Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Brilliant and powerful use of GIS Data

If I was to show you a spread sheet with figures explaining extent of heat loss from your poorly insulated home, you would probably quickly get bored, make your excuses and leave (no change there then!!). Even if I was to show you that other people in your neighbourhood were better insulated than you, I doubt that would inspire you any more. These figures could be as detailed as you like, it wouldn't change anything. In fact the more detailed the less interested you (or I for that matter) would be.

You might just prick your ears up if I was to show you actual money you're waisting, but I doubt that would get most of us springing into immediate action down at B & Q. However, take a look at Haringey council's web site and their brilliant Home Heat Loss Map.

It was surveyed one night in March this year by BlueSky International Ltd and is a fantastic way of showing us how we waist electricity because we all know the houses in our area, and I know that if my neighbours identical house was more insulated, more environmentally friendly and most important, subject to lower energy bill, then I would definitely do something about that. Best of all, I don't have to listen to someone like me droning on about the environment and energy saving and dolphins etc. Just a click of the mouse and all the information I need is there.

Brilliant! all I need now is my local council to do the same.

Written and submitted from home

Sunday, 9 September 2007

New Hidden feature in GE

Lots of people are reporting a new feature in Google Earth 4.2, a flight simulator!

It tool me a while to get it to work, but it's worth it. You first need the latest version (4.2) so go and download it now. Then press Ctrl, Alt and A to activate it. If nothing happens, try Ctrl and A. Some UK people are reporting that you need to set your language (in the control panel) to English (United States) for it to work. Once you have done it, you can get to the feature via the tools menu.

The jet is really hard to control, so I suggest you start with the prop plane. To get you started, Select an airport and go. Throttle is page up/page down and you can use your arrow keys (Backwards like real flight simulators) or your mouse. It does support joy sticks, but I don't have one so can't comment on its use.

Anyway, have a go, see how you get on. I keep crashing!!!

Written and submitted from home

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Google Earth

Google has updated GE to include the sky. At first look (only 5 mins before I had to leave for the Netherlands) it doesn't look as good as Celestia, but the navigation should be better, although I didn't like the fact you have to switch between earth and sky, I would have preferred to have a seamless switch. It's more consistent with the original Google earth, and of course I can use the brilliant Space Navigator not available on Celestia (must look for the driver for that)

Also, being a much larger development community, we should see lots of cool celestial applications. You need to upgrade Google Earth now.

Written and submitted onboard the Hull- Zeebrugge ferry