A whole bunch of fresh images for Virtual Earth

Microsoft is adding data at quite an incredible rate (their previous update was less than two weeks ago).  Here’s a list of what’s imagery has just been updated:

USA Hi-Res Orthos (aka Aerial and Hybrid)

– 2006 Central Florida
– 2006 Buelton, CA
– 2006 Lancaster, CA
– 2006 Madera, CA
– 2006 Santa Maria, CA
– 2006 California City, CA
– 2006 Sanger, CA
– 2006 Jacksonville, FL (outskirts around 3Di imagery)
– 2006 Raleigh, NC
– 2006 Lake County, CA
– 2006 Salt Lake City/Park City, UT
– 2006 IL-West
– 2006 SE Michigan
– 2006 Omaha/Lincoln, NE
– 2006 Central Colorado
– 2007 Miami/Ft.Lauderdale, FL (outskirts around 3Di imagery)
– 2006 Sacramento, CA Region (outskirts around 3Di imagery)
– 2007 Mobile, AL (outskirts around 3Di imagery)
– 2007 LasVegas, NV (outskirts around 3Di imagery)
– 2006 North New Jersey
– 2007 Atlanta, GA (outskirts around 3Di imagery)
– 2006 Philadelphia, PA (outskirts around 3Di imagery)
– 2007 Birmingham, AL (outskirts around 3Di imagery)
– 2007 New Orleans, LA (outskirts around 3Di imagery)
– 2007 BatonRouge, LA (outskirts around 3Di imagery)
– 2006 Los Angeles County, CA
– 2006 NE-Illinois

International Orthos – 1 Meter (also, aka Aerial and Hybrid)

– Mt Rainier, Washington, US
– Canberra, AU
– Newcastle, AU
– Ayers Rock, AU
– Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
– Mecca, Saudi Arabia
– Montevideo, Uraguay
– St Petersburg, Russia
– St John’s, Newfoundland
– Nassau, Bahamas
– Santiago, Chile
– Singapore, Singapore
– Istanbul, Turkey
– Ankara, Turkey
– Auckland, New Zealand
– Bangkok, Thailand
– Mt Everest
– Guadalajara, Mexico
– Kiev, Ukraine
– Quito, Ecuador
– Bogota, Colombia
– Caracas, Venezuala
– Dakar, Senegal
– Hanoi, Vietnam
– Kathmandu, Nepal
– Kuala Lumpur (west of), Malaysia
– Manila, Phillipines
– P’yongyang, South Korea
– Tunis, Tunisia
– Alexandria, Egypt
– Bora Bora *
– Cook Islands NE & SE *
– Isla_de_Guanaja *

International Hi-Res Orthos

– Paris, FR
– Japan

Easily embed Google Maps on your site

You can now embed a Google Map on your site in a similar manner as a YouTube video, rather than having to deal with the API.  For novice webmasters, this will likely become a very popular thing to have.

Full details and screenshots can be found on Google Maps Mania.

Real-time traffic now in Google Earth

Google Earth Real-time trafficAs reported on the Google Latlong blog, Google Earth now has a new “traffic” layer which uses the same real-time traffic data that is used in Google Maps.

It’s not especially fancy, but that’s probably a good thing.  Sometimes simple is better.  The traffic is shown as a series of dots along the highway.  Green=fast, yellow=ok, red=slow.  The dots are clickable and provide you with the current speed read from that radar.

If I still had a highway commute, I could see myself checking this as I stepped out the door each morning.  Nice work, Google!

Google Maps StreetView … in 1907?

1907 StreetViewThis is a neat little find by Gadling.  In 1907, Rand McNally produced some “Photo Auto-maps” that they gave to drivers, which included photos with arrows to show which way to go.

The rest of their article has a few more pictures from it.   Very cool.

Great collection of storm tracking and weather tools for Google Earth

Frank Taylor at the Google Earth Blog has posted a great round-up of the best weather-related tools for Google Earth.

The best piece of this post is the huge weather and storm tracking tools collection network link.  It contains a handful of folders with various kinds of data, which includes:

  • two global hurricane tracking tools
  • global cloud maps
  • current global lightning strikes animation
  • severe weather warning data and radar data for the US
  • a large collection of weather image overlays from TropicalAtlantic
  • weather observations for the US from WeatherBonk
  • a real-time day/night viewing tool
  • the global annual lightning flash rate map from NASA

If you enjoy following the weather, this is well worth checking out.

Virtual Earth Imagery Update

As per the Virtual Earth for Government blog, a lot of new bird’s eye imagery and a few new 3D city models have been released.  The 3D cities are Montreal, Canada and Toulouse, France.  The new Bird’s Eye imagery is in hundreds of cities; the full list can be found here.

More cities added to Google Maps Street View

San Diego StreetViewAs posted on the Google LatLong Blog, four new cities have been given the Street View treatment.

They are:

Hamburg 3D now in a layer

As reported by Ogle Earth, the amazing 3D buildings in Hamburg are now in the buildings layer of Google Earth.

Stefan says, “You will need a graphics card from the future — unless you are really close in, flying around Hamburg is done at extremely low fps… more like fpm”.  This will become more of an issue in the future as more buildings find their way into Google Earth.

A few months ago, I suggested to the Google Earth team that they handle 3D buildings in a somewhat similar manner as Virtual Earth – low quality as you’re far away, higher quality as you zoom in.  While I’m sure that’s quite a technical hurdle, they must be considering something of that nature to help combat this growing performance problem.

Tools for those affected by the I-35W bridge collapse

I-35W BridgeThe Google LatLong Blog has posted a few links with resources to help people with the aftermath of the bridge collapse.

Here are a bunch of maps with photos, news articles, meeting point locations, contact information for nearby hospitals and prayer service schedules.

Here is information about road closures and detours.

They also suggest searching Google maps for terms such as “35W Detour” for more information.

Google Maps now gives estimated rush hour drive times

This is pretty slick — Google Maps will now give you multiple estimated times for trips that you plan (in “a limited set of metropolitan areas”).

Their example has someone traveling from Berkeley to Half Moon Bay, which is “about 59 minutes”.  However, the directions also say that it could take “up to 1 hour 50 minutes in traffic”.   This allows you to look at multiple routes to determine which would be best if you had to travel during rush hour.

Obviously, this can’t account for accidents that might slow things down further, but it’s a neat addition.   Combine this with the new click-and-drag directions, and you can quickly find the best route during heavy traffic times.

The Google LatLong blog has a full write-up with some nice screenshots.