Lots of interesting news buried below. If you’re a hard core GE user, make sure you read closely and follow some of the links below. I don’t have time today to do a more elaborate review of all the goodies below.
New 3D Tours Gallery – Yesterday Google announced a new addition to the Google Earth Gallery called “3D Buildings“. This gallery shows some cool tours of 3D models around Google Earth for various categories. For example: castles, bridges, museums, baseball stadiums or skyscrapers. Most of these are Google Earth 5 Tours. Tours are a great way to help people see the wealth of 3D data available in Google Earth. I expect Google will be adding many of these 3D tours to the Tours Gallery for viewing them in the browser with the GE plugin. I do have a couple of suggestions for improvement though: 1) I think adding some sound and/or narration would make some of the tours better, and 2) The name “3D Buildings” needs to be changed – I’ve been saying for some time the layer in Google Earth should be changed because there are all kinds of non-3D Building models in the layer now (bridges, animals, buoys, ships, and more). Maybe the name of the layer (and this new gallery) should be “3D Objects“.
Earth API Update – Yesterday at Google I/O Googler Roman Nurik presented a session called “Building Advanced 3D Geographical Applications for the Web with the Google Earth API”. You can see his presentation documentation here. Virgil Zetterlind of EarthNC.com blogged his notes while attending the session at his Maplify blog. Of particular note is that updates to the Maps and Earth APIs have improved integration between the 2D and 3D maps so you can more seamlessly transition between the two modes. Here is a 30 second video demo of the transitions. Roman also has produced a “MyEarth” demo application that uses the Earth API and the Maps Data API to allow you to integrate content from you Google MyMaps to view it in the Earth Plugin. I recommend checking out Roman’s presentation for links to other cool demos.