Summary from afternoon event at UCL on the future of imaging. Organised by UCL Advances, left half way through afternoon, got a bit fed up with the hard sell on how well academia can solve all industries research needs. Had planned to listen to the Space Syntax talk but missed it. Notes below.

Google Earth – Changing our View of the Earth’

Ed Parsons (Google – from the Geo team – maps, earth, sketchup etc.)

Organising information geographically to make it universally accessible. 3 billion users can have access to google earth images of their own home. Half the population of the world. Nice example of photos being placed vertically on the surface of google earth – when you move to the position the picture was taken you can see it in the context of google earth.

“People like google earth because it is personal – the first thing you do is zoom into the place where you live or a place that you like.” The context is provided straight away. Learning from that observation the focus of future work will be on google earth as the context not the content. He mentioned that KML had been accepted by Microsoft as a defacto standard for marking up geo info and the increased use of geoRSS in apps like flickr.

He mentioned 3 other cool things:

Have you played the google earth flight simulator? – hit Ctrl + Alt + A to turn it on.

Google teamed with Amazon mechanical turk to try and find Steve Fossett using recent imagery from google earth – didn’t find him but did find 6 other crashed planes.

mentioned the work with chris anderson ( and pict’earth real time mashup of google earth and live video from UAV’s