News Roundup – Nokia N95, gCensus US, Greensburg Radar Animation

  • Nokia N95 – Stefan Geens of OgleEarth has been playing with his new Nokia N95 cell phone. This new phone has been getting a lot of attention for its nice combination of 5 Megapixel camera, GPS, 3G data, nice screen, etc. Probably the most interesting camera out there until the iPhone comes out. This weekend Stefan took the phone out to a place called Wadi El-Hitan (or Whale Valley) in the Sahara desert. He used the phone to track his trip, take photos, upload photos to Flickr, and used Google Maps for chart plotting (to check his position against satellite photos). Read his plans before the trip, and his review of the trip itself. And, check out the resulting Google Earth file . The location itself is pretty interesting – ancient whale bones in the middle of what is now desert, but used to be the sea millions of years ago. [UPDATE 0820: corrected two links, thanks Stefan!]

  • gCensus US – gCensus is a web application which got a lot of attention in early March for allowing access to the full year 2000 US Census data for 3 states with visualizations in Google Earth. Now Imran Haque, the Stanford PhD student who develops the application, has added data for all 50 states. Check out the gCensus site here. You can read more technical details about what is now availabe in his blog post about the update.

  • Greensburg Radar – A Google Earth Community member managed to capture the weather radar sequence which shows the storm which passed over Greensburg, Kansas and destroyed the town with a huge F5 tornado. He created a GE time animation where you can see the intense storm pass over Greensburg (enter “Greensburg, KS” in the search window to see the location of the town, then hit the “Play” button on the right side of the time slider). His post also contains some high resolution radar images. And finally, check out the image overlay Google has posted with image overlays showing Greensburg before and after the tornado.

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. Sarah H says:

    Wow the radar is amazing. If your familiar with the Hook echo (, “classical hallmarks of tornado-producing supercell thunderstorms as seen on weather radar”. You can distinctly see the hook (in red) at around 9:27, 9:42 (Greensburg), 10:20 and 11:35 on the RADAR! Although I don’t know about the damage this F5 caused outside of Greensburg.

Leave a Reply