Fantom Planet Wonders When Google Will Be Invited to the U.S. Board of Geographic Names

Link – Board of Geographic Names Invites are Like Gmail Invites

I assume that invites are limited because of the Board’s inherently governmental function. So why in this new era of international spats over boundaries and place names in Google Earth has anyone from GE (Google Earth) or the BGN (Board of Geographic Names) thought to coordinate? If the two do not, would Google Earth become the de facto source for international boundaries and place names and usurp any official governmental geonames policy?

This better get figured out soon as I’d hate to think two countries might go to war over a boundary that Google Earth uses. As Fantom says, “[Scoffing laugh] Google running borders by anyone. Ha! That’s a good one.”. Exactly, but these days people are beginning to use Google Earth as a reference. I doubt this is what Google envisioned with Earth and I can only assume it will continue to be a headache for them for years to come.

Site Update

I’ve upgraded to MovableType 3.2 and I want to update the template also. For the time being I’m going to use the default look until I get some of the javascript stuff integrated again. Maybe I’ll move from a static install to a dynamic PHP install of MT.

Brain Flood continues his look at Google Earth

Link – Google Earth Continued

I’ve recently seen various forum and blog posts about Google Earth moving into traditional GIS territory. In some regards this is true, GE is a very fast, very internet friendly, very ubiquitous geospatial viewer that provides a whole globe full of free base data. However, it is not a very good GIS platform from a cartographic, analysis or geoprocessing standpoint, in fact it doesn’t do any of these. From a GIS perspective, it’s just a viewer. A very good viewer with excellent hooks for additional data streams but a viewer none the less.

Brian has a nice look at moving from ArcMap to Google Earth as a GIS Viewer. My first reaction is that this is huge because there really isn’t a good free viewer available to view GIS data from desperate sources. The flexibility of KML is really starting to show, but the Table of Contents still isn’t my cup of tea (I guess I’m just used to the ArcMap one). I hope ESRI can get ArcExplorer out before people get comfortable using Google Earth to share their datasets.

It is unfortunate that ESRI felt the need to charge for ArcPublisher as ArcReader could have been a pretty good choice as a GIS viewer application, but since you need an extension to create readable map documents it isn’t really free.

More Google Earth Boundary Trouble

Link – Google Earth does not respect UN recognized borders!!!

It is obvious that Google Earth accepted as a final solution of internationally recognized border between Montenegro and Croatia old Montenegrin proposal that leads me to conclusion that Google Earth used data obtained from Serbian or Montenegrin experts and did not verify them by independent sources such as UN. Moreover, the names of all bays along the Croatian coast have Serbian or Italian names. I do not understand how any global company can act as in this case did Google.

Sigh, they just keep coming out of the woodwork. To think that Google would actually “run this by” Serbian or Montenegrin “experts” just made me chuckle.

Of course if Google actually posted the metadata, this might not happen as much. My advice to those who don’t like the data in Google Earth, post your own.

Andrew Hallam’s Google Earth Wishlist

Links – Google Earth Wishlist – Part 1 & Google Earth Wishlist – Part 2

While playing with the free version of Google Earth I started a list of enhancements that I’d like to see in the product. The desired outcome is to make it easier to use Google Earth as a spatial data delivery platform, without impacting on the collective end user experience.

Andrew’s writeup on Google Earth is excellent. Part 1 looks at KML and many improvements that would make using it much easier. Part 2 looks at Network Links, which at least for me has been the most confusing part of Google Earth. I guess I just don’t grab the logic of how it works, but I’m sure as time goes on Keyhole will improve it. I’m looking forward to Part 3 which should arrive later on WMS in Google Earth.

Chris Tweedie on “10 Utils to make Opensource GIS that little bit easier”

Link – 10 Utils to make Opensource GIS that little bit easier…

In the same vain as my other ArcIMS thread, here are my top 10 utilities (ok so its not really ten) for making my life with OGC apps that little bit easier. If i have missed any which you recommend, please let me know. I have tried to cut the list down to what i think are useful, as there are unfortunately a lot of applications which are not worth the trouble or are incredibly outdated (sorry, but the list needs culling guys).

There has been a lot of talk about comparing ESRI software with open source GIS offerings. Chris posts the cream of the crop on his blog so if you are interested in learning more check it out. We are currently playing around with UMN Mapserver and PostGIS on Redhat and I’ve come away quite impressed.

The question is when does playing turn into marketing?