News Roundup – GeoCommons, AC3D, LaudonTech Maps, MacFamilyTree

  • GeoCommons – Received a press release by FortiusOne about their plans to launch GeoCommons at Where 2.0. GeoCommons will be a destination site designed to “…enable anyone to explore, create, and share geographic data and intelligent maps.” They have a vast resource of information on things like population, traffic, employment, recreation, politics, environmental conditions, etc. You will be able to make queries on the data and use their tools to generate interesting relevant maps that can help tell a story better. From what I’ve seen, they have some really powerful data. You will be able to share your customs maps by embedding it in your own web site. They have some interesting screenshots of their maps on their blog. I’ve spoken a bit with their CEO, Sean Gorman, and they definitely seem to have some interesting material prepared for the announcement. They also recently received venture capital, so this launch has some financial backing. More on this next week when they make the launch at Where and I have some Google Earth content to show.

  • AC3DInivis Limited recently released AC3D 6.2, 3D modeling software with a wide range of capabilities. The new version supports both 3DConnexion‘s SpaceNavigator and Google Earth. You can download a free two-week trial, or buy it for US$75. The products has some powerful capabilities for more advanced 3D modelers.

  • LaudonTech Maps – Got an E-mail from Mark Laudon who has developed some tools for merging GIS and PDF documents with maps. He has some examples on his web site of merging data with Google Maps, Virtual Earth, and Google Earth. From what I’ve seen so far the PDF’s are just converted into images and then overlayed – onto the maps. He also converts shapefiles that can be viewed on maps as well. Possibly useful for those who don’t use more sophisticated tools like those provided by the powerful Arc2Earth which requires expensive GIS software from ESRI, but what I’m seeing at LaudonTech is pretty basic stuff available from a number of free tools.

  • MacFamilyTree – MacFamilyTree has released an update which includes Google Earth support. You can reveal places from your family tree in Google Earth. Interesting concept I haven’t seen done yet.

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. AC3D’s looking more powerful since the last time I took a look at it. The Polygon Reduction feature is absolutely slick – UV Mapper looks intuative – text extrusion from TrueType (sweet) – Wrap/Brigde automation. Nice. I’ll have to consider this, but I’ll want to know more about whether it supports geospatial formats (.dem, GeoTIFF .tif [or at least .tfw and .prj files], etc). Looks highly affordable, regardless.

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