As Google often does during disasters (such as the Gulf Oil Spill and the Japan Earthquake, Google has set up a Crisis Response page to help provide information for those trying to assist with the flooding in Thailand.
The flooding has become quite devastating and more widespread than most people realize. From Google’s page:
Thailand is currently facing its worst flooding in 50 years. Flood waters have swamped more than two-thirds of the country, submerging rice fields and shutting down hundreds of factories while over 900,000 families and businesses have been impacted and hundreds of lives have been tragically lost. National relief efforts are now focused on providing essential food, clean water and shelter to displaced people and restoring damaged infrastructure to the Kingdom of Smiles.
You can use the map on their page, or download various elements as KML files to be able to browse them in Google Earth. For example, here is the “Flood affected areas across Thailand” map (KML), which gives you a quick glance at the hardest hit areas.
For fresh satellite imagery of the area, you can use the imagery released by the NASA Earth Observatory a few days ago. You can view the image on their site.
Google Maps Mania
Here at Google, we use Eclipse
every day to build our external and internal products, as well as building and releasing Eclipse tools. We are delighted to announce that we will be hosting Eclipse Day at Googleplex
on November 30th. Hosting this event is one way to say “thank you” and contribute back to the community.
Eclipse Day is a 1-day conference that highlights Eclipse projects and Eclipse-based products created here at Google. It is also a great opportunity for both Eclipse contributors and users to network and share ideas.
This year we have sessions that cover Android Development Tools, Google Plug-in for Eclipse, WindowBuilder, EGit, m2eclipse, Eclipse 4, SWTBot, Orion, Hudson, a case study by NASA and Google’s use of Xtext.
In previous years some of the most popular sessions have been our Eclipse Ignite talks: 5-minute, 20-slide presentations by attendees that wish to show-off what they are doing with Eclipse.
All of us at Google would like to thank Ian Skerrett
and everyone at the Eclipse Foundation
for assembling this great event. We are happy to welcome the Eclipse community to our campus. We are always looking for ways to make this conference better! Please share your ideas and let us know your thoughts about this year’s program.
The conference is free, but you do need to pre-register. We strongly recommend you register
early as we have run out of all of our slots every year.
We’ve seen global overlay files before on Google Earth, including items such as the popular blue marble overlay. The folks at KMZmaps.com have created a variety of very high-quality overlays for use in Google Earth. They’re not free, but they’re reasonably priced and quite impressive. Here are few of them:
Natural Globe: A more realistic view of Google Earth, very similar to the blue marble overlay but of considerably higher quality.
Night Lights: Very similar to the NASA “Earth City Lights” layer.
Colored Edges: There are a variety of Photoshop-edited overlays in here as well; various blurs and effects. Here is one called “colored edges” that is pretty neat.
They also have a collection of solid color overlays. These overlays are completely solid, effectively hiding the base imagery so that roads, borders and other items are more well-defined. Here is the dark red version of that, with the “Borders and Labels” and “Roads” layers turned on.
Like most maps of this variety, it fades away as you zoom in closer to reveal the base imagery. This allows you to run your favorite overlay all the time, as it will automatically hide itself when you zoom in close enough to look at the details of a specific location. The exception is a special version of the “solid black earth”, which is set to never turn off when you zoom in. They offer both versions, so the choice is up to you.
As I said at the beginning, the big drawback to these files is that they’re not free. They cost roughly $6/each (some vary a bit), with the full collection available for $24.95. However, they also offer a demo map so you can get a feel for how it works. It’s covered with “www.KMZmaps.com” text, but you can get a feel for the quality of the imagery and the way the “auto-hide on zoom” works. You can download the sample KMZ file here. To see more of what they have to offer, visit their site at www.kmzmaps.com.