Thursday, January 25, 2007

Google Earth and Standards

I can't comment on the all points blog...they must have me marked as a spammer.

Anyway, I won't link to the post by Adena Schutzberg due to that, but here's the content, jacked from a Federal Computer Week article.

"I have a question on this:

Interviewed in the Google booth, which resembles the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, Painter [director of Google Earth Federal] said that although the public Google Earth uses commercial satellite and geospatial imagery, Google Earth Fusion allows federal agencies to manipulate and integrate their own geospatial imagery with the company’s software tools.

Imagery or software? Isn't Google a member of OGC? Is it moving forward on implementing those standards such that it can do both with ease? Is that not the point of OGC? Is DoD pushing Google to implement such standards? See for example: NGA Announces Requirement for OGC and Complementary Standards

I don't think there is a high performance streaming 3D imagery XML standard, is there? In any case, NGA is presumably rational. They are not going to sacrifice user experience for the sake of standards compliance, particularly where the standards board is as commercially fractious as OGC has been.

While there may be a requirement for support of those standards, this is already easily met by Google Earth in the form of reflectors for OGC Image Services as overlays or super-overlays to the base streamed data. All of the major data types can already be imported to Google Earth server to form the base layers.

To somehow suggest that Google should use an OGC format as their primary streaming format is a really bad idea for everyone- especially the data owners that would end up giving away their data. I remember the same insinuations being made against ESRI in years past, and then people deciding they didn't want to pay the performance penalty for standards compliance. Why don't standards committees ever look at what works best, and then choose that as the standard, instead of trying to prognosticate the market, technology, and user needs years in advance? While the shapefile was never an OGC standard, it was easily the lingua franca of the GIS community for a long time. The same with the good old .e00.

My wife worked with the poor fellow ESRI designated as their OGC standards body rep. He was not a person who loved his job. Basically he was a punching bag as he watched their competitors attempt to push things away from technology that would be compatible with proven success.


James Fee said...

I'm marked as a spammer over there too. They need to kill the comment spam product as its killing the conversation.

Matt M said...

Yeah, I really don't get it. For a while I thought I was just bad at reading the letters. With variable sized text, how do you know if it's an uppercase or lower case "v"?

Of course, Google's not perfect either as the second entry

Alexander said...

James Fee, if we won't use CAPTCHAS we will get a ton of spam. Will you read comments in this case?

Matt M, there is no difference what to input v or V on APB. SPAM protection module doesn't case sensitive.

BTW this blog uses CAPTCHAS as well!

Please send me (alexander.tivanov <> the comment you can't submit to APB and I will test the issue.

Thanks for reading APB.

Webmaster of Directions Media.

Matt M said...


I definitely agree with the use of a captcha or other human/robot distinguisher, I just can't get the one you are using to work. I don't think the Google one is perfect either.

I really can't leave any comments at APB, but I appreciate your attention to the issue!


Alexander said...

Matt, I just note that we still using several spam filtering options along with captcha what is excess now. I think captcha will be sufficient.


Nickalollyoff said...

Did you know that on Google Earth you can see Area 51? Planes and the like. I'm going to see if I can zoom in on Baghdad and see plumes of smoke...

Matt M said...

Nickalollyoff: Hah. You have me there.