NASA’s OnEarth Has Been Abandoned

Paul Ramsey noted this morning that OnEarth is no more.

This server no longer provides full WMS services for any of the datasets. Furthermore, the MODIS daily mosaics are no longer being updated. The tiled WMS access, described in the Tiled WMS and Google Earth KML support will stay operational. This includes access to the archived of MODIS daily mosaics, which were built from 2006 to the end of 2010.

Interesting as this was a great resource that I’m not sure was freely available elsewhere.


It’s the One Earth that I know…

It Still Blows My Mind That Google Owns SketchUp

Seriously, this thing is actually free for most users. When it comes to design, designers always seem to choose SketchUp over solutions from Esri, Autodesk, and others (Believe me, I know. I used to work at one of the best). Now I’m not sold on this being something that drives use of Google Earth which I guess in turn drives use of clicking on ads. Basically SketchUp was acquired when companies like Google bought things without thinking of how they will fit in with the company 5 years later. But lucky for us, SketchUp has survived and thrived with a free version driving users to design on their platform.

Now the SketchUp team has new project called “Making Ideas Real”:

Here’s how you can pitch in: Use this form to tell us your SketchUp story. Send us an image of a SketchUp model with an accompanying photograph that shows your completed project. Anything goes for subject matter; architecture, archeology, industrial design, construction, woodworking, personal fabrication, model railroading, mousetrap design as long as SketchUp helped you make it, we want to see it. Professionals, semi-professionals and proud amateurs are all welcome.

Sounds pretty awesome, I know many people who as a hobby recreate the world around them in Google SketchUp. It also makes a huge 3D library available to the world for free. Seems like a great opportunity for the geospatial community to share our models with Google and get some great recognition. I love using SketchUp with my Wacom DTU-2231 Pen Display. It really frees me up to work with 3D models how I think spatially. Cool stuff!

SimpleGeo is Acquired/Merged with Urban Airship

Update: SimpleGeo has posted a FAQ that will “answer many of your questions”.

The topic of SimpleGeo is usually a fun conversation starter in geospatial circles. Figuring out their business model was always sort of crap shoot, but boy did they sure put together an all-star team. Arrington broke the news earlier this week that SimpleGeo, who had raised $10 million in VC money, was acquired by Urban Airship for $3.5 million of “stock”. I’m no math genius, but that sounds brutal for the investors of SimpleGeo. Clearly what the money guys valued at SimpleGeo was the staff so we’ll have to see what plans Urban Airship has for the SimpleGeo team.

Hey! What happened?

Lead Dog Vector Datasets are now on

One of the more interesting companies selling location-based data is Lead Dog Consulting. Chances are if you saw a map in the New York Times recently about the Arab Spring, you probably saw a Lead Dog Map. They specialize in making vector data products in areas that most companies don’t even know exist. Well over the weekend, Lead Dog pushed out over 350 datasets to the WeoGeo Market which are now available to customize and use.

If you are looking for data in Libya, Syria, Yemen or even Osama Bin Laden’s compound there probably isn’t a better, more up to date data source than Lead Dog. I love their new data in Mogadishu, Somalia which is very detailed and available in just about any vector format anyone might need.

Lead Dog Data in Mogadishu

Detailed vector data in Mogadishu, Somalia from Lead Dog Consulting in WeoGeo Market

If you sell location-based data and want to see your maps on WeoGeo Market like Lead Dog or Pitney Bowes, just let me know and I can let you know how you can get started for free.