Google Earth Blog
Bill Guffey is an artist in Kentucky that loves to paint. He discovered a Chinese restaurant in New York City via Google Street View that he wanted to paint, did it, and then he was hooked.
Guffey was concerned that Google may have a legal problem with his work, but to his delight the folks at Google were happy with what he was doing. In fact, a Google attorney bought 50 paintings — one from each state. Bill’s work is quite impressive, as you can see here:
As a result of this, Bill has created a blog titled The Virtual Paintout, where he collects and shares submissions from other artists. To date, the site has received over 3900 submissions. You can read more about Bill’s work in this article at Kentucky.com.
Great work, Bill!
Eric Stitt has been using Google Earth to track genealogy for a long time, and has just started up a new blog that focuses exclusively on that — Genealogy Through Google Earth. His ideas are pretty solid, and here is where he’s coming from:
We all know that Genealogy and Family research doesn’t always happen in your back yard. We can’t just get in the car and drive across the states to visit the old homestead, and I know I’ll be camped out in line when we figure out time travel. But what if you could visit that old homestead or scroll back in time when your neighborhood was an old farm field, Google Earth can do that.
Eric has been posting for a long on Genealogy by Eric, and plans to continue to do so as he starts writing on the new site. His basic plan is to “start out describing how I use Google Earth in my family history and then move towards sharing more advanced features”. He has a couple of posts up there already, and it should provide an interesting look into a new use for Google Earth.
Check it out at genealogythroughgoogleearth.blogspot.com.
Nice work, Eric!
Technology investor Tim Draper has a wild plan to split California into six separate states. While it seems unlikely that this proposal will go anywhere, it’s certainly a thought-provoking idea.
They don’t yet have much to offer in terms of visuals other than a single graphic, so I’ve taken that graphic and laid it onto Google Earth so you can dive in and really check out the dividing lines. Here’s what it looks like:
Back in December we told you about DigitalGlobe’s annual contest to choose their top image of the year. With more than 30,000 votes cast, the winner was their stunning photo of Mount Vesuvius, taken on February 19, 2013.
As it turns out the, the vote wasn’t even very close. In their words:
Once the top five images were chosen and the second round of voting began, it was clear that Mount Vesuvius would take the crown (with more than 3,000 votes!) “Wish” was the runner-up, and Galešnjak (Island of Love), the early front-runner, fell back to fourth place.
This year’s content was their largest ever, with approximately 15 times more participants compared to 2012. They’re hoping to make the 2014 contest even bigger, but first I’m more excited to see what kind of great imagery they bring us throughout the year.
Congrats to DigitalGlobe for such a successful contest, and thanks to all of you that took part in it.
For more on the contest, you can read this entry on their blog that digs deeper into the details.
The post The top DigitalGlobe image of the year: Mount Vesuvius appeared first on Google Earth Blog.
It appears that Google has just pushed out a fresh batch of imagery! Thanks to sharp-eyed GEBs reader ‘Munden’ and ‘Andreas’ for letting us know about it.
This imagery is already in Google Maps as well, making it more difficult to spot the fresh areas. If you think an area might be fresh, check the historical imagery time slider for that area; if it’s not in there yet, then it’s probably new.
Some of the updated areas include:
- China: Lushun
- Germany: Schwedt
- Greece: Volimes
- Japan: Aomori
- Slovenia: Ljubljana
- Spain: Cadiz, El Puerto de Sta Maria
- United States: Arizona (Flagstaff, Chinle, Sedona), Arkansas (Fordyce, Sheridan), California (Ramona, Valley Central, Camp Pendleton North), New Mexico (Farmington), North Carolina (Charlotte), Tennessee (Knoxville, Sevierville, Maryville), Texas (Dallas, Houston), Utah (Escalante, North Ogden, Salt Lake City, Provo), West Virginia (Green Bank, Woodstock, Luray)
If you find any other updated areas, be sure to leave a comment and let us know!
For those of you shivering in the United States, you may have read that a “polar vortex” is to blame for the shockingly low temperatures. For a new look at that phenomenon, the folks at NOAA have released some amazing imagery of it.
