Monday, July 30, 2007

Google making deals with BC Government on imagery - Nanaimo setting a fine example as an early adopter

Google was making a few headlines in BC at last week's GeoWeb event.. apparently the company has been discussing with the government the possibilities of providing users with additional 3D imagery and other data obtained from the BC Government. From the article... "In a Friday address at GeoWeb 2007 and later in an interview, Google Earth chief technology officer Michael Jones said Google Earth has been in talks with the provincial government, and if the initiative goes ahead B.C. would be the first Canadian province to supply information on such things as traffic and mineral resources to the mapping service. "The provincial government has been talking with us about providing data so that all citizens in the province who use our service will have the best possible data," said Jones. Jones met Thursday with Agriculture and Lands Minister Pat Bell to discuss the initiative." One paragraph in the article got may attention.. regarding the little town in BC that I used to live in... some municipalities are already doing this. Jones said Nanaimo is the most active city in the world when it comes to supplying geographic data to Google Earth. He predicted there will be a time when municipal, provincial and federal geographic information will be shared universally.
"With Nanaimo, they have mapped nearly every conceivable thing using Google Earth and Google Maps," said Jones. "Their citizens have more information about their city than the people of San Francisco." Kudos to the city and in particular Jason Birch! Funny, I was just looking around Google Earth this week-end with my family and was telling them, just wait until our city (Fort Collins) makes high-res imagery and other 3D data available to add to the Google Earth viewer... Nanaimo is setting a fine example although they were very early adopters... the early bird gets the worm!
One last thing, whay aren't there more local governments making their data available via KML / KMZ? With most GIS applications now exporting to KML and the availability of fine translation tools from Safe Software it's no longer rocket science. A TIP - For a useful listing of news items relating google maps, Google Earth etc.. see here. For Google earth related apps, tools and translators see here.

See Vancouver Sun Article

Friday, July 20, 2007

Google Earth + NASA Imagery = WOW!

From the LatLong blog... Google Earth team and NASA began a collaborative effort to bring awareness and promote knowledge of NASA's "earth" programs. After months of production, the "NASA" layer group is now live in Google earth.
The new "NASA" layer has three components:

  • Astronaut Photography of Earth
  • Satellite Imagery
  • Earth City Lights

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries - integrate these data into your Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft mashups

Maponics, LLC announced today the full release of Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries™. Until now, websites offering local search, including social marketing, real estate and Web 2.0 sites, have had to provide search results based upon ZIP Code or city name. By integrating Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries, search results for hundreds of cities can now be filtered and even mapped by universally accepted city neighborhood boundaries. The result - more relevant local search results, more loyal site visitors and higher ad revenue. More about the dataset... Covering hundreds of the top US cities, the Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries database includes all latitude and longitude coordinates for each neighborhood polygon. It is specifically designed for easy integration into Google™, Yahoo!®, or Microsoft® map mash-ups or into back-end data analysis applications.

The idea of mapping by neighborhood is a very clever one and I belive offers to amazing opportunities to the users of these data. Given the social and economic characteristics that residents of a "neighborhood" share this could indeed truly become a very powerful and useful data product... I can't wait to see where this goes as we see apps developed based on neighborhood data. See

Monday, July 9, 2007

Pilots Program To Expand the Universe of Gadgets

Google announced a new pilot initiative called Google Gadget Ventures aimed at bootstrapping an economic ecosystem around gadgets. Since the launch of Google Gadgets more than a year ago, we've seen an increasing opportunity for individuals and companies to build successful businesses around this technology and are piloting this program to help support additional growth. Google Gadget Ventures will offer third-party gadget development and gadget-related businesses two types of funding:

