Audi A8 with Google Earth: The new Audi A8 comes with a lot of neat toys, including integrated Google Earth! The car connects to the internet via 3G, which it uses for a variety of purposes. It pushes the 3G out via wifi for anyone in the car that needs it (similar to the Verizon MiFi), and it also streams Google Earth imagery to the navigation system.
Detailed information about the Google Earth integration is lacking, but you can see it in action for a just a few seconds in the video below (skip ahead to the 7:24 mark). It shows 3D buildings (some photorealistic, some gray), just like you’d see in Google Earth.
Liquid Galaxy: At Google I/O earlier this year, they showed off a cool thing they called the “Holodeck” — a 360 degree booth that surrounds you with StreetView imagery. They’ve now renamed it “Liquid Galaxy” and integrated a special version of Google Earth to work with it. They’ve brought it to the COP15 conference in Copenhagen, and they’ll be bringing it to other conferences in the future. I hope to maybe try it out at Where 2.0 this spring.
Deer Hunting with Google Earth: A man in Illinois shot a 25-point buck after studying Google Earth to determine probable routes that the deer would take. He staked out his position based on that information and was able to get his shot just before dusk. It turned out to be a lucky shot (deflected off a tree branch, pierced the deer’s ear, which then fell down a bank into the creek and drowned), but it’s interesting that he used Google Earth to find the best location.
StreetView in the snow: A few days ago, in preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympics, Google hit the slopes in Vancouver and captured some StreetView imagery using a snowmobile outfitted with their cameras.
I would have to guess that the development of the StreetView trikes helped make this possible, as it was likely a similar system.
No word on a release date for this imagery, but the Olympics begin on February 12, so I’m sure we’ll see it sometime before then.