Josh Williams, who we’ve shown you before with the excellent GEteach.com site, has put the images into KMZ format so you can view them in Google Earth. You can download his KMZ file here, or read a bit more on the NOAA Science on a Sphere Facebook page.
Great work, Josh!
(via +Josh Williams)
The University of Cincinnati’s Kristina Neumann has been using Google Earth to explore the boundaries of ancient Antioch during the beginning of Roman takeover. She’s created the maps herself, using a variety of sources:
“I trace the process of change by working with historical proxies, in this case coins,” says Neumann, a doctoral candidate in the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences Department of Classics. “I created my own database from previously published excavation reports and lists of coin hoards, and imported it to Google Earth. My criteria are so detailed that I can see all the coins for a particular emperor or of a particular material.”
Kristina recently presented her work, “Using Google Earth to Visualize an Ancient City’s Influence: Roman Antioch”, to more than 3,000 attendees at the Joint Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America and American Philological Association in Chicago. In addition, she has created a variety of videos to showcase the work. You can view them all on the University of Cincinnati’s YouTube Channel here, or watch her first video below:
You can read more about Kristina’s work on this article on the University of Cincinnati’s website.
The post Exploring ancient Syrian trade routes in Google Earth appeared first on Google Earth Blog.
Maps have seen massive changes over the centuries. From rough, inaccurate maps thousands of years ago to Google Earth today, maps have changed in amazing ways. An article from The Atlantic summarizes those changes by showing twelve different maps that helped change the world.
The list goes back to the year 150 with the map above from Claudius Ptolemy and ends with Google Earth, with many interesting maps in between.
We’ve seen a handful of tools in Google Earth to help show old maps similar to some of these, such as maps from the Battle of Fort Sumter or the Battle of Gettysburg. You can also use Google Earth to view historical aerial imagery from the past few decades in many areas.
You can use this link to read The Atlantic article for yourself. Which of their twelve do you think was the most important of all time?
Google Earth is an amazing tool for studying and sharing information about our planet’s climate. Frank first shared a climate-related story back in 2006 (UNEP’s New Environment Layer in Google Earth) and we’ve posted many more since then. If you enjoy these kinds of tools, then you’ll find that the “Climate Viewer 3D“ is quite amazing.
The describe the tool as:
Climate Viewer 3D empowers the user with cutting-edge technology, real-time situational awareness, and a visual tour of our planetary problems. With a plethora of controls, data sources, Google Earth interface, and fresh content daily, what are you waiting for?
The post The Google Earth Climate Change, Pollution and Privacy Viewer appeared first on Google Earth Blog.
2013 was another amazing year for Google Earth. While there weren’t any new groundbreaking releases of the main product, we saw some excellent uses of Google Earth and some amazing discoveries. Here is some of the best of 2013:
In January Google released Street View imagery in Israel, saw some great updates to the Google Earth Flight Simulator, and showed you a creative way to view the map of “Westeros” from Game of Thrones in Google Earth.
In March Google released Street View imagery for Mount Everest, we looked at ways to track satellites in Google Earth, and showed you some ways that authorities are using Google Earth to fight crime in Bangalore.
In April we showed you a map that tracked the spread of the H7N9 avian flu, showed you how to make Google Earth look shockingly realistic, Google released Google Earth 7.1, and settled the great “murder or a wet dog?” debate.
In May we celebrated the 60th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary’s ascent of Mount Everest, discussed the future of the Street View Trekker, Google launched a version of Google Earth in the browser that didn’t require a plugin, and we showed you a neat site that did the “powers of ten” centered on your own house.
In July we showed you some tips on how to use Google Earth to create high-quality movies, celebrated the 44th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, looked at a detailed map of the Trayvon Martin murder case, and looked at the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.
In November we took another look at the popular Google Earth War game, showed you the very impressive Lit Trips site, showed you new Street View imagery in Venice and DigitalGlobe released some initial imagery from the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.
