Links: Santa Tracker Dec 1, Location Editing, PhotoOverlay, AntArctic Trek, Virtual Earth Imagery Update

  • Santa Tracker Dec 1 – This year when Norad tracks Santa on Christmas Eve, the official application to watch it will be Google Earth. Starting on December 1st, there will be a special countdown to Christmas Eve. Go visit the Santa Tracker site starting December 1 (or check back here at GEB) for details. Last year Google created a 3D game in Google Earth where you had to find Christmas presents somewhere on the Earth for the two weeks leading up to Christmas. They had Santa’s North Pole home and his sleigh rendered in 3D, and then the Santa tracker was linked to the Norad data.

  • Location EditingGoogle has announced an interface in Google Maps so you can correct address location results. So, if you find when you enter an address for your home or a business that the results are inaccurate, you can move the placemark to the correct location. You just need a Google account. Self correcting data…very cool idea. via Google Operating System blog (which includes a better video introduction).

  • PhotoOverlay – Stefan Geens at OgleEarth recently took some photos of an archaeological dig in Egypt. The photos were geotagged and then he used some tools to create a panoramic PhotoOverlay and place the other photos in a Google Earth KML. Lots of useful tips and recommended tools. Worth a read if you plan to document a visit somewhere with real style. See the results here .

  • Antarctic Trek – A bunch of Norwegian and US scientists are going to traverse a part of the Antarctic continent to the south pole and document climatic variances. They’re using a special snow tractor with a trailer containing living quarters and a lab. The cool part (besides the weather) is that they have a KML file you can use to track their progress in Google Earth. See their web site.

  • Virtual Earth Imagery – Microsoft continues to acquire and release imagery at a prodigious rate for Virtual Earth. They have just released 33.7 TBytes of new and updated imagery covering many areas and countries. I particularly like the new imagery for tropical islands in the Pacific and the Caribbean. There’s also a long list of new cities with Bird’s Eye views in the US and Europe. Read the full list of places added or updated. I have to say Microsoft is quickly catching up with Google in the imagery race. And the Bird’s Eye view imagery is definitely still unique to Microsoft and quite amazing. And Microsoft also has a decided advantage because they own most (or all?) of the rights to the imagery they are acquiring because they are commissioning their own photography. Whereas Google just acquires the data from many imagery providers with a license limited to use in Google Earth and Maps.

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. Santa, where are you right now?

  2. cool

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