Not only some interesting GE files, but also some news buried in today’s link roundup. Also, I will be somewhat distracted during the next month due to some travel, my two daughters starting college next month, and a big project I’m working on (which I’ll be posting about here soon – well, within a couple of months). I still expect to be posting, but I may not catch everything. Thankfully, Stefan at OgleEarth is posting again, so keep an eye on him if you find I’m not posting at the usual levels for the next few weeks.
Mandela 90 – Nelson Mandela turns 90 today. Tinus of VirtualAfrica has posted a Google Earth file that shows important locations in Mandela’s life. Most of the placemarks contain panoramic photos of each location.
F-Secure – F-Secure analyzes and monitors viruses, spam, and hacking activity on the Internet. They use Google Earth to visualize the spread of the viral computer activity in real-time at their operations center. They have released a KML file that lets you see a sample of their data showing the location spamming servers, computers broadcasting various viruses, and other malicious activity. The file has the IP addresses and other identifying information stripped for security reasons. I recommend watching the video they’ve released which explains how the real-time Google Earth data is used, and what it means.
Departure – One of the developers who joined Keyhole in 2003 and came over to Google when they bought Keyhole and built Google Earth has decided to leave Google. Apparently he felt Google has changed now that it is a much larger company. You can read his thoughts at his blog (along with some interesting tidbits about Keyhole/Google Earth), and here is a CNET story on his departure. I guess someone leaving from Google in today’s economy is pretty big news.
Fish in Arizona – The Arizona Game and Fish department has created maps documenting the best boating and fishing locations. You can also view each of the Maps in Google Earth (link above each map) and get a 3D perspective on the terrain. Plus, with GE you can turn on layers like the Geographic Web (use the Panoramio photos to see what each location looks like), Places of Interest and many others to become an expert on what’s available before you go there.
3D Cities – Google’s Cities in 3D program bears some more fruit this week. Google has published several new cities in Google Earth which participated in the program. Turn on the 3D Buildings layer and visit some of the new cities (well, some are towns): Amherst, MA; Greenville, SC; McMinville, TN; Nanaimo, British Columbia; Nashville, TN; Washington, DC; and Jamestown, NY (not yet in the layer). Also, Google published a post on their blog where the GIS folks in Washington explain why they chose to participate in the program.
Japan – Last week, Google slipped in a new tourism layer for Japan. The layer is found under: Gallery->Travel and Tourism->Japan Tourism.
Maps – In the online mapping technology – Where 2.0 – world there is a growing camp of folks who believe mapping data should be free. Since GPSes are becoming commonplace, and technologies for mapping are becoming easier to use, folks have been banding together and creating their own map data. The OpenStreetMap folks are the premiere example. Much of the mapping data in Google Earth has been licensed from commercial sources, but Google began over a year ago to collect and publish map data for places where no commercial source existed. At this point, Google is only allowing people to view that data for free on their mapping tools. Brady Forest of O’Reilly writes an excellent post summarizing the situation after talking to Google.