Grants of $5,000 to developers who've built gadgets in our directory that already receive at least 250,000 weekly page views. To apply, qualified Gadget developers will be asked to submit a one-page proposal.
Seed investments of $100,000 to previous Google Gadget Ventures grant recipients who'd like to build a business around the Google Gadgets platform. Qualified developers will be asked to submit a business plan. See

updates announced for Leica TITAN

Some recent updates announced for Leica TITAN... Leica TITAN (a solution for sharing your data). Recent updates include:
- Published data may be served and consumed by Google Earth
- Using the Geospatial Instant Messenger, images, terrain and feature data shared in Leica TITAN may also be viewed directly in Google Earth.
- With the base data provided by Google Earth, users may view and integrate large volumes of geospatial data.
- The Google Earth capability can also consume an OGC Web Mapping Service (WMS) published by users sharing geospatial data in Leica TITAN.
- New and improved user interface skin
More info listed at or see also

Some recent updates for Google Earth

Some recent updates found with Google Earth... New Road Layers - The following countries now have detailed roads: Croatia, Slovakia, and Slovenia, and Sweden. In Sweden you can do local business searches and get driving directions in addition to seeing the roads in Google Earth. Also, you can use a Swedish version of Google Maps:

New Global Awareness Layers

Global Heritage Fund (GHF) - The GHF Global Awareness layer explores cultural heritage sites around the world that GHF is working to preserve for future generations.
Earthwatch Expeditions - The Earthwatch Global Awareness layer enables users to virtually visit more than 100 volunteer Earthwatch expeditions in Google Earth
Fair Trade Certified - The TransFair USA layer introduces users to the over 70 Fair Trade Co-ops located throughout Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Google Earth Outreach,
Google Earth Outreach, a program designed to empower non-profit groups with the resources, tools, and inspiration that they need to leverage the power of Google Earth for their cause.
The following are but some of the recent updates for Google Earth...

New and improved Geo search
earch functionality is now available on both Google Earth and Google Maps, but more importantly it now also provides results from GeoRSS files and content created by users on Google Maps.

GuiWeather - Real-time Global Lightning

Last month, a new weather web site called GuiWeather introduced a Google Earth network link which lets you view real-time lightning data around the world. Not only do you get current lightning strike location information, but the data is time stamped and you can play an animation of strikes during the past 15-30 minutes. The data comes from a World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN) which uses sferic sensors to detect lightning strikes.


Thursday, July 5, 2007

Map Mashup Software Allows Users to Easily Integrate Data with Google Maps and Google Earth

terra IMS announces the release of geoXtract, a powerful desktop application that provides users with an easy way to integrate existing data in a variety of formats with Google Maps and Google Earth. geoXtract™ provides an intuitive “wizard” interface that leads users through data selection, data configuration, data processing, and data publishing. All data processing is automated with geoXtract™, so there is no need for users to manually create each data point that will be displayed on the map. Users can easily integrate tens, hundreds, and even thousands of points with Google Maps™ and Google Earth™, and there is absolutely no programming required. See

Mappam - location-based advertising for Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, and virtual Earth

First we delivered details about Lat49 and their solution for serving contextual ads to Google maps, Yahoo! maps, and virtual Earth. Now there's another player entering this space... from the developer; With Mappam advertisers can within minutes create campaigns on targeted to geographic locales, paying only when users click through to the advertising website. Adverts are displayed to visitors on the maps of Mappam network partner websites as 16x16 pixel icons which when clicked on open a descriptive text and a link to the advertising website. See

Monday, July 2, 2007

Google Maps new draggable driving directions - so sweet, so easy

Have you seen Google Maps new draggable driving directions? Its very clever and amazing to se how all these pieces to the puzzle are coming together. Now with more "draggable" functionality users can easily update their routes to get more personal and logical results. Imagine this... you want to go from Seattle to San Fran and ask for teh default directions using "maps". Chances are that you'll get routed down I-5, however, maybe you want to make sure you spend a couple of days along the coast through Washington and Oregon... no problem. Simply enter a couple of locations along the coast that you want to visit (maybe Long Beach, and Astoria) - just drag your route over to the 101 and your route is updated. Also, try simply right-clicking to provide input for the common "directions from here" and "to here" functionality.. its very fast and handy. Be sure to give it a try -