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Is Google Earth Digital Earth? A lecture by Professor Keith Clarke


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gregsd

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Is Google Earth Digital Earth? - 30th November 2006

Event Start date: 30 Nov 2006

Is Google Earth Digital Earth?

A lecture by Professor Keith Clarke

Digital Earth is an ambitious vision of a digital library that holds massive amounts of easily used historical and contemporary geographical information. Its users should be able to zoom around on the earth, select places and retrieve geographical knowledge at will, and to follow geographically linked ideas. The idea dates to 1992 - when the web was in its infancy - and was promoted by former US vice president Al Gore in his book "Earth in the Balance". Many would claim that Google Earth is exactly what Gore proposed. Professor Clarke will explain why he doesn't agree. He will give a broader history of Google Earth as "Keyhole" software, explain the alternatives, and suggest what role geobrowsers will play in the future.

Professor Keith Clarke is based in the University of California Santa Barbara and is one of the world's leading experts on Geographical Information Systems. He is currently on sabbatical leave at The City University, supported by a prestigious Leverhulme Visiting Professorship.

Address
Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre
The City University
Northampton Square
London
EC1V 0HB

Tea and coffee from 18.00
Wine and refreshments will be served after the lecture

To register your place please email Alison Lee or call on (UK) 020 7040 0216


Greg Driver

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benbakelaar

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Its users should be able to zoom around on the earth, select places and retrieve geographical knowledge at will, and to follow geographically linked ideas. The idea dates to 1992 - when the web was in its infancy - and was promoted by former US vice president Al Gore in his book "Earth in the Balance".


Cool, wish I lived in UK!

To me, I think of "geobrowsing" and Google Earth mainly in their utility as a location selector. I think for the next 5-10 years there is going to be a lot of buzz about virtual 3d environments and novel ways of displaying information linked to geographical location, but - and maybe this is a point the speaker will make - I think it makes more sense to have the map be an extent/pinpoint locator and have that information as standardized output which can be linked/accessed by third-party systems. Then, once "geotagging" takes off (on web pages, RFID tags, etc.), you can simply link the geobrowser and the geotags, rather than trying to create an entire sort of "virtual 3d immersive global" environment/software/operating system, which it is almost certain major corporations will be aiming for (control the platform, control the content).

But I expect a lot of grassroots development around a networked model. It's like the article someone (gregsd?) posted yesterday about the flood monitoring... rather than using expensive satellite/software solutions, they are grabbing cheap GumStix and putting dozens of sensors on the ground. That, I hope, is the future of the 21st century... a "location aware" environment, rather than something more akin to a "location controlled" environment.




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