GIS and Inside Buildings things


Clearly Google doesn’t understand anything about Professional GIS.  30 years ago, GIS and CAD came to a conclusion.  GIS would work outside the building shell and CAD would handle the inside.  Clearly this has been respected for a generation of GISPs.

But in typical Google fashion, they ignore the truce and now their GIS system (yes I’m not crazy) supports inside the building queries.

Detailed floor plans automatically appear when you’re viewing the map and zoomed in on a building where indoor map data is available. The familiar “blue dot” icon indicates your location within several meters, and when you move up or down a level in a building with multiple floors, the interface will automatically update to display which floor you’re on. All this is achieved by using an approach similar to that of ‘My Location’ for outdoor spaces, but fine tuned for indoors.

So it is a stupid Andoid app and nothing more, for now.  But clearly there is an API in there just waiting to be used.  Of course New Yorker’s fear being tracked on their cell phones so it remains to be seen if Google will feel any backlash for tracking your cell phone (cue the old “opt-in” defense).

Now I’m not sure how stupid Google thinks users are though.  Is “Find my Favorite Coffee Shop” still something that people need help with?

via:James Fee GIS

Updated Google Interface Rolling Out?

Is this a test or a rollout? I am seeing this subtly different interface on all Google properties.

Is anyone else seeing?

Click to view larger:

Barry Schwartz just pinged me to let me know that it is a test first seen last week. It is however being reported in New Zealand and Denmark.

Related posts:

  1. Google Tool Sends Alert When Satellite Imagery Is Updated
  2. Google’s Blue Interface (aka Jazz) Is Approaching – What is your Hands on Take?
  3. Google Map Local Business Center Update – New Interface & Features

Simulate forest fires with ForeFire

In a lab at the University of Corsica, the French national research agency CNRS has developed a very slick forest fire simulator that uses the Google Earth Plug-in.


The tool itself is quite impressive, using a physical combustion and spread model to simulate the advance of a fire front. Just choose an ignition point, change the wind to the direction of your choosing, and watch it burn. Even better, you can adjust the wind during the course of a burn to see how things change.

Try it for yourself here:

At the end of the simulation, you can download the final result as a KMZ file for use in Google Earth. That file is pretty cool and gives you a great way to visualize the data.


The simulation takes a lot of data into account, including fuels, roads and elevation. As a result, some point may not start a fire if they are on unburnable land. Also of note is that only Corsica is current set-up in the system, so the rest of the world is currently fireproof.

They’re looking for feedback about the interface and features, so feel free to leave a comment with any ideas you might have.