Jan 152007
 

Digital Urban have published their tutorial for creating immersive panoramas. I made the short video below. There’s lots of potential for the classroom.

Video features a Banksy image from Digital Urban

The rest of this article is at Juicy Geography Google Earth blog

Jan 032007
 

2007 celebrations in 3D
Thanks to Ewan of Edu.blogs for this post about 3D panoramas of New Year celebrations around the globe. He is right that they make superb viewing on an interactive whiteboard. I got students to work out the locations of some of the images using visual clues. The Dubai example is particularly good. The large number of Asians in the crowd make a starting point for discussing the situation of immigrant labour in a country where 73.9% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national. (source)

hongkong3d l


Panoramas for geography lessons

It all gets even better if you go to the Panoramas dk home page and start to explore. Try the drop down menu in the top right and prepare to be amazed by some of the potential. As a taster, have a look at this image of a weapon search in Rio de Janiero

riopan

One of my favourite sites, Digitally Distributed Environments, is at the forefront of this kind of technology. Dr Andy Smith has just published a 3D panorama of a suburban area. This is a brilliant settlement resource:

suburb
link to post I link to panorama


Panoramas inside Google Earth

Andy Smith of Digitally Distributed Environments has recently posted about a 3D panorama viewer for Google Earth that his team is developing.

globe

Essentially the viewer allows you to fly into the 3D image which hovers above the actual location. There is a video that demonstrates the concept on the Digital Urban site and the viewer should be ready soon. It’s amazing stuff and I’m really hoping that I can get it working in my classroom, especially as a Digital Urban Flickr group has been set up to host panoramic images. Until now virtual fieldwork has been kind of uninspiring. How about one of Brick Lane Andy?

Nov 182006
 

A tempting preview of the long awaited new product from ESRI, ArcGis Explorer is available as a podcast. You’ll learn how to pronounce “ESRI” correctly, but more importantly the interview with a member of the development team offers an insight into the nature and scope of the new virtual globe. This page contains a showcase of ArcGIS Explorer’s potential.

The new product is not designed to compete directly with Google Earth and isn’t really a consumer product, but a platform to publish GIS data. It is powered by ArcGIS Server and should be regarded as a series of globes with worldwide data on a range of topics. The globes will be called ArcGIS Online Services and encompass a range of themes, for example worldwide streets, terrain and physiography and more. The new virtual globe will be free, though you’d the full Arc GIS product to create new content. It remains to be seen whether ArcGIS Explorer will be a useful classroom tool, though ESRI do actively promote the use of their products in schools.
According to the podcast, ArcGIS Explorer is on the point of being rolled out. Link to download site

Nov 122006
 

I forgot to mention the news from earlier this week of an important update to Live Local (or is it Virtual Earth?) Downloading a small plug-in brings 3D enhancement, and in my part of the UK at least, the images are of far higher quality than Google Earth. Unsuprisingly, the plug-in only works with Internet Explorer 6/7. The interface is now remarkably similar to Google Earth:

live local 3D click to enlarge

This is a view of my house:

live local orway

The site is fast and very easy to use, and sharing placemarks is very easy. I see this being used a lot in the classroom, where Google Earth is not available, or where the resolution is inadequate. Stefan Geens has posted a very helpful summary of the merits of Live Local / Virtual Earth 3D.

Oct 092006
 

Thanks to Ogle Earth for news about a new Google Earth competitor; Skyline Globe from Skyline Software Systems.
The virtual globe is accessed through the TerraExplorer viewer. There are plenty of similarities with Google Earth, though if I were the company responsible, I would not have made a point of interest out of the old Wembley stadium as it rather dates the imagery! Screenshot below.
terraexplorer click to enlarge

Jun 262006
 

Thanks to Ogle Earth, I came across the Planet 9 site with some intriguing demonstrations of their 3D work. Perhaps the most useful, especially for teaching earthquakes, is the amazing textured Google Earth model of the Transamerica Pyramid. I really recommend a look at this (large download though) – another glimpse into the future of digital representations of the urban environment.

Transamericaclick to enlarge

Also on Ogle Earth a mention for the Google Earth airlines site. The BIG news here for teachers is that the site has a free movie capture program for Google Earth under development, MovieBuilder 4GE. I know that it doesn’t currently work for GE 4, because I’ve just had a go at testing it. It might be OK for V3 though. Please let me know if you get it working. When this application is finally sorted out, it could be an indispensible teaching tool. There’s also a sample of code to allow you to run Google Earth directly from inside Internet Explorer 6 via a plug-in. I’ll be testing this shortly (maybe!)

Mar 202006
 

I’m very grateful to Dr Andrew Hudson-Smith of digitally distributed environments for the opportunity given to a class of Year 7 students to design a fantasy building for London. Three of the winning drawings will be modelled in 3D by the team at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at UCL, ready to be imported into Google Earth.

flower
One of the submitted designs

Look out for SketchUp. Recently acquired by Google, this software is ideal for adding 3D models to Google Earth. A free license is available for teachers, and there’s a lot of scope for cross-curriculular work with ICT and Design Technology.