Saturday, June 24, 2006

France unveils national rival to Google Maps

Not being able to log in, it's difficult to get many real details, but it seems like lazy journalism to call a rival to Google Earth. The Reuters piece even implies that Google Earth is a website. (Although, one could be forgiven for confusing the ever expanding, slightly disorganized product offerings of the Googleplex, it seems more likely that they accepted the assertion of the press release without the faintest concept of fact check.)

Perhaps, rather than making more portals, it would be more useful for countries to provide data services, as Stefan over at Ogle Earth suggests. Of course, you could then start data format wars, but at least you can adapt and convert your way around many of those. Given the web site launch difficulties, it would seem unlikely that these folks are going to be able to throw a 3D version out there in the autumn.

ESRI ArcGIS Explorer beta shots have been looking quite nice. I wonder how much data they are going to provide in their initial release? It seemed like the product was already in decent shape at last year's user conference, so we can hope that the intervening year has been spent acquiring and combining data...

I am really looking forward to seeing how you can customize the client. That's one of the bits of Google Earth that is quite obscure, even in the enterprise version. I can understand the reluctance to let people clutter up the toolbar with 1000 buttons, which would interfere with the simplicity, but I have one button I'd like to add....

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

An Outlook to GCal solution

So, you get your work invites sent to your exchange account and you want your outlook calendar to update your Google Calendar....what's the simplest thing that could possibly work?

Well, you can take advantage of the new ability for items received in gmail to be automagically entered onto your google calendar- just make a rule to forward all invites to your gmail account, and invite your gmail account to all things that you schedule. I was already adding myself as an invitee to all of the things I put on my Outlook calendar so they would pass on to my Blackberry, now GMail is another invitee. It has been working out swimmingly so far...updates to follow.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


This thing is pretty interesting- a timeline view of the changes in income and life expectancy over time. It's a little bit Flash-y, but it's very cool to watch countries like China and Korea shoot forward in prosperity. Question- is it better to have a short and prosperous life or a long impoverished one?

Found it on MoMB...