General Electric – GE recently released a new initiative on their corporate web site (www.ge.com) about the increasing scarcity of fresh water on our planet. They have a Google Earth file called WaterExplorer which gives an overview about fresh water problems and what GE is doing to help. Definitely worth having a look. It seems appropriate GE should do a Google Earth collection. I do wish I could get my own GE.com e-mail address. 🙂
European Championship Stadiums – Google is really getting into the spirit of the European Football Championship 2008. First Google released a some cool fan map mashup. They have all kinds of details on the venues (stadiums), teams, and matches. And, they’ve made the map available in several different flavors (Spain, Netherlands, Germany, etc.). They have now released special versions of Google Transit for Austria and Switzerland so you can get transportation tips and driving directions if you’re attending in person. Google has also made 3D models of all the stadiums. I snagged a KMZ file from a Maps search and modified the stadium placemarks so you can fly a tour of the stadiums in Google Earth (apologies to whoever owned the original KML file – although it may be Google’s). The placemarks have some details about the stadiums as well.
Cybercity Buildings – The recent 3d Buildings layer upgrade also includes some new buildings added through the Google Earth Cities in 3D program. In particular, new non-textured buildings in Downtown San Diego were done by CyberCity 3D. They also reportedly did the new non-textured 3D buildings for Chicago. By the way, I just noticed the imagery layer was updated in Chicago including, sadly, the old Miegs Field which no longer shows the runway.
KML Validator – Galdos Systems has released a free online service to validate KML files. The validator assumes your KML is version 2.2 compliant. Galdos is releasing this service for free, but can also provide professional validation services for developers needing validated KML from their applications, and will also offer KML training and development support.
Tour de France – Thomas Vergouwen is the first to send me a 2008 Tour de France KML file , which he’s created, which shows the full 2008 Tour de France course in Google Earth. Viewing the course in Google Earth this year is better than ever! In the last Year, Google has improved the satellite and aerial imagery for France, and the terrain has also been improved in places. With any luck, Google may update the terrain for even more areas before it starts. Great work Thomas!