andygates: (Default)
This is my fad of the moment:

"There is something new: A globe about the size of a grapefruit, a perfectly detailed rendition of Planet Earth, hanging in space at arm's length in front of his eyes. Hiro has heard about this but never seen it. It is a piece of CIC software called, simply, Earth. It is the user interface that CIC uses to keep track of every bit of spatial information that it owns - all the maps, weather data, architectural plans, and satellite surveillance stuff.

Hiro has been thinking that in a few years, if he does really well in the intel biz, maybe he will make enough money to subscribe to Earth and get this thing in his office. Now it is suddenly here, free of charge..."

Start Google Earth. Turn off all the labels and borders and roads. Turn on the Clouds (it's in Weather). Clouds is updated about every three hours. Now turn on sun-shading (on the toolbar). Zoom out until the Earth is about the size of a tennis ball in your hand, and gently set it rotating. Now tuck the window to one side, a little almost-photo-real Earth in the palm of your hand, just lovely.

The only downside is that the shading doesn't apply to the cloud layer, which is weirdly luminous, but I can let that slide because it's such a fresh layer.  Hurricane Ike is hypnotic, that beady little eye, click it at the right time and you zoom all the way down to the shallow evaporation lagoons on Great Inagua where they make salt, the island's main business. 

And of course, you can zoom in right to street level, where you can find layers for most public information: Oil wells in the Gulf?  Easy. Hurricane tracks?  Built in.  Death Trees?  Work in progress, honest.  Satellites?  Just ask.  Burning Man playa schedule?  For sure.  Latest environmental satellite photos?  You want the Envisat or the Jaxa ones?  The list is as endless as the people who want to host layers, which probably means that Rule 34 applies - GIS is the Internet, after all.  Which reminds me, I need to do an overlay for the coming triathlon.  The awesome, made quotidian: that's the future for you.
andygates: (Default)
1: Visit all your old houses in order.  I'm kinda glad that Cowper Road is still standing, but what the hell, the place I grew up -- they demolished the factory?  Turn on the Flickr and Panoramio layers for maximum notsalgia.

2: The Youtube layer is just utter lifesuck death.  But it tells me one thing: People are the same the world over.  Granted, people are mostly lame, but they're the same sort of kinda-funny kinda-annoying lame.  Country, colour, creed, it's trivial compared to the uniting power of looking like an ass on the internet.
andygates: (Default)
Taking the previous post's ideas a stage further (using open source screen-capture tool CamStudio and mixing it all together with Windows Movie Maker), here's a proof-of-concept of the flyby movie. This is the 56-mile bike route for the Wimbleball half-Iron 70.3 race bike leg:



Some initial thoughts:

1) Slower would be better for a real training aid.

2) So would landmarks on the ground ("Morebath", "Transition", etc) and caption commentary ("This bit's steep!" "Fast for 3 miles: hoof it!").

3) Watch out that the camera doesn't fall into hillsides!

4) Lots and lots of waypoints on the original Gmaps Pedometer map make for a better flyby.

5) Billboard Head Soup makes for very silly soundtracks: entirely superfluous but entertaining.
andygates: (Default)
I've been playing with Google Earth and the routes produced by Gmaps Pedometer to produce godlike fly-bys.  If you like to do a bit of route previsualisation (or just want to say "ooh! hilly!" in remote sympathy), then this is for you.

andygates: (Default)
I've been wasting my time again.  This time, on the big grin that is Google Earth with the photo-localisation layer Panoramio.  Here's how it works: you submit a photo to Panoramio and give it a title, caption, and location on the planet.  Then, anyone with Google Earth can link to the GE Panoramio layer and see pins on their globe which click to reveal a photo.  Or you can use it as a regular album with place marking for stuff like holiday snaps, hiking trails... maybe the Dunwich Dynamo?

What's got my inner geek cackling is turning terrain and 3D buildings on, going somewhere famous, and playing spot-the-landmark.  Some of the New York skyline stuff is very eyecatching.

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