New imagery for Virtual Earth

Microsoft continues to impress me with the pace of their imagery updates, all of which contain piles of data (10TB this time, according to their blog).

To go with the list of new/updated cities in 3D that we posted a few days ago, here is a list of cities with updated imagery.

New / Updated Oblique Imagery (Bird’s Eye)

  • New York / Newark, NY/NJ
  • Los Angeles / Long Beach / Huntington Beach, CA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • San Diego / Oceanside, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • San Jose, CA
  • Miami, FL
  • Boston, MA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Houston, TX
  • Denver, CO
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Portland, OR
  • Minneapolis / St. Paul, MN
  • Ft. Worth, TX
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Detroit, MI
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Austin, TX
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Tampa, FL
  • St. Petersburg, FL
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Orlando, FL
  • Birmingham, AL
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Niagara Falls / Buffalo, NY
  • Eastbourne, United Kingdom
  • Gloucester, United Kingdom
  • Swindon, United Kingdom
  • Bristol, United Kingdom
  • Cardiff, United Kingdom
  • Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
  • Northampton, United Kingdom
  • Plymouth, United Kingdom
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Rome, Italy
  • Berlin, Germany

New Orthos (Ultracam)

  • Tucson,AZ
  • Glendale, AZ
  • Tempe, AZ
  • Mesa, AZ
  • Glendale, CA
  • Orlando, FL
  • Coral Springs, FL
  • Miami, FL
  • Orlando International, FL
  • Tallahassee, FL
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Augusta, GA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Oak Park, IL
  • Springfield, MA
  • Worcester, MA
  • Detroit, MI
  • Gresham, OR
  • Providence, RI
  • Mt. Rushmore, SD
  • Sturgis, SD
  • Rapid City, SD
  • Nashville Opry, TN
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Fort Worth (West), TX
  • Fort Worth, TX
  • Liverpool, Great Britain
  • Vannes, France
  • Lachine, Canada
  • Edmonton, Canada

The Swastika building is getting a face-lift

Swastika Building(found via Natural Search Blog)

One of the first odd finds that we posted on Google Earth Hacks back in mid-2005 was a building in California that was shaped like a Swastika.  Since that time, it’s been downloaded from GEH over 8,000 times.  The same image on Flickr has been viewed over 16,000 times.

Chris Smith at the Natural Search Blog did some research into the building and found that is a Navy building, unintentionally built in that shape, because no one then expected millions of people to be able to view it from above.

CNN reported on the building today and included one new detail: The Navy has taken so much grief for the building that they’re going to spend about $600,000 to add landscaping and structures to make it look different from above.

As Chris says, while more and more companies are looking into rooftop advertising this is the first case of a building being modified just to improve PR.

More about StreetView privacy

Google has just put up a post on their LatLong blog with some of their thoughts about privacy expectations in StreetView.

It’s kind of a rambling post (paragraph break, anyone?) and there’s nothing too exciting in there, but here are some snippets:

  • “…we designed a simple process for anyone to contact us and have their image removed.” (note: When viewing an image, click on “Street View Help” at the top and you’ll find a link to report the image.
  • “…people don’t have the same expectations of privacy as they do in their homes.”
  • “…Street View will respect local laws…” (repeated a few more times with different wording)

It seems like kind of a random post, but maybe they felt they should put up an official stance on the privacy issues surrounding StreetView.  Prior to this, I don’t think they’ve done anything but respond to criticism against it (example 1, 2).

A bunch of new 3D cities in Virtual Earth

Chicago in Virtual EarthYesterday, Microsoft added 3D data to a bunch of cities.  They include:

  • Arizona
    • Phoenix
    • Tucson
    • Tempe
    • Mesa
    • Avondale
    • Gilbert
    • Peoria
    • Glendate
  • Augusta, GA
  • Denver, CO
  • Nashville, TN
  • Chicago, IL
  • Fort Worth, TX
  • Coral Springs, FL
  • Edmonton (Canada)

Chicago, in particular, is quite impressive.  Enlarge the screenshot at the top, check out a great video of it, or go see it for yourself!

3D Red Bull Air Races

Red Bull Air RacesGoogle Earth Blog has a great post about some 3D models showing the Red Bull Air Races using time-lapse animations.

They were created by Joey Wade over at the Keyhole BBS.  A great suggestion from the post is to use the flight sim mode and try it yourself.  I’ve not tried yet, but it can’t be easy.

The post on GEB has all of the details.

GPS for the iPhone — sort of

Gizmondo has a nice write-up about a GPS-like add-on for the iPhone from Navizon.  Using cell tower data, along with any local wifi that it can find, the software calculates your location to within a few hundred feet.  While it’s not as accurate as real GPS, it provides a nice starting point for driving directions and will push your location to the Google Maps app so it will start at your current location.

The program is free for 15 days, then $24.99.  More details on the Navizon blog.

Some new layers in Google Earth

A few new layers have been added to Google Earth today:

  • Preview — A quick look at some of the other layers available
  • Gigapan Photos — High res panoramic photos

The update layers include:

  • UNEP
  • AIA Blueprint for America
  • North American Ferry Lines
  • Google Earth Comunity

Google Earth Blog has more information about these changes.

Update: The Google LatLong Blog has a nice write-up about the “preview” layer as well.

Google Transit improvements

As posted on the Google LatLong blog, some nice enhancements have been made to Google Transit over the last few weeks, including coverage for:

  • Buses and light rail in Dallas, Texas
  • The Las Vegas Monorail
  • Humboldt County, CA
  • Thousand Oaks, CA
  • Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)

As well as new transit stop icons in Google Maps for a bunch of cities in Germany:

  • Augsburg
  • Bielefeld
  • Bochum
  • Bunde
  • Dresden
  • Jena
  • Karlsruhe
  • Kassel
  • Lubeck
  • Mainz
  • Rostock
  • Trier

I’m rarely a transit user, but this tool must be very useful for those that rely on transit.  Full details in that LatLong post.

Digital Globe launching first of two new satellites today

As reported on the Google Earth Blog, Digital Globe is launching a new satellite today, named WorldView I.  A similar satellite, WorldView II, will be launching late next year.

Digital Globe is a leading provider of imagery for Google Earth/Maps, so this is a great thing for those products.

It will be a while before we see any new imagery from this satellite (testing, etc), but once it’s live DG says it will be able to acquire data at about seven times the normal rate.  This will hopefully mean much more frequent updates in the future.

Read the article on GEB for the rest of the details.

Google Earth update

Google Earth has just been updated to version 4.2.0198 (download here), but it’s taken a few steps to get there.

On September 14, Google released version 4.2.0196.  The big thing in this release was the support for the SpaceNavigator in “sky mode”, which is a great addition.  However, later that day Google pulled the new release due to some bugs and made 4.2.0180 the “current” version on their site.

Now with the release of 4.2.0198, SpaceNavigator support in “sky mode” is back in place.  Frank Taylor at the Google Earth Blog has a few additional details about this update.