Earthquakes are happening around the world all the time, we just can’t feel all of them. The US Geological Survey (USGS) is constantly monitoring the Earth with sensitive instruments and for some time now has offered ways of sharing their data on the web through their Earthquake Hazards Program. Last February I reported on their new Google Earth earthquake monitoring features. They have recently refined the interface and in addition to real-time seismic activity world-wide, they now show faultlines, tectonic plate boundaries, and convergence points for faults with colored lines on the Earth (there’s a key to the colors in the places folder). I’m travelling at the moment, so I don’t have a time to show a new screenshot, but check out the USGS Earthquake monitoring network link. This is a nice improvement to an already amazing tool to monitor geologic activity of the Earth. It is in my permanent places folder. Thanks to a GEB reader who I only know as “GE_fan” for letting me know about the update.
Why not hook up your rowing machine and practice rowing your favorite river from the comfort of your exercise room? That’s what these guys did. They wrote an application to interface between a Concept II PM3 (see picture) using a USB cable and Google Earth so you can then row yourself down the river.
This is a great concept, but could use some more innovation to make it more practical. Right now it apparently just shows a view of the river as you row yourself along. You could show a boat icon with your position, show your track, put up your current speed and distance to finish, etc. In fact, you could use the new time features in GE 4 to show animations of your previous runs. This tool enables you to do familiarization with a new river before you even get there in person (the same way I use GE or a flight simulator for familiarization before I fly to a new airport). Of course, you could also do fun things like row the Grand Canyon, go down 5th avenue in NYC, or do the Pacific Ocean! 🙂 via OgleEarth.
Geograph.org.uk is a web site with a simple goal. “Collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of the UK and Eire.” The two photos at the right show the progress they have made in the last year (since I first wrote about it). Thanks to a free and open setup, the help of thousands of photographers, and an interesting mission, they are well on their way to achieving their objective. There are now over 260,000 photos in the database. You can see the placement of the photographs from within Google Earth. For example, look at a random sample of photos. You click on the green “KML” icon when its available to view the results. Or, you can go to their Google Earth search page and click on “Download KML” after selecting the type of search you want to perform. (NOTE: they have started time stamping the photo placemarks. If you see the time slider appear, open the slider all the way to see all the images. Or slide it back and forth to see the images over time. You must have Google Earth 4 to see the time feature.)
Related: Last year’s story on Geograph
In response to a wish from Stefan Geens at OgleEarth, Chris Hanson at 3DNature.com has created an enhanced terrain and texture for the Matterhorn. The built-in terrain data for Google Earth is too low of resolution to cature this sharp and refined mountain peak. So, Chris gathered together some 30 meter resolution digital elevation model data for the peak and draped the data with a Landsat photo processed by AlaphaPixel’s Pixelsense. You can see the results of a new Matterhorn in Google Earth here (assuming you are using Google Earth 4). I’m sure Stefan will be pleased he got his wish… And nice work Chris!
- Geo Blog GeoRSS in Google Earth – this link will let you see the locations of stories from a number of Geo-related blogs based on automated processing of locations from their RSS feeds. In other words, the program looks for names of locations mentioned in stories and georeferences the blog entry. You can click on a placemark (if it figures out a location) to read the RSS feed of the blog entry. Includes Google Earth Blog, OgleEarth, Google Blog, and others. See the post by Valery35. Similar to NewsGlobe, but better.
- Discovery Channel Placemarks – The Discovery channel has added a few more placemarks covering more of the world with quality links to multimedia content. See original story.
- Richard Treves (who did some excellent online Google Earth tutorials earlier this year) is conducting a Google Earth workshop at Keele University (UK) from 4-7 September as part of the Society of Cartographers Summer School.
- Dr. Hudson-Smith, at his DigitalUrban blog, has published a video showing experimentation with placing real building models in the City Life 3D rendering engine. City Life is a game, it is not based on reality (no aerial photography), but it is a fun looking world to experience – and is now available to view for free. The video at Digital Urban is fun to watch – he points out that combining the interfaces of Google Earth, City Life, and Second Life would be a killer application. I agree!