In December we saw some neat things like an underwater waterfall and lava flow shapes, along with an impressive recreation of Charles Lingburgh’s famous flight.
All in all it’s been a great year! What was your favorite story of the year?
In celebration of the new year many people shoot off fireworks, and we love to show off the work of GEB reader ‘Steven’ who took it a step further and created some great 3D fireworks in Google Earth! As you can read about in his blog, the fireworks are intended to duplicate the 2011 Taiwan New Years Eve show, based on the simulation that you can view here.
As you can see from the photo above, the fireworks aren’t just simple animated images — they’re fully 3D! Some of them shoot into the sky, and some wrap around the Taipei 101 tower. As Steven points out in his post, animations like this are only possible because of the work of 3D modelers that created the buildings. In this case, credit goes to user Tang Huang who created the exceptionally detailed model of the Taipei 101 tower.
For another fun way to view fireworks, Keir at Google Maps Mania built a map that allows you to view video from celebrations around the world. It’s a simple map that does a great job.
Happy New Year!
Back in July, Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash landed on final approach to San Francisco International Airport. While three were killed in the crash, the other 304 passengers thankfully survived. The folks at Flightradar24 have taken the data from the plane’s transponder and analyzed the final 2-1/2 minutes of data from it.
In their words:
We have analyzed the last 150 seconds of data from flight #OZ214. It looks like the ADS-B transponder continued to transmit data for about 10 seconds after the first impact. You can also see that the altitude increased after the first impact, when the aircraft bounced up in the air. The ground speed in the last seconds of the flight was only 112 knots.
Updpate: Sent in by a GEB reader, you can also download this KMZ file that adds the “ideal flight path” to the file and tweaked the track so that viewers can ‘fly’ along both flight paths using the Touring feature of Google Earth.
The city of Charlottesville, Virginia has plans for a major redevelopment of 330 acres. While the plans are still in progress, Brian Wheeler took advantages of Google Earth to add some great context to his recent story about the plans. He simply took the proposed plans and created an image overlay of them in Google Earth, as seen here:
You can download a copy of his KMZ file here to see it for yourself. As for his reasons why he chose to use Google Earth to help show the plans?
Whenever I see someone looking at the Strategic Investment Area map when it’s projected, they ask where exactly that is in Charlottesville. Google Earth to the rescue! Even works great on my tablet using the Google Earth app.
Be sure to check out his full article on the Charlottesville Tomorrow site to learn more. Great work, Brian!
(via +Brian Wheeler)
With that mouthful of a title, our friends at MyReadingMapped have again created a very interesting map for us to check out. In their words:
If you do an image search for the Thermohaline circulation, what you get are lots of maps without any submarine topography as though all the undersea mountains, canyons and basins have little effect on the Deep Sea Current. All the the maps are oversimplified in order to get the concept across and they don’t include the Antarctic Bottom Water (aka Antarctic Brine) that has an affect on the Thermohaline Circulation. So my map of the Thermohaline Circulation, being done in a Google Map, enables you to see the actual undersea features that shape one of the prime factors of our climate system and how the Antarctic Bottom Water weaves in between.
In addition, it seemed to me that if Tambora had such an impact on the Thermohaline Circulation as to create the Little Ice Age, that any submarine volcanoes and thermal vents along the path should also have an impact on the Thermohaline Circulation at any one point in time or another. So I included them as well along with the impact of melting glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica and their impact on the Deep Water Formation transfers between Surface Currents and Deep Currents. And, I linked several articles on various factors on the impact on the Thermohaline Circulation on climate change and the disruption of the Thermohaline Circulation by melting glaciers and volcanic activity.
Great work, George!
The post Viewing the Topography of the Thermohaline Circulation of the Oceans in Google Earth appeared first on Google Earth Blog.
As they’ve done for years, Google is once again helping to track Santa’s journey around the world tomorrow! All of the action will be tracked on the official Santa Tracker site at google.com/santatracker. Santa’s journey will begin soon!
