Archives for May 2008

Manhattan gets a StreetView refresh

In just “a few hours” Manhattan will receive a fresh set of StreetView imagery.  I’ve checked it out, and I’m still seeing the old data.  To see which data you’re looking at head to the arch in Washington Square Park and see if it looks like this sample of the new imagery:

Based on their post, it seems that the Manhattan refresh is the only new imagery for now — no Italy or Atlanta yet. Along with fresh, sharper imagery, you’ll now be able to look upward as well.

In addition, Google has implemented some automatic face-blurring technology.  If it works as well for everyone as it does in the screenshots, it’ll be pretty nice.  It blurs the faces, but doesn’t detract too much from the imagery.

If you find anything interesting in the new imagery, be sure to submit it to Google Earth Hacks’ StreetView section.

WorldWide Telescope to release this month

According to a few sources, Microsoft’s WorldWide Telescope is due to release sometime this month.  During a speech in Jakarta, Indonesia, Bill Gates summarized WWTS in one sentence:

“This is taking data that’s very complex, gathered over many years from many telescopes, and making it accessible.”

Given the great previews that people have reported, I’m looking forward to seeing this product once it’s released.

Small Facelift to Google Maps

As reported by the Google OS blog, Google Maps is getting a minor facelift.  They are replacing the tabbed search boxes at the top with a single search box that knows what you’re looking for.

I’m still seeing the old version (as are many other people), but the new one is apparently being rolled out.  Here is a comparison of the old and new search boxes.

Various Google Earth data about Cyclone Nargis

Google has just released a layer for Google Earth which shows some data about the path of the cyclone in Myanmar, along with some maps to display the extent of the flooding. They were built by UNOSAT, an organization working to help the people of Myanmar.

Also, NASA has created a simple KML that shows a powerful satellite image of the storm as it was charging toward the coast.

Update, May 7: NASA has added an image showing the current aerial view of the country.  Extensive flooding is quite visible.  Get the file here.

Here are a few screenshots from the files:

New StreetView clone in China

City8, a Chinese StreetView-like site, boasts a total of 30 cities in their database. Their interface is not nearly as nice as Google’s, and the coverage area is hard to determine (the blue lines in StreetView are very handy), but it’s not a bad little product.

The site is only available in Chinese, but StreetViewFun reports that there will be an English version “soon”. If you just want to try out a city, here’s a decent place to start.

City8 has produced a short video to explain their product. It’s narrated in Chinese, but includes English sub-titles.

Google Maps API shows off vastly improved geocoding

As posted on the Google Maps API Blog, the Maps API now can geocode addresses right to the rooftop.  In particular, it will now drop the pushpin on the proper side of the street for any given location.

It seems to work quite well.  I tried a variety of addresses (family members) around the country, and it put it right on each of them.

Oddly enough, this feature isn’t in Google Maps yet.  If you search Google Maps for your address, it still shows it in the middle of the road.  Is there a logical reason to leave it that way, or do they just need to get around to adding the feature over there?

Minor update to Google Earth

As reported by the Google Earth Blog, Google has released a minor update to Google Earth (version 4.3.7204.0836). There don’t appear to be any new features, just a handful of bug fixes. They include:

  • Mac version only – Whenever a balloon has enough text to require a vertical scroll bar, the horizontal scroll bar shows up as well even if it’s not needed.
  • Bottom margin of some balloons are too big.
  • Balloons sometime do not render image when clicked repeatedly.
  • Sometime balloons do not open in Vista.
  • “to here”/”from here” does not work in newly created placemark.
  • Navigation from camera views above horizon is broken (this problem?)
  • Crash when exiting sky mode (this has happened to me a few times).

You can download the update here.

More details about yesterday’s Virtual Earth update

We mentioned it yesterday, but now we have details of the imagery update in Virtual Earth, thanks VE: An Evangelist’s Blog.

I had hoped to see more of their awesome “version 2.0” 3D cities added, but no new ones were added this time.  Still, it’s a very impressive update!

Here’s part of the list:

Microsoft Ultracam Orthos

  • Pueblo, CO
  • Wilmington, DE
  • St. Joseph, MO
  • Graceland, TN
  • Memphis, TN
  • Mesquite, TX
  • Burlington, VT
  • Yokohama, JPN
  • Kawasaki, JPN
  • Setagaya, JPN

Obliques (Bird’s Eye) – US

  • Areas NW of Birmingham, AL
  • Pickens County, AL
  • Charlotte County, FL
  • Boulder, CO
  • Pueblo, CO
  • Pasco County, FL
  • Fulton County, GA
  • Black Hawk County, IA
  • Johnson County, IA
  • Woodbury County, IA
  • Douglas County, KS
  • Olmstead County, MN
  • Suburban St. Louis, MO
  • Hinds County, MS
  • Mississippi Metro
  • Smith County, MS
  • Tallahatchie County, MS
  • Tate County, MS
  • Tunica County, MS
  • Yalobusha County, MS
  • Yellowstone County, MT
  • Pitt County, NC
  • Merrimack County, NH
  • Lancaster Metro, PA
  • Lawrence County, PA
  • Minnehaha County, SD
  • Pennington County, SD
  • Eau Claire, WI

Obliques (Bird’s Eye) – Australia

  • Gold Coast, Australia
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Hobart, Australia
  • Wollongong, Australia

Obliques (Bird’s Eye) – Europe

  • Aberdeen, UK
  • Edinburgh, UK
  • Dunfermline, UK
  • Cumbernauld, UK
  • Falkirk, UK
  • East Kilbride, UK
  • Dundee, UK
  • Crawley, UK
  • Glasgow, UK
  • Liverpool, UK
  • Las Palmas, Spain
  • Telde, Spain
  • Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
  • Den Helder, Netherlands
  • Ruhrgebiet Region, Germany
  • London, UK (updated)
  • Ruhrgebiet Region, Germany
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Agrinion, Greece
  • Chalkida, Greece
  • Chania, Greece
  • Drama, Greece
  • Ioannina, Greece
  • Kalamata, Greece
  • Iraklion, Greece
  • Katerini, Greece
  • Kavala, Greece
  • Lamia, Greece
  • Larnia, Greece
  • Serres, Greece
  • Trikala, Greece
  • Patra, Greece
  • Volos, Greece

Orthos – US (0.5m)

  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Santa Fe, NM
  • Augusta, GA
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Columbia, SC
  • El Paso, TX
  • Florida Southwest Coast, FL
  • Ocala-Gainesville, FL
  • Gulfport, MS
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Nashville, TN
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Panama City, FL
  • Pensacola, FL
  • San Francisco, CA
  • St. Cloud, MN
  • Tampa Bay, FL

Satellite – Worldwide

  • Baker Island, USA
  • The Alhambra in Grenada, Spain
  • Ahmadabad, India
  • Pune, India
  • Bhopal, India
  • Timbuktu, Mali
  • Bhudaneswar, India
  • Indore, India
  • Patna, India
  • Nagpur, India
  • Bangalore, India
  • Calcutta, India
  • New Delhi, India
  • Bombay, India
  • Hyderabad, India
  • Jaipur, India
  • Kanpur, India
  • Madras, India

EarthBrowser 3.0 Released

After being in beta for less than a month, EarthBrowser 3.0 has been released.  Matt was kind enough to let me play with some of the beta versions, but I haven’t had a chance to dig deep enough into it to really give a fair review.

Check it out and let us know what you think of it.