Another news layer for Google Earth

Just a short note from the Google LatLong Blog.  To go along with the Google News and New York Times layers, a new layer from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is coming soon.  Or maybe it’s already out now.  It’s hard to tell.

The layer has been announced, and they seem to say it’s out, but I can’t see it in Google Earth.  Also, one sentence in particular makes me think it’s coming soon: “..which will feature live stories…”.  Also, the link they provided to the Google Australia Blog doesn’t help much, as it has no news about it yet either.

In any case, a new layer is coming soon to provide a bit more news coverage in Google Earth for you.  Check for it…soon?

OS independent 3D map of Stockholm released

Hitta.se, a Swedish search and mapping site, has just released a 3D map of Stockholm that works in virtually any browser in any operating system.

The technology is powered in part by C3 Technologies, who explain their software as follows:

The technology is based on high-resolution aerial photography with carefully calibrated cameras. For every picture, the camera’s position and angle are calculated with extremely high precision, using a very advanced navigation system. This is what enables us to give each pixel its geographical position with decimetre accuracy. Then, using stereovision technology, we combine two sequential pictures to measure the area’s height profile.

The result is an aerial photograph with each pixel positioned in three dimensions. Over an entire city, thousands of such photos are combined into one coherent 3D model – through an automated process in our unique 3D-processor.

Thanks to all this, there is no one today who can take pictures with the same precision and speed as we can. One example is when we filmed all of Stockholm in October 2007 and created a realistic, yet zoomable and turnable, 3D model of the city in just 3 days.

It seems to be a pretty cool technology, considering cities can be created so quickly and it works on such a wide variety of platforms.  The detail is far worse than what Google Earth and Virtual Earth have, though it renders trees and “any object larger than a VW bus”.

Ogle Earth has a post that gets into a bit more detail and is well worth reading.

Google Earth browser plug-in coming today

This sounds great!  Frank Taylor at the Google Earth Blog has just revealed that Google will be releasing a browser plug-in today that will essentially put Google Earth in your browser.

A few notes so far:

  • Windows only, but it should work on IE, Firefox and others.
  • Mac/Linux support coming later.
  • It’s not just Google Earth in a wrapper.  It will likely have fewer features.
  • It does include day/night, 3d models, sky mode and layers.
  • Google Earth will not need to be installed on the machine for the plug-in to work.
  • Current Google Map mashups can use this plug-in with a single line of code.

No link yet (it’s not live), but it should be available later today.

Update: Here it is!  Also, more coverage on the Google LatLong blog and Ogle Earth.

Google imagery update underway?

It appears that a Google imagery update is happening, but it’s a bit different than the past few.  Recently, new imagery has been coming into Google Earth first, then it finds its way into Google Maps a few days later.  However, this time might be reversed.

The city of Linz, Austria has different imagery when compared in Google Earth and Google Maps.  Compare for yourselves:

Earth | Maps

Now the big question — what else has been updated?  Post your discoveries in the comments below!

Updated Areas

  • Parts of Austria (including Linz)
  • Southeast coast of Sri Lanka
  • Parts of Serbia
  • Several areas in Pakistan and India

3D Earth product in the iPhone

Google Earth Blog has a story about a digital earth product called Earthscape.  Earthscape is a desktop program that aims to be similar to Google Earth (and others).  It may end up being a decent product, but that’s not the point of this post.

At Where 2.0 last week, GEB author Frank Taylor was shown an iPhone application that uses their product.  Not only does it handle the top down view (like Google Maps Mobile), but you can pan down into a 3D view!  Taking it a step further, the application responds to tilting, so you can move the phone around in your hand to change the view.

The application has some work to be done before it can be released, but it shows a ton of potential.  Below is the video that Frank took and you can read more about it in this blog post:

Google News now in Google Earth

About a month ago, Google added items from the New York Times to Google Earth.  Now they’ve taken it a step further by adding Google News entries as well.  This is pretty cool.

