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New sunrise layer on Google Earth

Filed under: Software Updates — by at 12:54 pm on Wednesday, January 31, 2007

From the Google Blog

Many of us aren’t lucky enough to experience one of nature’s most glorious sights—the beauty of the sunrise—every day, let alone on demand. That is, until today. Now there’s a Google Earth layer that brings the sun’s ascent right to your computer screen, and Google Earth aficionados can also see video vignettes drawn from Discovery HD Theater’s “Sunrise Earth” program.

To view the videos, open Google Earth and select the Sunrise Earth layer under Discovery Networks. Follow the links in the pop-up window to experience the sights and sounds of one of nature’s most beautiful phenomena. Watch dawn rise over Stonehenge, Mayan pyramids, and Buddhist temples as it has for thousands of years. See the Katmai Bears emerge from their seven-month slumber to greet a new day. Witness the sun’s light bringing life to natural habitats around the world, from the forests of Costa Rica and the coast of New England, to the foothills of Turkey and the glaciers of Alaska.

 

A Virtual World by Google?

Filed under: Software Updates — by at 11:58 am on Monday, January 29, 2007

From MarketingVOX:

Rumors are swirling of a Google-engineered “metaverse” – a virtual world a la Second Life – with Benchmark Capital analyst Michael Eisenberg calling the rumored project a “world game.”

The metaverse would use real-world data gathered from Google’s existing properties to craft the alternate online platform, writes play.tm. According to Eisenberg, Google is courting in-game ad company AdScape in preparation to monetize the virtual world.

Furthermore, rumor is that a firm in China has been hired to craft avatars while an internal team is building the “metaverse” itself, thanks to a team that has come over from There.com, another online virtual world.

Google already has a product called SketchUp, which is used to craft 3D models that can be layered onto Google Earth images.

It’ll be interesting to see what comes of this…

Mechdyne Unveils Visualization Software for Google Earth

Filed under: Software Updates — by at 11:58 am on Wednesday, January 24, 2007

MARSHALLTOWN, IA, January 24, 2007 — Mechdyne Corporation today announced that its VRCO software division released Conduit for Google Earth Pro 4.0, a visualization middleware package that enables stereoscopic display of desktop-based imagery and viewing in multi-planar, large-scale immersive and interactive displays such as the walk-in CAVE and reconfigurable FLEX wall-size display systems available from Fakespace Systems, VRCO’s sister company.

A 3D interface to the planet, Google Earth Pro is used to visualize a wide spectrum of geo-referenced data exported from GIS, civil engineering, energy exploration and other applications. With Conduit for Google Earth Pro, applications can leverage ultra-high resolution stereoscopic display capability and a range of advanced 3D visualization features.

The Conduit middleware package enables a desktop application, like Google Earth Pro, to natively drive advanced visualization environments. This maximizes the potential insight and data interpretation accuracy, since stereoscopic viewing provides a realistic sense of depth that is especially useful when experiencing spatially complex datasets. Conduit makes it possible to use the multiple graphics outputs of PC clusters to drive the multiple projectors used for large-scale walls or walk-in immersive rooms, creating life-size experiences that completely fill peripheral vision and engage more of the senses. The Conduit package supports ultra-high resolution displays, using a series of tiled projectors or new 4096 x 2160 native projection technology, such as the Sony SXRD projector that forms the core of Fakespace’s Beacon 8MP stereoscopic PowerWall display system. It also enables user motion tracking that provides real-time, realistic perspectives as the viewer physically moves around when viewing the data. For intuitive navigation and manipulation of models, the middleware enables the use of wireless virtual wands, gloves and joysticks either on the desktop or in large-scale displays.

“Working with the LANL High Performance Computing Visualization team and VRCO software engineers, we have begun preliminary testing of Conduit to enable the use of Google Earth Pro in our immersive environments,” said Steve Smith, Lead Visualization Scientist, Decision Applications Division, Threat Reduction Directorate, Los Alamos National Laboratory. “We hope to use this extensively in support of our advanced analysis, modeling and simulation of infrastructures, social and economic networks, and military and Homeland Security applications. We find that the addition of stereo, tracked head and tools, and very large field of view combined with multi-resolution, continuously rendered terrain models is promising to advance our capabilities significantly. Integrating Google Earth Pro into our facilities via Conduit has helped us understand how we might integrate other commercial applications into our facilities. This has been problematic in the past, usually requiring us to develop our own custom applications.”

“VRCO developed the Conduit interface to Google Earth Pro in response to our customers’ need to leverage this tool in high-end displays,” said Julien Berta, Conduit product manager at VRCO. “We are excited to provide this capability, and to see how users are applying it to gain a better understanding of their data.”

Available now from VRCO, Conduit for Google Earth Pro can be integrated into existing software and/or visualization environments. Mechdyne can design and provide complete, turn-key visualization solutions that incorporate VRCO software and Fakespace display systems to meet specific customer requirements.

About Mechdyne Corporation

Mechdyne Corporation is the world’s largest company dedicated to consulting and development of immersive, networked and collaborative visualization systems. The company addresses complex projects where an in-depth understanding of user requirements leads to the development of products and customized solutions involving elements of visual, software and support systems. Mechdyne’s subsidiary VRCO, Inc. specializes in immersive and interactive software development and support. Subsidiary Fakespace Systems Inc. provides advanced display technology and implementation services. Headquartered in Marshalltown, Iowa, Mechdyne’s customers include leading government laboratories, military research programs, energy companies and a variety of ‘edutainment,’ manufacturing, and other users of visualization technology. More information is available at www.mechdyne.com, www.fakespace.com and www.vrco.com.

Coming Soon to Google Earth – Toxic Wastelands!

Filed under: Software Updates — by at 1:53 pm on Saturday, January 20, 2007

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced earlier this week that they would begin making hazardous site information available for GIS applications such as Google Earth.

Agency representatives at a public meeting here on Wednesday unveiled what they billed as the first step in a new push to make the EPA’s vast scientific data stores more readily accessible online for download and incorporation into popular applications like Google Earth and Microsoft Visual Earth.

The agency’s ultimate goal is to boost public awareness of its activities–with a loftier aim of improving public health and the environment in the process–by allowing federal agencies, companies and even mashup artists to get their hands on the data more easily. Such data can play a key role in everything from land-use planning to real estate transactions, they said.

“We’re extremely excited about this,” said Pat Garvey, one of the project’s managers. “We think this is really going to advance public access.”

The pilot piece of that effort, posted early Wednesday morning, is a single XML file containing information on about 1,600 locales relegated to the Superfund National Priorities List. As required by Congress since 1980, the EPA uses that list to locate, investigate and clean up the worst-offending landfills, chemical plants, radiation sites and other areas known or suspected of releasing contaminants, pollutants and other hazardous substances.

(full article)

You can find the XML file mentioned in the article at http://www.epa.gov/enviro/geo_data.html