oliver of school (which does great SketchUp Training DVDs and samples on their site – see GEB review), has written to let me know they are the first Google Authorized Training Center (ATC) in the US. They now offer live training classes for SketchUp and Google Earth! The Google Earth class is currently being taught in 17 locations around the country and more being added each week. Here is the schedule of classes available. More details on the classes are on this page.
Sea Ice Update – The folks at the Snow and Ice Data Center have updated their Sea Ice Extent KML file. This file shows a time animation of the extent of ice at both poles. There is a magenta colored line which shows the average ice extent for comparisons. The new file not only includes the new March data, but also has a new option to turn off the layer when not in use. This makes it easier to keep the network link in your Place pane. See the GEB review of the Sea Ice Extent file. NOTE: there’s also a new “Greenland Annual Surface Ice Melt” file at their GE page.
Bergen Terrain – Here’s an interesting tip. A GEB reader from Norway named Ove Daae Lampe wrote to let me know the recent upgrade to the data layers included a high resolution terrain map for Bergen, Norway. This is very high resolution terrain – possibly from LIDAR? So high that buildings were captured and show up as bumps in the terrain. However, overall, the terrain looks very good, and makes me want to visit Bergen someday! The bumps in the terrain from the buildings will make it interesting when they go to put 3D models of the buildings. According to Mr. Lampe, they will soon have 3D buildings for the entire city as well.
Waldo – An artist in Vancouver, Melanie Coles, wrote me an E-mail last week about her efforts (along with other art students) to place a huge 55′ tall “Where is Waldo” character on the top of a building (see the blog). The idea being it would be caught by a satellite (or aerial photo) and placed in Google Earth someday. To help things along, they took their own aerial photo of it. I was able to find the location where they did it based on the photo, and I’ve added their photo as an image overlay in Google Earth . Their photo was taken at an angle (not straight down), so it isn’t stretched properly over the scenery. But, you get the idea. Turns out her project has grabbed the attention of the media. Unfortunately, Google recently updated the imagery for Vancouver (although I’ve had reports they used four or more year old imagery). So, I have no idea how long it will be before they get new imagery. Hopefully someone will get a decent straight-down shot for Google to include. This isn’t the first time Waldo has appeared in Google Earth.