Google Earth and a plan for San Francisco job growth

I don’t know the details of Ed Lee’s political agenda, and that information is irrelevant for this post, but he’s recently used Google Earth in a very creative way. In one of his recent TV ads, Ed made great use of Google Earth to help show off his plan for creating new jobs across the San Francisco area.

Details on how the video was created aren’t available, but it appears that they simply took some carefully-planned Google Earth footage and then added all of the labels and highlights in a video editing suite like Final Cut Pro. As such, no KML or tour are available.

Interestingly, they apparently chose to shoot the footage with the 3D Tree layer turned off, or else they created the video prior to last November when 3D trees were unveiled in San Francisco. For example, the park shown at the 0:20 mark of the video looks much better with the tree layer enabled:


That said, it’s an excellent way to show off this kind of information in a quick commercial. The high altitude between stops helps to show users where they are, and the solid 3D coverage in the San Francisco area really helps it come to life.

(via Politico)

Google Earth: The Flooding in London

He’s back now with an updated file that generates some slick animations to fly you to London and to animate the rising water. Try it yourself with this KMZ file.

london.jpgMaking it even better is all of the additional 3D buildings that have been added to London this year, making things look much more realistic and helping to show the depth of the water.

The map markers! They move!

Maps API v2 had a built in animation that raised and bounced the marker when it was being dragged. When we looked into adding this feature to Maps API v3 we decided to go a step further and give developers more options for animating markers.

In addition to adding the drag animation offered in v2 we are today releasing two new marker animations that developers can trigger. Firstly there is BOUNCE which simply bounces a marker indefinitely to draw attention to it. The other is DROP which adds a marker to the map by dropping it from above with a small bounce.

We rely on a combination of JavaScript and CSS animations to ensure smooth motion across all devices, which was particularly challenging for the DROP animation, as it has a very short duration with a lot of movement. As a consequence this is the first feature we have launched that is not compatible with IE6 since we ended support for that browser (markers still appear in IE6 and can be dragged, but do not animate).

For more details on how to trigger animations check the documentation. While you are there you may notice that the MaxZoom service, which allows you to determine the maximum zoom level of satellite imagery available at a given location, is also now available in Maps API v3.

As always, if you have any questions about these features, or any other aspect of Maps API v3 development, we recommend that you post to the Google Maps API v3 Forum.