YouTube videos now a layer in Google Earth

As reported by the Google Earth Blog, there is now a new layer in Google Earth for geotagged YouTube videos.  In the Windows version of GE the videos appear right in the description bubbles; in the Mac and Linux versions you get a link to view the video in a browser.

It works like most other layers – as you zoom further in, more videos appear.   To get your video to appear, simply allow embedding and map its location.  It should then appear in the next layer update, which occurs roughly once a month.

10 best new features in Google Earth since its release

When Google Earth was first released, there was talk about it everywhere and they were overwhelmed with downloads. Since then, it’s become more and more popular. However, I’m sure there are a lot of folks that downloaded it two years ago, checked it out a little bit, and then haven’t gone back in. Here’s what you’re missing now:

10. PhotoOverlays: In the latest release of Google Earth they now have PhotoOverlays – photos that seem to be hung in mid-air or wrapped around a sphere.

Google Earth terrain9. Improved terrain: The 3D terrain in Google Earth is the main thing that separates it from Google Maps. You can tilt down and see the mountains and valleys in beautiful 3D. There is now an option to allow you to choose the terrain quality (lower=better performance, high=more eye candy).

8. Time animations: Starting with the beta version of GE4 you could have time animations — items that update as time rolls by. This can be for long periods (spread of Avian flu) or for short periods (“Blues Brother” car jumping a drawbridge).

7. New layers: Google Earth launched with an impressive collection of build-in layers. They’ve added tons more since then. My personal favorite is the “traffic” layer, which shows current traffic speeds in metro areas (Atlanta here). Dig into the layers and see all of the great new items in there.

SpaceNavigator6. SpaceNavigator support: If you’ve not used this 3D mouse-ish tool, you have to try it. It makes Google Earth a whole new toy. Read more about this at the Google Earth Blog, or try to win one by using GEboards.

5. Flight simulator: For a while, it was fun to try to fake being a flight simulator in Google Earth by simply plugging in joystick. With the release of version 4.2, they included a hidden flight sim. Simply press [CTRL]-[ALT]-[A] (Command-Option-A on Mac) and you can choose to fly either an F16 or an SR22!

Google Earth Sky Mode4. Sky mode: Another great addition in version 4.2. By clicking the small “sky mode” button in Google Earth, you’ll be taken up to space and be shown the area exactly above where you were on the earth. You can browse, pan and zoom just as you would in earth mode, including support for the SpaceNavigator.

3. Flash support: Google Earth now supports Flash animations inside of the description bubbles (Windows only, though). This has allowed for obvious things such as embedding YouTube videos, but also for less-obvious things such as creating Flash-based forms to allow for an in-Earth message board.

Google Earth - 3D Buildings - Denver, Colorado2. 3D textures: When Google Earth first came out, people were amazed by the 3D buildings you could fly around. Problem was, they were all gray – solid, boring, gray. Since they, Google has built support for textures on the outside of buildings and the result is some cool looking cities. Denver, Colorado is probably the best example (it’s the home of SketchUp, the authoring tool for 3D models in Google Earth), so check it out.

1. Tons more imagery: Tons. Terabytes worth. Google has put out about eight huge imagery updates since they first released Google Earth, and each one has added thousands of square miles of fresh, higher quality images. Go check out your house again and you’ll probably find that it looks much better now than it did a few years ago.

There you go. 10 good reasons to go get the latest version of Google Earth and waste some time. If you’re looking for more fun stuff in Google Earth, go check out the huge KML file collection at Google Earth Hacks.

[ digg this article ]

1,000 posts in GEboards

It only took a single week to have over 1,000 posts appear on GEboards.  That was quick!

Some cities are already looking nicely annotated.  How’s yours?

More StreetView cities added

Sears Tower in StreetViewGoogle has released StreetView data for a bunch of new cities:  Chicago, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland and Tucson.  Phoenix, Tucson and parts of Chicago are even high-res.

They’ve also added the ability to pan up in many cities.  The image at the top of this post is of the Sears Tower.

More info at the Google LatLong blog.

The official answers to Google’s latest quiz

The Google Latlong blog has posted the answers to Google’s latest imagery release quiz.

It appears that Frank and company at the Google Earth Blog did a pretty good job.

Check out the answers (with some screenshots).

Updates to Google Earth imagery

As reported in the Google LatLong Blog, a “significant” amount of 60cm imagery has been added to Google Earth, with the Google Maps update coming soon.

As they did with the July update, most of what has been updated is hidden in clues.

Frank Taylor at the Google Earth Blog already has many of the answers, so head over there and help finish them up.

The first fully in-Earth message board

GEboards view threadOver on Google Earth Hacks we’ve just released GEboards, a completely in-Earth message board.

Following the release of Google Earth version 4.2, we realized that we could use the Flash player to accept text input in Google Earth.  Many lines of code later, we have GEboards.

Once you load the KML, you can create threads about any location on earth – the restaurant down the road, the strange plane in the sky, etc.  All of this happens without the need to use anything but Google Earth – not even the integrated web browser.

In addition, we’re giving away a SpaceNavigator to one lucky user.   Details on that can be found in our main forums here.

If you have any suggestions on how we could improve GEboards, please let us know.