To follow Santa while you’re on the go, there is a Santa Tracker app available for Android, which gives you easy mobile access to track his journey. New this year is Chromecast integration, so you can stream Santa’s location live on your TV.
As we mentioned a few weeks ago, there is also the separate NORAD Tracks Santa site. Be sure to check out either one to help keep up with the big man as he makes his journey around the world.
We’ve shown you some work from Henry Rothwell’s Digital Digging site before (such as the Hillforts we showed you back in April), and felt it was time to head back out there to see what’s new. Along with a slick new mobile responsive design, Henry has a handful of great new features on the site. One of those new features is a great collection of “long barrows”.
Long barrows are prehistoric monuments, typically rectangular or trapezoidal in shape. Tim Darvill, author of “Long Barrows of the Cotswolds and Surrounding Areas” has been helping Henry build out this section of the site.
Thanks to the new changes that Henry has made to his site, he hopes to be able to “spend less time tinkering, and more time creating content”. He already produces quite a lot of excellent content, so we’re looking forward to seeing what he comes up with next.
Great work Henry!
The heart-shaped island of Galesnjak, located off the coast of Croatia, has long been considered a romantic destination when viewed from afar. However, despite many requests to host weddings on the island it’s never been possible due to the thick shrubbery. One of the islands owners, Tonci Juresko, has decided to clear many of the trees from the island and replace them with 250 olive trees, in an effort to be able to host weddings in the future. The long-term goal is admirable, but the short-term result is pretty rough-looking:
All of the imagery in Google Earth still shows the island intact, though I expect a future update will let us see the scars (even if they appear via newer “historical imagery”). You can fly there and see it for yourself by loading this KML file.
The post New scars for the famous heart-shaped island near Croatia appeared first on Google Earth Blog.
Did the title confuse you enough? If you explore our planet long enough, you’ll find some very neat things, such as the tiny island of Vulcan Point, seen here (inside the lake on the island in the center of the image).
Vulcan Point island is found on Main Crater Lake, which is located on Volcano Island. Volcano Island is found on Taal Lake (which is formed via the Taal Caldera). Taal Lake is located on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. It’s quite an amazing ring of lakes and islands!
The primary reason for the existence of this is Taal Volcano, which helps form some of these pieces. It’s a rather active volcano, with 33 historical eruptions, the last of which was in 1977.
To see all of it for yourself, you can use this KML file to fly out there in Google Earth.
The post An island on the world’s largest lake on an island in a lake on an island appeared first on Google Earth Blog.
Over the years, the vast majority of the files we’ve showcased for Google Earth have been focused on adding more detail about our planet. We’ve seen a few others, such as Matt Fox’s overlay of the moon and Mars (before those became official features), but today’s file from Jose Sanchez-Cerezo de la Fuente is a different take on things.
Jose has designed a map of human knowledge that is displayed on Google Earth using a massive image overlay.
His goal is to use this method to showcase a wealth of information — as you zoom in on each area, the data would become increasingly precise. Here’s a video that shows a bit more about his thoughts:
He dreams of this concept being used to organize vast collections of information. With the proper code (likely via a combination of image overlays and network links), it’s certainly very possible. For now, you can check out his rough idea by viewing the video above or loading this KMZ file into Google Earth.
Nice work, Jose!
Colin Hazlehurst has contributed some excellent tours to Google Earth over the years. His most impressive is likely the recreation of Captain James Cook’s circumnavigation of New Zealand, but he’s also covered items such as the 1825 Greek Independence battle.
He recently came across a great model of Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis airplane in the 3D Warehouse, read up more about him on Wikipedia, and then decided to recreate the famous flight in Google Earth.
The result is a very impressive tour, part of which can be seen in this video:
His plan is to present the 33.5 hour journey in about 335 minutes of animation, in other words, flying the model at 600 knots instead of the 100 knots at which the Spirit of St. Louis travelled.
He’s created this KMZ file, generated using a variant of the TourMaker tool that he’s developed for this kind of Google Earth animation. It still has some way to go, but is quite impressive already.
Great work, Colin!