More cities and coverage in Building Maker

Hot on the heels of the new 3D buildings feature for Android, Google has now made it easier to add 3D buildings to Google Earth with the expansion of a few cities in their excellent Building Maker tool.

In particular, the coverage area for Fresno, Lake Tahoe, Austin, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Diego and St. Louis have all been expanded to allow you to model more of the sub-urban areas around the cities. For example, look at the map of Phoenix below; the blue outline shows the previous coverage, while the white outline shows the new coverage — a major increase!


To try it for yourself, simply head over to the Building Maker site and give it a shot.

YouTube 2.1 App Now Available on Android Market

When you’re watching a video on YouTube, how often do you JUST watch the video? If you’re like me, you scroll down, maybe read the video description and glance over at the related videos to choose what you might watch next.
Today the latest YouTube app, version 2.1, is available on the Android Market, so YouTube app updates aren’t tied to Android OS releases anymore. The app was rebuilt from the ground up to mirror the YouTube desktop experience and is our fastest, most intuitive YouTube mobile app to date.
What’s new:

  • In-page playback: you can read the video description, browse related, rate or flag videos without having to interrupt video playback.
  • Posting comments: you can post a comment while the video is playing, just like on the desktop website.
  • Subscription updates: we’ve made it easier to access new videos from your subscriptions. If you are signed into your account, you will see all your subscription updates right on the home screen of the app.
  • New full-screen UI: To enter full-screen mode simply rotate the phone. The new player controls make it easier to seek within the video, and you can pause or resume the playback by just tapping on the screen.

Following our famous mantra ‘launch early, iterate often’, we first released an early version of the unbundled app a few of weeks ago, collected user feedback, and addressed the key user requests in version 2.1.

Please note that the new YouTube app only works on devices running Android 2.2. To install it, search for ‘YouTube’ in Android Market. It also comes pre-installed on many upcoming Android 2.3 devices, such as the Nexus S.

Posted by Andrey Doronichev, YouTube Mobile Product Manager, recently watched “Huge Bike Jump into a Pond 35 feet in the air

Even smarter Street View navigation: single click to go (anywhere!)

Last year we introduced Smart Navigation to Street View, which allowed you to jump to a new panorama just by double-clicking on a place or object. Now you can quickly navigate to those images with just a single click.

For those of you who haven’t used this click-to-go feature before, notice that as you move your mouse around in a street view panorama, a disk or rectangle follows the cursor (what we call the “pancake”). This pancake not only makes the panorama feel three-dimensional, but shows you where you can jump to a new panorama to get a different view. For instance, let’s say you’re checking out the town of San Miguel de Allende in Mexico because you read about the large community of artists and writers living there. You can get a closer look at the Parish of San Miguel by clicking on the pancake and navigating around the church.

A few more clicks will take you through the colorful neighboring streets. Through your virtual exploration, you can see a restaurant in the distance behind the below rectangular pancake:

With a single click on the pancake, you’re transported right in front of that location and the pancake reappears – this time with a magnifying glass. This means you can zoom in to get an even closer view:

To read the menu at “El Infierno” and see what kind of food they may have, the single click to zoom also applies here. We’ve also made it easier to zoom out. Once you’ve zoomed in all the way, the magnifying glass changes from a plus sign to a minus sign, signifying that the next click will zoom all the way out.

QUE VIVA single click navigation!

Posted by Daniel Filip, Senior Staff Engineer