The New York Times addition was cute, but didn’t add much.  There simply aren’t enough stories to make it especially useful.  However, Google News brings in items from 4,500 new sources, so there are literally thousands of items on the map.  This is excellent, because it allows you to zoom in tight on an area, and see the latest news items from around there.

To activate this feature in your copy of Google Earth, just click on the “Gallery” category in your “Layers” tab, and check the box next to “Google News”.

3D version of Disney World coming to Google Earth

According to the Google Earth Blog (via USA Today), there is a great new 3D version of Disney World coming to Google Earth.  It’s due to come out as soon as next Tuesday (May 20).

It will include 3D models of items in Epcot Center, Animal Kingdom, Disney Hollywood Studios and 22 hotels and resorts.  There will also be interactive features on the map, such as videos and the ability to make reservations.

We’ll post more info about it once it is released.

Full list of updated Google Earth imagery

We already know nine of the areas updated a few days ago — our answers were correct.  However, Google has just released a full list of the updated imagery.  Here you go:

New high resolution:
We have added a significant amount of new satellite imagery in Ecuador, Peru, Senegal, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, India, Iran, Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and The Philippines. Additionally, we have new 2.5m imagery for part of Western Australia

Updated Imagery:

USA:

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • San Diego, CA
  • Houston, TX
  • Miami, FL
  • Chicago, IL
  • Milwaukee area suburbs
  • New York City area suburbs
  • Much of coastal New Jersey
  • Harney County (Oregon).

Europe, Middle East & Africa:

  • England: Isle of Man, Suffolk
  • Spain: Madrid
  • Portugal: Lisbon, Guimaraes, Porto, Sevilla, Coimbra, Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca
  • Italy: Milan
  • France: Toulon, Montbeliard
  • The Netherlands: Assen

Asia & Oceania:

  • Armenia: Yerevan
  • Australia: Melbourne, Darwin

Updated Terrain:

  • Westport, Ireland
  • Hawaii
  • Puerto Rico

Some new Google Earth imagery

Google has updated some imagery in Google Earth, and once again they’re revealing it in the form of a quiz. Frank Taylor has already posted a few answers, so I’ll add those to our list. If you know any others, post your response in the comments and we’ll try to get them all figured out.

None of these answers have been verified yet, so some might be wrong. Remember that Google Maps still has the old imagery, so if you think something is new in Google Earth, compare it to Google Maps to find out for sure.

1) This city is home to over 300 museums. Its flower is the bird of paradise and its tree is the coral tree.
Los Angeles

2) An historic landmark, this all wood luxury hotel was built in 1888.
Coronado Island near San Diego

3) This city’s namesake was the Governor of Tennessee.
Houston, Texas

4) Many believe the Greek King Ulysses founded this modern day capitol city.
Lisbon, Portugal

5) Towering above many, this city is the 2nd highest capital on its continent.
Madrid, Spain

6) Considered the fashion capitol of the world, you can now visit this city with high-res imagery.
Milan, Italy

7) This is the city where Vegemite was invented and is now exclusively produced.
Melbourne, Australia

8) The cruise ship capitol of the world has gotten a fresh set of pixels.
Miami, Florida

9) The currency of this island is known as Manx.
Isle of Man

Other updated areas:
Derry, Ireland

WorldWide Telescope now available for download

Two days ago we told you it’d be here this month, and it’s out already!  As reported by Ogle Earth and the Virtual Earth Developer Blog, you can go download it right now.

Some initial thoughts:

  • It really is a stunning tool.
  • It has SpaceNavigator support (sort of), but it tends to freak out as soon as you touch it.  Not sure if it’s a driver issue with the SpaceNavigator or a bug in WWTS.
  • You can via the earth (or any other planet) inside of the application.  However, you don’t get 3D buildings or anything like that — just imagery.  Still, it’s a neat feature to have.

Enough talking — this is one of those things you really need to experience for yourself.  Go get it!