Tag Archives: earth

Will Code for Green

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Have you thought about Green Computing? Do you have what it takes to make the next great Green Computing application?

Gnomedex and the Microsoft Live Search have teamed up to sponsor a developer contest called Will Code for Green. The hope is to make a difference in the economy (Green = Money) and the Earths ecology (Green = Environment) that lasts long after the contest is over. For more details, you can read my earlier blog post.

All Semi-Finalists will present their creations at the Gnomedex conference August 20-22, 2009. Attendees at the Gnomedex conference will be invited to vote to determine a Grand Prize winner in each Category – and three runner-up winners from both Categories combined. Each Grand Prize winner will receive $10,000.00 to further their ideas and projects, and each runner-up will receive $3000.00.

Do you have a passion for the environment or economy? Do you have the mad skills to put that passion to work to help others? If so, get busy! The deadline for entry is on August 12th. You just never know… you could be our winner.

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How to View Weather Maps in Google Earth

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When I was a kid, I wanted to be a Meteorologist when I grew up. Well, I still haven’t grown up. And… I still love to play with the weather. I use WeatherBug on my computer, for many reasons. But today, Google announced a VERY cool new feature for their Google Earth application.

Google Earth now has interactive weather maps. Google Earth combines the power of Google Search with satellite imagery, maps, terrain and 3D buildings to put the world’s geographic information at your fingertips. The current collection contains a global hurricane tracking tool, global cloud maps, severe weather warning data and radar data from NOAA for the US, weather observations for the US from WeatherBonk, a real-time day/night viewing tool, and the global annual lightning flash rate map from NASA.

The newest version of Google Earth also includes a feature to check out the world beyond Earth! Switch your view to see the sky above your Earth location, and explore far-away galaxies, nebulae, and more. Zoom in to see imagery from the Hubble Space Telescope, learn about the lifecycle of a star, or even view the constellations. After all, the Earth doesn’t sit in a vacuum… that would be an awful waste of space.

For most of us, the free version of Google Earth is quite enough. There are pro and plus versions, but I believe that those would only be useful to hard core weather people, meteorologists, and the like. For me… free is where it’s at. I can see that it’s cloudy in Seattle (go figure!)… and what’s this? PINK clouds above Wirelesspacket’s house? That can’t be good. Who ever heard of fluffy pink clouds?

After this was published, a reader emailed me with this additional information. I thought you might like these alternatives, so decided to include it within this post:

It is an interactive map (which uses Google Earth). Weather .com has been using it for about 4 months that I know of. Shortcut to Site.

Double click on the interactive and then it works just like Google Earth (It is GE actually) without running the program. Then click on the tab for “Weather Layers”.

You can check radar or cloud or both. You can get pretty close to the exact area you live and see the clouds and radar if there is bad weather in the area. You can also adjust the transparency of the
clouds. It is pretty cool website.

Another thing I like is by Accuweather it is a program that runs in the bottom tray of your web page on Firefox. It runs on both OS X and Windows. I like this better than weather bug, because it has the current temperature and current weather icon and the up coming day and the next day’s weather. If you put your cursor over the radar icon a small radar map appears. If your cursor goes over the day the conditions and wind speed appear. If you click on them it brings you to the Accuweather web page. You can get this feature at the Firefox
Ad On’s page and go to the Forecastfox link.

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New Google Earth Beta

It’s out, but I’m very sad to report that the new version of Google Earth is still calling on Arial as the default Window UI font (not the internal 3D mapping font, which is fine). Why do developers insist on using this instead of Tahoma (or Segoe UI, in the case of Windows Vista)?! Sorry, Google – if this is your first beta of v4.0, you’re already failing miserably in my book.

I posted more about this in tonight’s report, You Live on Google Earth – including stating that this really is a tremendous app that has amazing potential, but I just refuse to look past something as simple as using Arial as the default font in the non-3D experience. At least Google Talk allows you to change the font throughout the entire app!

I am sick and tired of playing the UI heavy around here. Would someone smack the appropriate person over at Google and tell ’em to get their app act together? It’s great that they’re acquiring great software left-and-right, but it’s not great that they’re not conforming to a single user experience. I’ve given Microsoft hell for this – but they certainly don’t have a monopoly on inconsistent software experiences. I catch hell for stating that Google Earth is still calling on Arial throughout their entire Windows UI (non-nav) – but I’m not going to sit here and say that their software is amazing just because it’s free and it comes from them (Google). It doesn’t look like Google Talk, it doesn’t look like the Google Toolbar, it doesn’t look like Google SketchUp, it doesn’t look like Google Picasa… none of these freakin’ apps look like the other!!! I’d accept that from a startup company, but Google rakes in big bucks and can afford to spend some time on spit and polish. They’re not, and I find that beyond forgivable. I expect better from Google.