The Google Earth Explorer

Paul van Dinther is at it again, with another great Google Earth script for us to play with. You’ll remember Paul from fun projects he’s built such as Ships, Helicopters, and Drive the A-Team Van.

He’s now developed GExplorer, a fun way to fly through Google Earth. It’s a physics based 3D view controller that allows precise and smooth control of the camera. It does this by combining keyboard and mouse input. Camera movement is in 6 degrees of freedom meaning you can look anywhere and go anywhere. It takes some getting used to, but works amazingly well.

It feels a bit like the controls in a first-person shooter, where you move around with the keyboard and control your view with the mouse. The feeling of smoothly gliding over the mountains as you fly around Google Earth is quite amazing.

Here’s a video showing it in action:

You can try it for yourself over on his site. Google has recently purchased GExplorer from Paul for the express purpose of making it open source. If you’d like to integrate it with a project of yours, head over to Google’s GExplorer project page to get more information.

Video Demonstration: Illinois Public Health Map

We’re very happy to be able to show-off our collaboration with the Illinois Department of Public Health and IPRO. This map makes information about the quality of health in communities available to the public, highlighting socioeconomic disparities that may exist. When combined with our indiemapper platform as well as linked graphs and charts, the clinical data in the map can be used to examine the health needs of a community, county or region for better policy and planning.

Above is a quick demonstration video showing the basic functionality. After watching the video, check-out the map itself.