As planners, geographers, researchers, etc. we're all excited about the opportunities that Google Earth provides for our daily work. But looking at this survey/question Lifehacker posted today (amongst a tech-savvy audience), it doesn't seem like the data, information and interactivity we create on top of it has hit the masses yet. At the time of this post, 66% use it very infrequently, though the options are poorly worded/incomplete. But the comments provide a nice overview of how different users apply GE:
... Google earth helps me get a nice lay of the land so to speak before I travel anywhere ... maybe for my science teacher trying to explain global warming, but the only time I've actually USED Google Earth was for a science project ... Sometimes, I will "fly" to my mom's house when I feel homesick ... I've used Google Earth to track most of our Geocaching expeditions ... I do a bit of cycling and skiing. It's great to export the kml file, and show other people where you have been ... and of course: I get a bit sentimental when I look at my own house in Google Earth, and see my old 1985 V-8 Thunderbird still parked in the driveway! I miss that car... I stupidly sold it, years ago
- just to offer a few sound bites. What really strikes me is that nobody mentions any planning related uses - no zoning maps, no 3D visualizations of new buildings, no fly-throughs for masterplans/comprehensive plans...
in a project that I'm doing for CU right now, I needed an easy way to
display custom maps in Drupal, the content management platform of our choice, and the gmap module macros just didn't cut
it. I ended up creating a filter module, that allows users to insert
their Google MyMap or kml file in square brackets which will then be replaced by a
google map with the kml overlayed. It's built on the great jquery jmaps
extension by Tane Piper. I finished a first beta today and its working pretty well, http://playground.placematters.org/?q=node/1, you can also download the source code there.Any feedback is more than welcome.