Links: Burning Man, Earth API, GlobalMapper, Hazards Database, X-Prize

  • Burning Man 2008 – Today marks the start of Burning Man 2008. Burning Man is the outrageous ultra desert party/art exposition held each year in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada for one week. Basically a wide variety of people build a city in the desert. There is art, music, drinking, and much more. There are basically few rules (except for safety). People build things and destroy things. They play, they party, and they even work. When the event is over, the entire city is dismantled leaving just the desert behind again. According to the web site, you really can’t explain it except by going there. Read “What is Burning Man?“. You can see the 2006 Burning Man in Google Earth – an aerial photo was taken. Last year there was a 3D map of parts of the “city”. This year, the city will be moved over a couple of kilometers to reduce environmental damage. There is talk of providing an online map, more aerial photos, real-time tracking, and social networking for this year’s event. More to come.

  • Earth API – The Earth API reference site was updated a couple of weeks ago. They added more sample code, and there is now a Earth API release notes page.

  • Global Mapper – Global Mapper has released an update that includes support for Google Earth’s SuperOverlay. via Mr. Minton.

  • Natural Hazards Database – The NOAA National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) maintains a database of information about historical natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. They have created a KML file which lets you view the data which helps with planning for future events in areas like disaster recovery, disaster response, etc. But, it also helps you get a perspective on dangerous locations. This one is definitely worth a look. Posted at the GEC. Thanks to Gerardo for pointing it out.

  • X-Prize – In support of the Google Lunar X-Prize, there are a number of KML files that show things like the locations of the teams vying for the prize, 3D Rockets, and educational files. Check them out here.

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. Check out the X PRIZE Foundation’s “The Launch Pad” post on August 7 on the Google Earth file for the Lunar Lander Challenge, too:

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