News Roundup 2 – Science Visualization, Netherlands GIS, Flu Map, Nokia SportsTracker

  • Science Visualization – Writer Tom Simonite wrote to let me know about his New Scientist article highlighting how scientists are using virtual globes like Google Earth for showing scientific results. Using GE for science is not new news to regular GEB readers (just look at the GEB science category), but its good to see mainstream magazines giving Google Earth recognition in this area. And, the article highlights some interesting new projects.

  • Netherlands GIS – GEB reader Jarno wrote to tell about a discovery he made after reading a Dutch mapping blog about new GIS data available for the public for Holland. After experimenting a bit, he discovered a web mapping service was available to enabling him to generate a Google Earth file showing some of the GIS data. Check out his network link (sent to me by E-mail) which lets you zoom in to different parts of the area of Holland and see the results. Thanks Jarno!

  • Avian Flu Map – This one made the rounds in the media last week. Some scientists at Ohio State University have created another Avian Flu visualization which shows the progression as it spread around Asia, Africa, and Europe. OgleEarth probably did the best job of describing why this phylogenetic visualization in Google Earth is interesting. Declan Butler of Nature Magazine has also been using Google Earth to show the spread of Avian Flu for a long time now.

  • Nokia SportsTracker – GEB reader Frank B. wrote me because of his enthusiasm for the Nokia SportsTracker software. I had heard about this software because of the recent popularity of the Nokia 95 cell phone (with built-in GPS and good quality digital camera). Both GE bloggers Andrew Hudson-Smith and Stefan Geens have recently been playing with the N95 (so, maybe I should get one?). Anyway, SportsTracker is a GPS activity tracker and allows you to output to Google Earth. SportsTracker comes with the N95, but Frank says it’s also available for any mobile phone which uses the Symbian S60 3rd edition OS. You can use other phones with the OS and a Bluetooth interface for a Bluetooth GPS device and use SportsTracker as well.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. In response to the “Netherlands GIS” part:
    The makers of the map, ‘The New Map of the Netherlands” have their own website (, which is in Dutch of course. But on that site they also put their WMS-link:
    On the Dutch blog, they discribed how to add this webservice by choosing the ‘Image Overlay’ menu. Here one can pick the different layers from the WMS-service. For those who are interested in what the New Map of the Netherlands is: there is a part of their site in English:
    It contains information about what the map is and what its purpuse is.

  2. Most of the Google Earth flu maps aren’t very accurate, though, so be wary.

  3. Those flu maps are scary to look at. It puts in perspective the way these types of illnesses can travel across the world.

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