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Dream on: After a U.K. tabloid boasted it found the mythical lost city of Atlantis on the souped-up Google Ocean, the non-evil giant was forced to issue a statement declaring that the city is, in fact, not real.
According to Plato, the island kingdom of Atlantis was a major naval power before sinking overnight. According to aeronautical engineer Bernie Bamford, the ruins of Atlantis are located at 31 15'15.53N, 24 15'30.53W in Google Ocean -- unless it's some nefarious plan of the supposedly non-evil corporation to drive conspiracy theorists crazy.
Google counters that the strange patterns Bamford spotted are just a by-product of their scanning system, like the shots of nudists or porn-store-visitors captured by their roving cameras. But hey, that's no fun! Who wants to believe that?
· Google dismisses "Atlantis" find [BBC News]
· Has Google Ocean Found the Missing City of Atlantis? [Jaunted]
According to a British aeronautical engineer, Google Ocean, an extension of Google Earth, has found what many humans could not: the lost city of Atlantis. A near-perfect rectangular grid has shown up about 620 miles off the coast of northwest Africa, near the Canary Islands and it looks like it's on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean.
For real Google Ocean nerds who want to look for themselves the coordinates are: 31 15'15.53N 24 15'30.53W.
Google Earth, the magical software that makes real life more like Second Life, may have been used in the planning of the recent terrorist assault on Mumbai, says a lawyer who has filed suit in the Bombay High Court. He's hoping that the Indian government will order a "complete ban on Google Earth and similar sites like Wikimapia" in the interest of national security.
Indian officials have previously expressed concerns about security and mapping software, as in 2006 when then-President Abdul Kalam warned about Google Earth and its utility to terrorists. The search giant agreed in 2007 to blur out some imagery that India deemed sensitive, but that clearly didn't include tourist-friendly venues in the heart of Mumbai.
To us, this is a case of "guns don't kill people, people do." Even the areas worldwide already blurred out by Google are listed on the internet, and making photos of "sensitive" facilities--whatever that means--difficult to obtain doesn't eliminate threats. But the band of terrorists in Mumbai wasn't looking to take out a secret military installation; their goals were massive chaos, a high body count and as much media exposure as possible.
As to whether an eventual ban on Google Earth will help stem violence in India, a company spokesman tells The Telegraph:
Tools such as Google Earth are built from information that is already available from both commercial and public sources, and it is important to remember that the same information is available to anyone who purchases imagery from those public sources.
[Photo of the Bombay High Court: Google Earth]
South African Tourism worked with Google to develop a special batch of layers to hype the country. You can fly in over cultural sites and historic landmarks or click over to the nature and safari info to plan a wildlife-focused trip.
And of course all the locations for the 2010 World Cup are highlighted as well. Speaking of, tickets for the competition go on sale in February 2009, about the time, we'd expect, you'll start seeing a huge amount of press about visiting South Africa.
Crime / Swimming / Pools / Summer Travel / Google Earth / → All Tags
How did we not already think of this? New York magazine once crashed hotel pools in Gotham, but now British lads--and you know it's the lads--are using Google Earth to find neighborhood pools worth infiltrating.
Says the Daily Mail:
The craze involves using the Google Earth programme, which provides high-quality aerial photos of Britain and other countries.
Once a target is chosen, the organisers use social networking sites such as Facebook and Bebo to arrange to meet, say police.
Authorities worry that the trend is about to really catch on thanks to a combo of warmer weather and vacant houses, as Brits go on summer holidays. Time for us to get a Bebo account!
[Photo of a prime target: Google Maps]
Google / Google Earth / Travel Tech / Maps / → All Tags
One of the great things about Google's pantheon of services is that you can access them from any computer, anytime, anywhere. But Google Earth has always been an exception to the rule--until now.
The search company has just announced that 3D, pan-planet maps will be coming to a browser near you via a Java plug-in. (For now, it's only available for Windows machines.)
You probably already know why we're so excited about it: Now we can virtually fly around our Kid Rock Fight Venues Map!
Google world domination is officially complete, it is time for Google to take on the last frontier. Google Sky, the newest addition to Google Earth, enables users to check out the entire universe using a web browser.
Galaxies, planets, constellations, and whatever else is up in space are all just a click away. You need to download the newest version of Google Earth, if you want to discover pixelated supernovas and sun spots.
The data was built, in part, using Google's NASA partnership and Hubble Space Telescope Observations. Branson better get a move on in getting space travel up and running so he can include "Google Sky" on board Virgin Galactic. Space travel, it is the future and you know it.
A few weeks ago, Strange Maps made a great post aligning Tolkien's maps of Middle Earth with actual European geography. And thus we present the Shire, home to the hobbits. Or what we think is the Shire. Tolkien himself said that he based the Shire on rural England, and between Strange Maps' approximation and that, this is our best guess. We also think that the thing in the picture is a hobbit house. Maybe.
So what do you do in the shire, since there aren't any Hobbits around to drink ale and eat second breakfast with? We suggest staying at the Four Pillars in Tortworth. We know, we know: a four-star hotel in a Victorian mansion is entirely un-hobbit like. But Tortworth is also home to an arboretum with over 300 acres of parkland, where you can wander around and commune with nature just like the little people.
Google Earth Stories [Jaunted]
Earlier this week Google quietly launched a new Google Earth & Maps blog, Lat Long to showcase the latest and greatest in geowebbing.
What exactly is Google doing to push the geoweb forward? Well, for starters, after Tuesday's devastating F5 tornado in Greensburg, Kansas that destroyed most of the town, Google send their satellite birds up and gathered imagery of the region for search-and-rescue teams to use.
No only are we left with shocking before and after aerial shots of Greensburg (above), but by doing this Google has created a powerful real-time tool for rescuers, journalists, and travelers who may be going to the area not knowing what to expect.
Probably, but if you're familiar with Nova Scotia, now's your time to weigh in. You never know with the current state of tourism advertising. Nova Scotia is forging ahead on promotional trail, just in time for that warm(er) summer weather. The campaign's a bit sleepy, but their Google Earth integration is quite neat. Unfortunately, tourism board folks left out two very important selling points: the proximity to Prince Edward Island mussels, and the fact that Denny Doherty was from Halifax!
· Nova Scotia tourism [Official Site]
Google Earth / South America / Maps / Google / → All Tags
It wasn't too long ago that a village of Germans was up in arms over Google Earth's misnaming of Mount Hitler near Munich. Now there are much greater problems stirring, and this time Google Earth hasn't misnamed a village, but rather moved it into another country.
The government of Chile (along with many Chileans) are quite unhappy to see on Google Earth that the village of Villa O'Higgins is now shown as lying in Argentina. Villa O'Higgins might be small, but it's named after a Chilean independence hero and they definitely want it to remain in Chile. Google Earth says "we are working with our partners to get more precise data for the region," though surely a request from the Chilean government should already carry some weight?
· Google Earth Moves a Village [Reuters]
· Google Earth Your Way to Mount Hitler [Jaunted]
Google Earth using toggle layers to draw attention to certain political causes is not new. However, new crystal clear, high resolution imagery show destroyed Darfur villages and refugee camps in haunting clarity.
In some villages, the resolution is high enough to show the burnt ruins of individual houses. Just zoom in on the flame icons, especially in the western part of the Sudan.
President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan has denied that widespread atrocities have occurred in Darfur, but the United Nations estimates that more than 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced in four years.
Tourists are not going to be flocking to the Sudan anytime soon, but volunteer travelers have plenty of opportunities to get involved.
There is currently a travel warning for US citizens traveling to the Sudan.