Saturday, May 01, 2010

Google Earth Browser Plugin

The Google Earth browser plugin is an interesting extension of Google Maps. You can now find a location on the map, click over to an satellite view, and then extend it into a 3-D model. For downtown Washington, DC, its similar to being in a massive multi-user domain (MMUD).
That would be a first person shooter, for the children in the audience... under 30.
The cool part is that you can see the automobiles on display inside the Verizon Center and the Wizards on the outside jumbo-tron. The detail is so good, you can make read the hours on the door of the Chipotle's restaurant.

What is strange is how much territory does not exist. Go one block north to Chinatown, and the arch is not there. There are entire blocks that are missing. So this got me thinking: What determines what shows up?

A few hints. The Verizon Center always has a giant movie poster, in the MUDD, its for a "The Heartbreak Kid" that came out in October of 2007. In Stree View, its GI Joe, which came out in August of 2009. This implies that Google Earth does not depend on Street View.

I'm afraid the system may depend on crowd sourcing. It is up to the community to model the buildings. This poses two problems. First: what if someone chooses to model the buildings wrong. Second: if they are expecting me to model my own house, it isn't going to happen.

Not only would it end up looking like an MC Escher print, but I just got too many other things to do. Nothing important mind, you. It not like I've got a life, or anything.

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