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What does Crimea tell us about Google?

What does Crimea tell us about Google?

What can we infer about Google’s technology, politics and business from observing its approach to mapping Crimea, a few weeks after its invasion and subsequent annexation by Russia? Let’s take each area in turn:

Technology:We’ve long known Google has the ability to serve different mapping datasets to different Google top-level domain properties. For example, different-language versions of Google…

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MH370: Google adds satellite search imagery to Google Earth; black box heard?

Two new pieces of information today relevant to the ongoing search for Malaysian Airlines MH370: There is a potential location for the black box, and Google Earth now shows recent satellite imagery of the search area in its default layer.

mh370-satimage

  • A Chinese patrol ship has picked up pings that match those of a black box, both on Friday and again on Saturday, according to China’s CCTV. The approximate…

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MH370: Amateur hour at the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency?

MH370: Amateur hour at the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency?

The Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (MRSA) today released an annotated satellite image purporting to show a debris field in the Southern Indian Ocean, near the area where the plane is believed to have perished.

Unfortunately, using only the information contained by the image, it can easily be proven to be self-contradicory, and hence useless.

I’ve been collecting satellite imagery of possible…

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MH370: Updated route, final radar plot

MH370: Updated route, final radar plot

We now appear to have one more official source of information to go on: Via Twitter, a photo, apparently shown to Chinese media in Beijing on March 22 or 21, of a Malaysian military radar image showing MH370, pinpointing its last plot at 02:22 MYT (UTC+8):

mh370-penang

To analyse the image properly, I took a screen shot of the same area from SkyVector‘s amazing aeronautical charts, overlaid and aligned that…

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MH370 - Airports in flight range on Google Earth

MH370 – Airports in flight range on Google Earth

Over the weekend, several initiatives mapped airports that could serve as potential landing spots for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. WNYC first mapped large airports within MH370′s flight range onto Google Maps; then David Strip used data from OurAirports to cast a wider net of potential landing spots and put that in Google Maps.

That’s a good idea, but Google Earth is perhaps the more…

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China — a photographic update

China — a photographic update

In February, work took me to China, my stay there bookended by a weekend each in Beijing and Shanghai — time enough for some long exploratory walks with my go-anywhere camera, the minuscule Panasonic Lumix GM1 with the legendary 20mm F1.7 lens.

Beijing:This was my first time back in three years, so I wanted to visit all my old haunts, to update my mental map of the place. The pollution reading…

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Flight MH370 — search data in Google Earth

Flight MH370 — search data in Google Earth

The disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 has had me glued to the Internet. Now over a week into the mystery, more specific data has begun to emerge regarding MH370′s apparent flight path and possible last locations, from two distinct sources. I felt I could contribute by adding these as accurately as possible to Google Earth, for others to use. Here’s the resulting KMZ filefor Google…

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But now the Air China staff were also holding up phones and taking pictures, checking to make sure they had gotten a good shot, then going in for another. I watched, uncomprehending, as everyone around me (except the EMS staff, who were busy saving a man’s life) began taking pictures, including but not limited to other first-class passengers, flight attendants, Air China staff, the men working on the emergency vehicle, and, out on the tarmac, the airport staff who were overseeing the arrival of the ambulance and safe passage of the suffering passenger.
4 reasons why Google’s Lego-Maps is not your average tech demo(This is a cross-post from an article I wrote earlier today for work, on Söderhavet’s blog, tough…View Post

4 reasons why Google’s Lego-Maps is not your average tech demo

(This is a cross-post from an article I wrote earlier today for work, on Söderhavet’s blog, tough…

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In fact, the impression I get from this is that China has finally, irrevocably, arrived. It’s finally dumped its own cadre of gold plated, countries-are-for the-little people bloated hustlers into the global overclass gene pool. It has reached the summit of contemporary aspirations, made ISO standards of international dodginess. It has finally punched its weight. If you were exceptionally cynical you could even argue that the Party has fuilfilled its historic mission, though the Party wouldn’t see it that way.