Fresh & New(er)

discussion of issues around digital media and museums by Seb Chan

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The new Google Maps, Google Earth and Google Sky

August 22nd, 2007 by Seb Chan

Everyone is buzzing about the new features that have popped up with the easily embeddable GoogleMaps today. This is a big step towards making map mashups completely mainstream – increasing the popular acceptance of the map as a user interface.

For a look at how things might work for the museum and cultural sector take a look at this query. Scroll to the bottom and you will see a map showing all the places mentioned in the book, together with pop up page references! There’s obviously been a lot of parsing of OCRed text to pull out the place names but the result is pretty incredible.

Something a few have missed is the astronomy features now available in Google Earth called Google Sky.

Download the new version of Google Earth and you will find a new toolbar icon that toggles between Earth and Sky. Once in Sky mode you can find galaxies, constellations and planets – all of which link to data from NASA and other sources including Hubble telescope pictures. It is very impressive and lots of fun.

Next task is to look into making KML files to accompany our monthly night sky guide podcasts at the Sydney Observatory . . .

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