More fresh imagery for Virtual Earth

bahamasAnother imagery update for Virtual Earth.  They’ve still not released any new 3D “version 2″ cities (WHY??), but they keep pushing new imagery out at a good pace.

This update covers “only” 9TB of data, but they brag that it covers over 1 million square kilometers of Earth.  That sounds nice, but I wonder how it compares to previous releases and typical Google Earth releases?  I have no idea.  I have a feeling that it’s a pretty low number, but it sounds good because we have no scale to measure it against.

In any case, it’s still a very nice update and covers more than 65 countries.  You can get the full details on VE Evangelist’s blog.

Google Ocean comes to the Great Lakes

great-lakesI was wondering if Google would be adding their “ocean” features to other bodies of water, and it turns out they are!  You can now dive into the five Great Lakes just as you can with the oceans.

From the LatLong Blog:

Users will be able to explore features such as the canyons and shoals in eastern Lake Superior, the Lake Michigan mid-lake reef complex, and the old river channel, now underwater, that once connected Lakes Michigan and Huron at the Straits of Mackinac.

In addition, the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory has created a narrated Google Earth tour which you can download here (KML) or view directly in your browser.

Google Earth imagery update

Google has just pushed out an imagery update, though the extent of it is still unknown.  According to Google Earth Blog, the following areas have been updated:

  • United States – Broad coverage in in about a dozen states that used to have low-res imagery.
  • India – Re-colorized, so it looks much better from way up high.
  • France – Near Chateauroux.
  • Spain – Along the north coast.
  • Sweden – The entire country, it seems.
  • Morocco – “lots” of it.

Frank will be posting more updates as they’re available, so keep an eye on his post.  If you see any other updated areas, leave us a comment and we’ll add it to the list.

StreetView now in full-screen

Golden Gate bridge in StreetViewThis certainly makes StreetView even better — full screen mode!  When viewing anything in StreetView, simply click the small grey icon in the upper-right corner (next to the “x”) and it will go full screen.

There’s really not much else to say but go look at it yourself.  Go check out the Golden Gate Bridge, the Eiffel Tower (thanks GMM) or the World’s Largest Alligator.

If you’re looking for more great sights (or you want to share some you’ve found), check out the Google Earth Hacks StreetView gallery, Google Sightseeing, or StreetView Fun.

Mob of people run Google StreetView car out of town

There’s some confused people in Broughton, a Buckinghamshire village.  According to the Times:

So when the Google Street View car trundled towards Broughton with a 360-degree camera on its roof, villagers sprang into action. Forming a human chain to stop it, they harangued the driver about the “invasion of privacy”, adding that the images that Google planned to put online could be used by burglars.

Their main concern seemed to be that this would help to facilitate crime in the area.  They’ve had three burglaries in the past six weeks and they’re concerned that this could lead to more.  I’m thinking that if they already have a high crime rate in the area, stopping Google from getting imagery should be a little lower on their list of concerns.

A commenter on Digg made a good point that I’m sure will be lost on these villagers:

I hope everyone’s bank account is FDIC insured because I’m sure the street car has caught a lot of banks on camera and now they’re all like 20 times more likely to get robbed.

For the record, the car was on public roads and was completely legal.  It’s not like the couple that sued Google for taking pictures of their house on a private road (which backfired badly anyhow).  Google had every legal right to do what they were doing.  That being said, I think the driver did the right thing by turning around to avoid making the situation worse.

I’d really like to see these images show up on StreetView, with a mob of (blurred-out, I suppose) faces around the car.  I’m sure they won’t post it, but it’d sure be funny to see!  I wonder if Google will go back and try to capture this area again, or if they’ll just move on to other areas?