We spent quite a lot of May looking at interesting satellite imagery, most of which was added to Google Earth in either April or May.
We looked at imagery in Nepal captured after the April 25th earthquake and then again at imagery captured after the May 12th aftershock. We had a look at bomb damage at Sana’a Airport in Yemen, and the oil slick from an oil platform that had exploded in the gulf of Mexico.
We were impressed by how good some of the artwork of Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada looks in Google Earth. We had actually been keeping a close eye on Washington in the hope that his ‘Out of Many, One’ piece would make it into Google Earth and are happy that it did. We had not known about the ‘Grounding Gratitude’ piece until we did the research for the post.
On the 3D imagery front, the biggest news of the month was that South Africa saw its first 3D cities – the first in Africa. In addition, two other countries, Kosovo and Montenegro got their first 3D imagery. March, April and May have seen a significant increase in the rate of 3D releases and GEB reader Andrew Leahy has speculated that this may be in preparation for Google I/O which is currently in progress (May 28 and 29). Google I/O is an annual software developer conference in which Google announces some of their biggest releases and future plans. We will be watching for any Google Earth / Maps related talks.
Also this month, Google released a new minor update to Google Earth – 7.1.5. The main reason for the update being the deprecation of the authentication protocol that Google Earth used, which means that if you do not upgrade, you will not be able to sign in to Google Earth with your Google account after the 30th of May. Most notably, this will mean you will not be able to access Google Maps Engine maps in Google Earth. We believe this applies only to private maps but will test early next month to see if it also affects public maps such as Google’s imagery updates maps, which do not require a sign-in.
One of the most interesting stories this month was the how the Google Earth Community assisted in a rescue by quickly identifying a location from a satellite image.
What was your favourite story of the month?