Postcards From Google Earth: "I collect Google Earth images. I discovered them by accident, these particularly strange snapshots, where the illusion of a seamless and accurate representation of the Earth’s surface seems to break down. I was Google Earth-ing, when I noticed that a striking number of buildings looked like they were upside down." [more inside]
Rebecca Solnit on how Silicon Valley corporations are transforming San Francisco: I weathered the dot-com boom of the late 1990s as an observer, but I sold my apartment to a Google engineer last year and ventured out into both the rental market (for the short term) and home buying market (for the long term) with confidence that my long standing in this city and respectable finances would open a path. That confidence got crushed fast. It turned out that the competition for any apartment in San Francisco was so intense that you had to respond to the listings – all on San Francisco-based Craigslist of course, the classifieds website that whittled away newspaper ad revenue nationally – within a few hours of their posting to receive a reply from the landlord or agency. The listings for both rentals and homes for sale often mentioned their proximity to the Google or Apple bus stops. [more inside]
Google Maps App by Google for Apple's iOS is now available. It features turn-by-turn voice navigation and streetview. It's a welcome end to "Map-gate". [more inside]
Google makes great maps. But Apple and Google aren't getting along well. So in its new iOS 6, Apple dropped all Google mapping tech in favor of its own Maps app that it promised would "blow your head off". Some people like it. Others don't. But the numbers are that 63 countries with a combined population of 4.5 billion people will lose at least one of the traffic, transit, or street views they had before. And even arch-supporter John Gruber acknowledges " the maps experience in iOS 6 is a downgrade". Google may produce an official Google Maps app for iOS. Then again, they may not.
How Google and Apple's digital mapping is mapping us "Digital maps on smartphones are brilliantly useful tools, but what sort of information do they gather about us – and how do they shape the way we look at the world?"
North Korea has a reputation as one of the most secretive, authoritarian, repressive countries in the world. But that doesn't stop Curtis Melvin, a PhD student at George Mason University, from trying to shine some light into the country's dark corners l His North Korea Economy Watch site, which includes The most authoritative map of North Korea on Google Earth l Gulags, Nukes and a Water Slide: Citizen Spies Lift North Korea's Veil.
Google Maps now does satellite images which is pretty cool (zoom all the way in), and what everyone predicted they would do with the Keyhole software company they bought. The part that freaks me out is finding my own house with my own car in the driveway, taken last fall (by the looks of construction in the neighborhood). I guess it's time for all of us to have our Streisand moment and wonder when satellite imagery has gotten too good. [via]
Use the free 7 day trial while it's available! This lil program lets you zoom in pretty darn close on just about any spot in the world. And it is FREAKING COOL. I don't have much better commentary than that, sorry. You can zoom around to your favorite locations, tilt the camera, show all road names, rotate views - and once you've got a bunch of stuff plugged in its really neat to just click between them and watch the flyby. I can't believe this isn't a double post, but couldn't find it on search. Have fun!
In the long tradition of Google anouncements may I present to you Google Location search (which if you recall was the winner of the competition they held last year)