Google creates a more generic “Hurricane Season 2008″ layer

Either Google was listening to our suggestion, or it was just pretty obvious — they’ve replaced the “Gustav” layer with a more genric “Hurricane Season 2008″ layer, under which they list individual layers.

The data isn’t overly comprehensive.  It’s essentially just a forecast track for each storm and any advisories that have been put out for it.  As Google points out (as we did, as well as Google Earth Blog), these tools work very well in conjunction with the “Clouds” and “Radar” layers.

I’m hoping they’ll continue to add more information to this layer.  Some other ideas include:

  • Alternate projected paths
  • Historical track for the storm
  • Radar data in the oceans (not just in the US)
  • Related webcams, as they did with Gustav
There’s a lot more that could be done, but in any case this layer is a great new addition.

Some updates to Google Maps

We know that Google has added some new data for Georgia, but they’ve apparently updated a few other areas as well.

New road maps:

New city names:

Some other content:

If you see anything else, please let us know in the comments.

Google finally adds some data for Georgia

Google got hammered a few weeks ago when people realized that their data for Georgia was essentially blank, making it difficult for people to see the areas affected by their conflict with Russia.  As promised, Google has started adding some nice data to the region.

In addition to city labels, they have a whole bunch of photos for the region, which really help to give you a good feel for what the area is like.  They promise to continue adding more data as it’s available.

Google Chrome and the Google Earth plug-in

As you’ve probably heard, Google released “Chrome” today, their new web browser.  Thus far, I am very impressed with it — it’s amazingly fast.

However, I can’t get it to work with the Google Earth plug-in.  Considering that the browser is based on Webkit, and Safari didn’t yet work with the plug-in, it’s not a big surprise.  Still, it’s kind of sad that Google’s product can’t work in their own browser.

Anyone found a way to make it work yet?

Update: Google confirms that it doesn’t work, but promises an update is “coming soon”.

New Gustav layer in Google Earth

Google has just added a new sub-layer to the “weather” layer titled “Gustav Data”.  This layer includes a variety of information about the storm, such as the latest advisories, webcams from around Louisiana and a forecast track.  Coupled with the existing weather layers (clouds, radar, etc), it makes for some useful information.

As Google points out, the “clouds” layer is about 1-3 hours behind, but the “radar” layer is only about 15-30 minutes behind.

In the screenshot above, I’ve turned on the impressive-looking radar layer and pulled up a traffic camera (those are some empty roads…).  In addition, you can see the forecast track of the storm with the red line heading off to the northwest.

It seems to me that a general “hurricanes” layer might have been better (will we get one for “Hanna”, then one for “Ike”, etc?), but they can always just add/remove them as necessary, I suppose.