Monday, July 25, 2005

Google Earth, Yahoo Maps, & Microsoft Virtual Earth Are The Latest "Killer Apps"

I have been conducting further experiments with Google Earth and just ran across a great blog entry that Rev. Dan Catt made about the "Network Link" feature within Google Earth. The technology might work with Google Maps, but I have not seen it to be fully incorporated into Google Maps yet.

The rapid pace in which information is being combined, synthesized, and morphed together is nothing short of amazing.

Take traditionally separate concepts of digital photography (or even a camera phone), GPS technology, blogging, and a search engine (Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft all have one now) and mix them together and what do you get?

You now have geoblogging, geosearches, and a host of other unique ideas that should serve to revitalize failing economies.

The main thrust of the latest mash ups of technology is that you can better combine, separate, or isolate the online world to the offline world.

Photo websites like Flickr now are having people add GPS coordinate tags to their photos to indicate where the photo was captured.

I just saw the website Geoblogging and saw an amazing combination of Google Earth, GPS technology, and digital photography added together. You can essentially rotate a global map and see the latest photos that people are sharing.

I know that this fits into what we have done with GPS Concierge and expect to further observe eBay,, and online commerce websites have to play catch up since the satellite map technology essentially cuts out the middleman altogether.

Right now as a result of this blog, I realize that you can tag a photo on Flickr and add another tag such as "online auction" or "available for sale" and any other identifying tags imaginable and state the identification and availability of supply and stimulate demand for the item.

One could still essentially use eBay or another online auction marketplace simply as an outsourced technology since there is no desktop auction management technology immediately known and identified. Does this identify a need for a program called eBay Desktop or Desktop eBay? I strongly think so.

The ongoing key is going to be to inform the buying public that they can use search engines and geophotography websites such as Flickr to buy items.

One comment mentioned how satellite maps will be in real-time at some point in the future. This will make substantial economic growth AND poverty be manifested and vaporized at the speed of thought.

This is definitely one of those thoughts and concepts that our children will become more proficient at than any of my peers;)

I would love to see the various tools added to social networking websites like Orkut, Friendster, Dodgeball, and other mailing lists and online communities.

As a matter of fact, I'm on my way to contributing my part right now!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Google Earth Is Too Cool

I finally got a free program called Google Earth to work on my computer and it is da bomb!!!

It has GPS capability built in just like MS MapPoint and it provides free satellite images. There are paid upgrades available and have a yearly subscription from $20 per year or $400 per year currently.

The real key if you encounter problems just like I did is that you have to go to the program from the Start button, change the setting there to use the OpenGL version, and then restart the program.

I kept trying to use the DirectX version by clicking on the icon located on my desktop and was not getting anywhere. The program seems to work very well with a broadband connection since it obtains the maps from Google's servers.

The images are basically the same as found within Google Maps, but there is a whole lot of other things that can be done such as place markers for various business, governmental offices, and nonprofit locations such as colleges, libraries, and schools.

There are a ton of Google Earth hacks found online as well that enable a person to map various information such as school districts, crime statistics, and other demographic data as an overlay over the images.

The overlays enable you to have an multidimensional (visual and data) view of any area within the world. I have not toured the rest of the world with it in detail yet, but I plan to.

I entered my own street address and zoomed in on my neighborhood. The center was not as accurate as desired, but I was able to see my own house within the image.

Since I have a GPS unit, I was able to confirm the latitude and longitude given.

I also entered the street address of the neighborhood where I grew up and I could see the street, but not pinpoint the house.

It seems that major metropolitan cities may have been photographed by satellite in greater detail while smaller cities receive a limited snapshot. You can zoom in on a rural town, but everything gets fuzzy faster than within a metropolitan city.

There is going to be more usage of GPS technology within daily life worldwide. We have offered information online through our GPS Concierge website.

It is one thing to have the technology while it is something else entirely to know how it can be used.

Keep it up Google!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Pipeline Is Percolating!

There are some things on my mind that I am just allowing to percolate, build pressure, and fully develop before sharing them.

In the meantime, enjoy your summer and get ready for a great outpouring of what has been happening!


Friday, July 01, 2005

Remembering Luther Vandross

My wife told me the news this evening and the day has not been the same. I remember fondly and bought virtually every song Luther has performed from his days with Change and solo career and saw him in concert several times.

Years ago in college, I also won a lip-syncing contest while imitating Luther complete with a scarf to throw the ladies and a Kentucky Fried Chicken box;) Over the years, I had always heard (but never positively had confirmed) that Luther grew up and went to some of the same schools that I attended in Mullins, SC. Maybe now in his death, the rumors will be confirmed.

Goodbye Luther and this brother will indeed miss you always. May God bless your soul.