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Google Earth 6.2 Released: Seamless Globe and Google+ Integration

Yesterday, Google released Google Earth 6.2

From the announcement: "With Google Earth 6.2, we’re bringing you the most beautiful Google Earth yet, with more seamless imagery and a new search interface. Additionally, we’ve introduced a feature that enables you to share an image from within Google Earth, so you can now simply and easily share your virtual adventures with family and friends on Google+. [...] We’ve also made some updates to the search feature in Google Earth. Aside from streamlining the visual design of the search panel, we’ve enabled the same Autocomplete feature that's available in Google Maps." 

On the welcomed seamless globe: "While this change will appear on all versions of Google Earth, the 6.2 release provides the best viewing experience for this new data." Sri Lanka, before and after:

Sri Lanka

A quick reminder, Slashgeo has its Google+ page too (but it's inactive at the moment, that doesn't mean it's not worth adding it to your circles ;-).

Related, the GEB shares an entry named Google Earth 6 now required for Street View.

MapProxy 1.3.0 Released

We mentioned the open source MapProxy a few times since 2010, including the 1.0.0 release about a year ago. Less than two weeks ago, MapProxy 1.3.0 was released. Anyone with an interest in tile caching might be interested in reading this previous story named FOSS4G 2011: What about a Tiling Shootout?

Amongst the new features for the 1.3.0 release: "

  • RESTful WMTS: The MapProxy WMTS now also supports the RESTful API. This service also supports custom URL templates for your service.
  • CouchDB cache backend: You can now use a CouchDB as a backend for tile caches. Each cache gets stored into a separate database and you can configure the layout of the URLs of each tile. You can also add additional metadata for each tile."

GDAL/OGR 1.9.0 Released

The OSGeo announced the release of GDAL/OGR 1.9.0. It's hard to ignore GDAL/OGR, which is at the core of many open source and commercial geospatial software. We mention it quite often. Version 1.8.0 was release a year ago. For the curious ones, ESRI's FileGeodatabase format is now officially supported by GDAL/OGR.

The summary of what's new: "This is a major new release including the following major new features:

  • New GDAL drivers: ACE2, CTG, E00GRID, ECRGTOC, GRASSASCIIGrid, GTA, NGSGEOID, SNODAS, WebP, ZMap
  • New OGR drivers: ARCGEN, CouchDB, DWG, EDIGEO, ESRI FileGDB, Geomedia, Google Fusion Tables, IDRISI, MDB, SEGUKOOA, SEGY, SVG, XLS
  • Significantly improved drivers: NetCDF
  • Encoding support for shapefile/dbf (#882)
  • RFC 35: Delete, reorder and alter field definitions of OGR layers
  • RFC 37: Add mechanism to provide user data to CPLErrorHandler (#4295)
  • gdalsrsinfo: new supported utility to report SRS in various form (supercedes testepsg)"

Open Source Geonews: AntiMap, Fiona 0.5, QGIS 1.7.3, GeoServer 2.1.3, Shapefile-JS in HTML5, and more

Here's the recent open source geospatial news.

Open Source 'Google Vector Layers' Project

Mapperz made me aware of the open source Google Vector Layers project, allowing you to overlay your data over Google Maps.

Here's what it is: "Google Vector Layers allows you to easily add one or more vector layers from a number of different geo web services to a Google Maps API based application. Currently there's support for ArcGIS Server, Arc2Earth, GeoIQ and CartoDB with more planned."

​And how it's done: "Google Vector Layers works by listening to map events (pan and zoom) and then fetching features within the map bounds after each event. This method works great for data sets with lots of features that you want to interact with, but not load all at once."

There's demos if you want to try it live.

Open Source jQuery Plugin for Creating Subway-style Map Visualizations

Via O'Reilly I learned about this open source jQuery Plugin for creating subway-style map visualizations directly in HTML5. Now at version 0.5.0, the subwayMap Plugin already creates nice maps.

The intro of the provided step-by-step guide: "Here is a guide to using the Subway Map Visualization jQuery Plugin. Before you get started, there’s one thing you’ll want to keep in mind — beautiful subway maps are never automatic; they are almost always the result of care in design and placement to ensure that the resulting map is functional, legible and beautiful. This plugin is just a tool…you will still need to plan and design your map in order to produce a good result."

FDO Toolbox 1.0 Released

As Jackie says it, after "3 years and 1251 revisions in the making. The 1.0 final version of FDO Toolbox is finally here."

​The FDO Toolbox is described as a "multi-purpose geospatial tool to create, analyze, process and manage spatial data. It is written in C# and uses the Feature Data Objects (FDO) API".

And we can head to the OSGeo website for a reminder of what FDO is: "FDO Data Access Technology is an API for manipulating, defining and analyzing geospatial information regardless of where it is stored. FDO uses a provider-based model for supporting a variety of geospatial data sources, where each provider typically supports a particular data format or data store. FDO (“Feature Data Object”) is free, open source software licensed under the LGPL."

We mentioned FDO quite a few times in the past. I'm no expert, but I believe FDO is mainly used and part of Autodesk's MapGuide Open Source and is sometimes considered as a competitor to GDAL/OGR. What have I missed?

uDig 1.3.0 Released

With uDig 1.2 released over a year ago, let's welcome uDig 1.3.0, an open source desktop GIS based on Java.

From new features from the release notes:

  • Area of Interest support - define your area of interest based on CRS, current screen or a bookmark
  • Filter the Table view using the current area of interest - a great way to focus on what is on screen
  • Updated Info and Profile tool for raster data
  • Teradata support
  • Spatial Toolbox view allowing access to OMS3 processing; with tutorial!
  • New import and export formats: CSV and KML

Total Open Station: Open Source Data Tool for Total Stations

Via the OSGeo-Discuss list, I learned about the open source software named 'Total Open Station' (TOPS), for downloading and processing data from total station devices. TOPS is currently at version 0.3.

Here's why TOPS is different:

  • it is free software released under the GNU GPLv3 license;
  • it works on any operating system, including mobile platforms like OpenMoko;
  • it is designed to support as many devices and formats as possible, all within the same program, opposed to having one program per device.

​Also in the surveying and field measurement and monitoring category, V1 mentions a Datalogger Web Services API.

Open Source Geonews: StatCan Opening its Data, OSM at 500,000 Users, QGIS News, and much more

Here's the recent open source and open data geonews in batch mode.

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