Natural Search Blog


Where’s Waldo in Google Earth

In a very clever bit of marketing, Canadian artist Melanie Coles has created a large rooftop image of the iconic character found in the popular Where’s Waldo? book series.

Where's Waldo in Google Maps?
(click to enlarge)

The image is located somewhere in Vancouver, British Columbia, and was created with the specific intention of being findable via Google Earth (warning, I have the location pinpointed in a link and geocoordinates at the end of this post). It will be a while before Waldo can be found in Google Earth (or in Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, or MS Live Search Maps, for that matter), because there is a time lag in between when satellite images and aerial photos get updated in those services — so, it could be six months to a year before the image is really findable and viewable online.

The image was created as a demonstration of a viral game for Coles’ graduation art project at the Emily Carr Institute. Her blog statement on the project says: (more…)

Google’s KML Becomes Industry Standard

Google Earth IconIn an example of how becoming top dog can empower a company to influence and set industry-wide protocols, Google Earth’s KML format has been declared an open standard for geographical data by the Open Geospatial Consortium (“OGC”).

It’s really great and progressive that such a large, publicly-traded company such as Google would release control of its considerable intellectual property rights and allow KML to be used by anyone.

Google’s LatLong Blog also crows a bit about how KML is “the HTML of geographic content”, and explains that KML is no longer owned by Google, but is now administrated by the OGC.

Google Puts News On The Map

Google has partnered with the New York Times to put news on the map — the NYT has apparently begun geotagging their news stories so that Google can associate news items with particular locations around the world. The Google Earth application can now be used to browse around a map of the world, and headlines are associated with their places of origin.

Newspapers have been very fearful of the internet and have lost revenue from their print side to free internet alternatives. But, it’s clear that embracing greater integration with interactive technologies is one viable way to remain competitive.

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Factory Offers Up Rooftop Space for Ads

A company named Kumomo has issued a press release recently, announcing that it will sell rooftop ad space on one of Malaysia’s largest factories. Is this to be the first node in a network of roof billboard advertising space? The ads would be intended to be seen in Google Maps/Earth and via airplanes.

The rooftop ad would be installed by the California company, RoofAds, which specializes in painting logos and art onto the tops of buildings. Although Kumomo’s site and press release are vague about details on the roof in question, after considerable searching of satellite pics in Google Maps I was finally able to locate the location of the building where they’re intending to place the ad. Disconcertingly, the exact place is mostly obscured by clouds in the Google satellite pic, or perhaps it’s the factory’s own smoke:

Malaysian Factory Offering Roof Space for Ad
click to enlarge

(more…)


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