Monday, July 17, 2006

Tech: Google Earth's advantages

It’s a little frustrating that Google has a couple of products competing against each other!

I revisited Google Earth after extolling Google Maps, and find several superior features in Google Earth:

a) smooth zoom without needing to redraw;
b) onscreen latitude/longitude. As a bonus, look at this site that integrates Wikipedia and Google Earth. Wow!
c) ease of adding markers
d) an ‘autotravel’ from one link to another.

The last is a particularly powerful visualisation aid. My kids love zooming from our house to their cousins’ house in another country – with one double-click.

I long for these products to be integrated – in a browser interface. A universal application – a browser - is where it all belongs. We no longer need to be forced to seek out a new application every time something new comes on stream.

As an aside, I understand the programming approach Ajax is an enabler for much of this, allowing smooth transitions within web pages without the need to redraw. For an illustration of the difference, in Google Maps try zooming and then try panning. Zooming, involving as it does a number of redraws, is a lot clunkier than panning.

Of course, I’d like to see realtime satellite data, and higher resolution. But aside from being too intrusive, that’s too much to ask for. Right now.

1 comment:

Ron Kane said...

Hi Steve,

As per your comments on my blog...

- The Church (aus)
I liked the single "Reptile" very much, but could never get down their albums

- Beat Rhythm Fashion (but they only did singles)
I have 2 or 3 45's from NZ, but never saw an album

- the BEST Clean album, Vehicle
I am friends with Hamish & David, but I did not care much for the "Vehicle" album, I liked the singles better.

- Dave Dobbyn's followup to Lipstick Power was also wonderfully quirky pop: Bull By The Horns
Great single, to which their was never an album. I saw D.D. Smash a number of times, and I always have time for Dave Dobbyn.

- Someday you may also revisit your Danse Macabre (Between The Line)
Gary steel sent me their CD, still really good stuff, all these years later.

- David Crosby's If Only I Could Remember My Name was a very pleasant surprise
One of the better CSN&Y solo albums; I also dug the first "Crosby/Nash" album, the one with "Immigration Man".