Maps Terrain in GE – This is cool – a long time ago, someone named ‘BernardMuc’ at the GEC posted a cool network link that lets you overlay Google Maps image tiles into Google Earth. He’s now enabled the ability to add a parameter to overlay the new Terrain layer from Maps into GE! Just add the “&TERR=Y” parameter to the network link to add the feature. Nice!
GPS Trip Planning – Previously I’ve written about the application by EarthNC called TakitWithMe. They have now made it even easier to plan a trip in Google Earth and easily import your placemarks and routes into your GPS. Watch a video with all the details.
Nearby Update – Barry Hunter has updated the organization and look for his Nearby web site. He has a great selection of software tools and files for geospatial applications. And one section is devoted to a number of handy KML/Google Earth tools.
New Streetviews – GoogleOperatingSystem reports that Google has added several new cities with Streetviews: Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, Fort Worth, Boston, Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Providence.
A deadly tropical cyclone has struck Bangladesh killing over 500 people according to news reports. Tropical Storm Sidr was a category four storm with winds of 130+ knots when it struck on Thursday evening local time.
You can see a high resolution satellite photo in Google Earth showing Tropical Storm Sidr two days ago (before it made landfall). The photo came from the NASA MODIS Terra satellite.
You can also see the track of this storm from the live storm tracking tools like this one from Guiweather.com. Also, you can turn on the new Weather layer in Google Earth to see what’s left of the storm’s clouds.
See more storm tracking tools and weather data for Google Earth.
Received some E-mail from Felix and Andrés of Area6 about a promotion they designed in México for Armor All (the car wax and protection products company). They have produced an Armor All scavenger hunt game using Google Earth. The concept started with the idea of painting the top of a building as a promotion with an Armor All logo, but they realized that you can’t predict when such an image would appear in Google Earth. So, they decided to paint logos virtually in Google Earth and make a game out of it. The contest prizes include hot rod cars like a 1973 Mustang, a 1977 Corvette, and a 1976 Dodge Dart.
The game is only available in Spanish. And you need to register with an address from Mexico to get in. The screenshot shows instructions for playing the game (click on the picture to see it larger). It uses network links to determine when you are getting close to one of the locations. You see the words “Frío” or “Caliente” indicating whether you are cold or hot.
The web site also promotes an Armor All Hot Rod Blog with videos of the prize cars being shined up with – you guessed it – Armor All. Thanks to Spanish GEB translator Gerardo for checking out the game.
Other promotions using Google Earth:
The news media is starting to catch on to using Google’s map making tools to help illustrate news which has a geospatial context. The California fires last month was the biggest recent example. Now two local news outfits have begun documenting the situation with the San Francisco oil spill by using Google Maps. The San Francisco Chronicle has pictures and video showing the oil spill’s consequences. And San Jose’s KCBS map has created a map showing the areas affected and the extent of the oil’s impact. You can view both of these maps in Google Earth together by clicking on the KML link in each map, or click here and here . I find viewing maps like this in Google Earth to be more informative since with GE you can see the 3D terrain, view multiple maps without too much clutter, and it’s faster. Hopefully more news agencies around the world will start catching on and begin using mapping tools to illustrate the news. via Google Lat Long.
Google has made some big changes to the layers! First the layers have been re-organized substantially. You may have to hunt a bit to find things under new folders. For example: Featured Content is now Gallery, Populated Places falls under Borders and Labels, the many layers describing stores, geographic features, sports venues etc. are now under Places of Interest. I suggest you play around by opening folders and trying out layers to learn the new organization. Click on the “+” and “-” boxes to open and close the folders. The new organization is an improvement, but I still think a new interface for layers is needed.
The big new content layer is the new Weather layer. This is something I’ve wanted to see since the beginning. Right now, the new weather layer contains three sub layers: Clouds, Radar, and Conditions and Forecasts.
There’s also an Information link which provides a good summary of the sources of the data and how to use them. Most of the data in this release seems to be managed by Weather.com – although the clouds come from the Naval Research Labs’ Marine Meteorology Division. Note: the radar data provided by Weather.com is only for the US at this time.
Make sure to click on the “Information” link, because in the upper right you find two links which let you download time animations for the clouds and radar respectively. An information bubble for each network link loaded in your Temporary Places explains how to use the time animations.
I’m really glad to see the new weather layer. The clouds layer from the Navy Research Lab in Monterrey looks quite good. It is updated hourly. For many other stories about weather-related KML files, check out the GEB Weather category. Also check the best GE storm tracking tools post for lots of other useful weather tools.
By the way, thanks to Volker at Magnalox.net for the tip on the new layer update – he has been monitoring his new Caribbean 1500 Sailing Cup, so he was quick to notice the new weather layer.